Johannes Brahms Like You've Never Seen Him Before

Jul 17, 2020

Check out these stories about a digital artist's lifelike composer portraits, a pianist duetting with a noisy cat, drive-in concerts, and more!

1. New research shows that listening to music actually syncs your brain with the performers' brains, and the effect is increased when you're listening to music you enjoy. The takeaway:

Whether encountered as a sole listener of a recorded artist or as part of a packed audience before a full orchestra, music is a shared experience that integrates our intellect, emotions and physical movements.

2. Absolutely thrilled by this video, which is explained perfectly in its description: "Kopprasch etude no.4 but you are rocking out to your favorite Backstreet Boys song at your 8th Grade Halloween Dance in 1997 wearing a dress from Delia's you bought with babysitting money."

3. As the performing arts world continues to reckon with the effects of COVID-19, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, California has a unique solution: drive-up concerts! Stay in your car, roll down your window, and let the musicians do their thing.

4. Another way to break barriers and perform music in the absence of open concert halls? Opera, just for you, over the phone.

5. The LA Times's "How to Listen" series is an accessible introduction to classical music, featuring a new piece every Wednesday. The latest: how variations on a protest song form a modern classic in Rzewski's "People United."

6. Nine Black artists spoke with the New York Times about the steps that the classical music world can take to transform a white-dominated field. One idea: end blind auditions.

7. Jonathan Van Ness's podcast "Getting Curious" recently took a hard look at racism in classical music. He's joined by Dr. Kira Thurman, Assistant Professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan, and Ashleigh Gordon, violist and co-founder of Castle of our Skins. Here's a clip:

8. A new bard-core pop cover from Hildegard von Blingin' has arrived! And this time, it's everybody's favorite song, "Jolene:"

9. Piano duo HOCKET is recording 50 new pieces by 50 commissioned composers as part of their #What2020SoundsLike project. Each piece is between 15 and 45 seconds long, just right to be able to capture the rapid changes of the year we're in.

10. Objects shatter and re-form to a soundtrack of Bach in Optical Arts's video "Toccata:"

Toccata from Optical Arts on Vimeo.

11. A pianist stuck at home and a noisy neighborhood cat became unlikely duet partners:

12. Digital artist Hadi Karimi is making 3D models of Romantic composers. Here's Brahms: