Nuns Bring 'Light for the World' in Chart-Topping Plainchant Album

Oct 30, 2020

Singing nuns, a piano that mixes you a drink, and the origin of all music -- this roundup has it all. 

1. Play piano, get a cocktail. Behold: Le Pianococktail.

2. Got a minute? Boston Symphony Orchestra cellist Mickey Katz is commissioning and posting 60-second cello pieces to his Instagram to banish the quarantine blues.

3. New research suggests that the origin of all music was not, in fact, a mating call, as was previously thought. Instead, researchers say music was invented for battle

4. An oldie, but a goodie, and a great reminder in these hectic and troubling times: some music has been deemed as calming as a sedative before surgery, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania.

5. Sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque are pianists who have been drawing attention to, and growing, the piano duo repertoire for over 50 years. Read their fascinating profile in the New York Times

6. Pianist Lara Downes has a new video series with NPR Music featuring conversations with Black musicians who have experienced renewed creativity regarding racial injustice. Here's a segment on it from NPR's All Things Considered:

7. First there was bardcore. Now, traditional plainchant sung by nuns -- the Poor Clares of Arundel, to be exact -- is topping UK classical charts. The Sisters hope their album "Light for the World" will bring listeners peace and serenity through its simple beauty.