Category Archives: Piano

Robyn Cage

I was introduced to an amazing talent this morning, courtesy of Noisetrade.
Robyn Cage hails from Salt Lake City, UT but with her flaming locks and her awesome sound I’m thinking there has to be some Gaelic blood somewhere in her history.

Keep reading and I’ll give you a link to find some awesome music from Robyn Cage.

Robyn Cage’s expressive voice and impassioned live performances have captivated audiences from Boston’s Symphony Hall to the stages of NYC. A professional actress, trained at the Boston Conservatory and praised by The New York Times and Variety, Robyn turned to songwriting in 2009 and recorded her “Raining Sideways” EP with producer Alex Houton. In 2014 Robyn teamed up with two-time Grammy-nominated producer Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan) to record “Burning Now”, then headed to L.A. to record with Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning producer Dan Burns (Carina Round, Early Winters). Robyn relocated from NYC to her mountain home in Park City- her music is a synthesis of New York’s culture and Utah’s desert wilderness.

So are you ready for some music? You betcha. OK let’s get to it.

First up Robyn’s most recent video release, and the title track from her latest album.
A terrific video shot in the desert out west, beautiful scenic backdrops abound.
Robyn’s voice is simply awesome, and I’m sure if she says it’s gonna rain, it’s gonna rain.
Love it.
Born in the Desert

Directed, Filmed & Edited by Bryce Johnson
Song by Robyn Cage and Cari Cole
Music Produced by Dan Burns

CREW
Director: Bryce Johnson
Production Assistant: Darryl Dobson, Laura Johnson
Drone footage: Jake Johnson
Props: Nan Kemp, Kevin Kemp
Photographers: Carla Boecklin, Victor Rybovich, Darryl Dobson
Hair & Makeup: Amy DeVore
Wardrobe & Styling: Hannah Reilly

 

Next up a really beautiful song of longing with the ethereal voice of Robyn Cage.
This will just warm your soul. And probably be on your play list for a long time.
Burning Now

Cast:
Girl: Robyn Cage
Guy: Paul D. Hunt
Song by Robyn Cage and Darryl Neudorf
Music Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Darryl Neudorf
Vocals Engineered by Eric Limburg and recorded at @ The Granger School of Music
Vocal Arranging by Cari Cole

 

For some reason as a young singer you have to perform covers, maybe it’s so that the listener can compare it with something they know and it makes them comfortable. So here we have Robyn doing a very daring cover of a David Bowie classic. And certainly putting her own stamp on it. This brings out the power of her voice which has been subdued to this point on the earlier songs. And boy what power it has, I’m just loving this.
Plus another standout video.
Space Oddity

Directed by Bryce Johnson
Makeup by Amy DeVore
Song mixed and mastered by Jarryd Wark
“Space Oddity” by David Bowie

 

One more cover, since I cannot resist anyone covering this song, an old favorite.
I love the fact that Robyn attacks it in the same way that Nina Simone did, this is the way to perform this song. Her voice is perfect in this live performance at the Secret Circus Studio. And her piano playing is brilliant. Love it, love it, love it.
Oh man, that final note, wow, chills.
Feeling Good

“Feeling Good” written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd in 1964. Nina Simone recorded the song for her 1965 album I Put a Spell on You and it became a standard.

 

The toughest part of this journey through Robyn’s catalog has been which to include and which to leave out. Tough decisions, so much good stuff here.
But we have to close, so going to close with another of Robyn’s brilliant original songs.
This is a beautifully crafted song, very unique. And of course there is a wonderfully shot video to highlight the song. Robyn’s voice lust to beautiful for words. Enjoy it.
The Arsonist & The Thief

Directed, Filmed & Edited by Bryce Johnson
Song written by Robyn Cage
Music Produced by Dan Burns

CREW
Director: Bryce Johnson
Co-starring: Dustin Crump
Production Assistant: Nan Kemp
Makeup: Amy DeVore
Wardrobe & Styling: Haute Attitude

Check out more of her videos here.

 

Oh yes, I didn’t forget. Treat yourself to a free download of Robyn’s amazing album at Noisetrade. But don’t be cheap, leave a tip. I assure you the music is worth it. And you can listen to it before you download it.

Get it here.

📷 Carla Boecklin Photography

Fascinating Aïda

I can’t believe it’s been this long since Fascinating Aïda was here, they are so funny.
On an earlier post in the old blog I had two of their great songs “Cheap Flights” and “Dogging”, both particularly British phenomenons.

Fascinating Aïda have in the past been described as “Absolutely Fabulous meets Noel Coward, as sung by the Andrew Sisters.”

So after checking around I found some new songs I’d missed.

First up is Fascinating Aïda’s post-Brexit song, this is hilarious whether you were for or agin Brexit. Or even if you don’t care. Check it out.

So Sorry Scotland

Sung by Fascinating Aïda at the Spiegeltent, Assembly, Edinburgh Festival 2016. “SO SORRY SCOTLAND”by Lyrics by Adèle Anderson, Liza Pulman & Dillie Keane: Music by Dillie Keane. Filmed by LA Media. With enormous thanks to William Burdett-Coutts and Sharon Burgess.

Now this one resonates with me a bit, and only they could make it funny. Though to be accurate Laura Linney did a pretty good job on it in the Showtime series a few years back.

So kick back and enjoy their take on the Big C.
Big C

As part of World Cancer Day (4th Feb 2017), we’ve decided to release this song on YouTube. Adèle, of course, was diagnosed with Big C in the spring of 2015 and we felt we had to write a song about it, if only to make ourselves laugh. It made it into our 2016 Edinburgh show – “Back In The Saddle” – and when we finally reconvene in 2018, it will no doubt make an appearance then too. Filmed by LA Media at the Assembly Spiegeltent, taken from the Fascinating Aïda DVD BACK IN THE SADDLE, available from their website.

For those of us outside the UK. Here the official version, but I like the Fascinating Aïda description better.
“OFSTED is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. We inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.”
Enjoy this song about Ofsted.
OFSTED song for teachers

Fascinating Aïda in this video are: Dillie Keane in the blue. Adele Anderson in red. And, in yellow, the glorious Liza Pulman.

This final gem tips their hat to Gilbert & Sullivan among others, only Fascinating Aïda could bring humour into the banking arena. Enjoy.
The Market

Arcano

First up I have to commend my Puerto Vallarta musical correspondent for introducing me to the awesome violin of Érika del Rea. Thanks Bill, who knows well my penchant for a pretty girl playing a violin. And boy does Érika fit the bill.
It turns out she has an equally talented brother who plays the guitar and viola. Érika and Vick del Rea and sometimes their younger sister Sara are Grupo Arcano, they can often be seen performing in local clubs and on the Malecon, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
They started their musical studies in 1992, and later formed part of the Alica foundation of Nayarit’s youth orchestra, where Érika, on violin, and Vick, on viola, participated in concerts all through of Mexico.

Later they joined the Chamber Orchestra of Nayarit, where they performed in major concerts, including one at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

Now they are a duo, Arcano, who perform in the restaurants and clubs not only in Puerto Vallarta, but also in major cities throughout Mexico. Along the way they have released a gaggle of albums.

Enough of the background, let’s get to the music, and boy what a sound this is.
The big problem here is what tracks to include, her diversity in music is immense.

So where to start? How about the beginning (of the alphabet) with Abba, well with one of their great songs. I don’t think I have heard anyone else since Abba bring out the beauty and pathos of this song, and all without a word.
Chiquitita

Here’s a performance by Arcano at the Mexico City Arena which is an indoor arena in Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, Mexico. It looks like a grand time was had by all. And Érika is resplendent in that awesome red dress, and her violin playing is awesome as usual.

Huapango de Moncayo

Huapango is a symphonic work by the Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo , released in 1941 and probably the best known of that composer, strongly associated with the nationalist cultural and audiovisual production of Mexico , to such point that in that country has been called the third National Anthem Mexican , after the March of Zacatecas . It was composed from the reinterpretation of traditional rhythms huapango , mainly veracruzanos , and parts of the region as El Siquisirí , The Balajú and Gavilancillo.   [Wikipedia]

Next up a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite John Legend songs.
Érika gets her feet wet in this one, but all in all it is a very expressive and beautiful piece. With some magical piano from Vick, have to give him his props.
All Of Me

#violinistademexico #erikadelreal #vickdelreal #allofmeviolin

OK so now we are up to Miley Cyrus, another great tune. And well transposed to violin and piano. Grupo Arcano in fine fettle, in what looks to be Puerto Vallarta, maybe. Beautiful video, beautiful location, beautiful entertainment.
Wrecking Ball

A truly awesome rendition of Bitter Sweet Symphony, the Verve classic.
The vacationers and locals in Puerto Vallarta and other spots im Mexico are truly lucky to get such amazing entertainment. This is just sooooooo good.
Sinfonía Agridulce

Any violinist worth their salt has to play some Vivaldi, and this is some Vivaldi. From the Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni) this is Summer (Verano) and what a summer we are having. I’m fairly sure this is what “Ultra-Vivaldi” by Darryl Way and Francis Monkman is based upon. And this performance is in that region. A great rendition, wish I had been there to see/hear it.
Summer (Verano)

Este video me lo dedico Ericka la violinista de Arcano la mejor de toda!!! Grax Ericka

The first track a wonderful version of the Kansas song and then I love me some Hungarian gypsy music, I know this was written by an Italian gentleman named Vittorio Monti. But I always associate it with Hungary. Because the gypsy violinist(s) in each Budapest restaurant or bar (and they all have at least one) always play this tune. Maybe because it displays their skills.
And we know Érika has skills.
Dust in the Wind + Csárdás

Finally today this was one heck of a night in Puerto Vallarta, this is an original piece written by them.
Beautiful doesn’t cover it. They should play more of their own compositions, this some how for me captures the essence of a Mediterranean vacation. I know this is Mexico, but I’ve never been to Mexico, so I always think of Spain. And this looks a bit like Spain.
Cora-Son

Concierto Arcano en vivo desde los Arcos en Puerto Vallarta
Titulo: CORA-SON

Autores: Érika y Vick del Real

Realización: Ruy Melena (Mentes3D.com)

Camarografos:
Daniel Romero
Raúl Jimenez
Sergio Chávez (grua)