Arsenio Orteza

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Notable rereleases

by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/25/19, 03:12 pm

The Sweet Primeroses

Shirley Collins

The universal emotions at their core are why the songs on this 1967 recording are called “folk” songs. Her voice and the way that she used it are why Shirley Collins is called a “folk” singer: Unafflicted by vibrato or exemplary breath control, she sounds as common as a miller’s daughter, albeit one whose sister has mastered the rudiments of the pipe organ. The tacked-on four-song EP that brings this reissue’s track total to 20 proves that Collins used her voice the same way in 1963.

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Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images

A unique tilt

Music | Scott Walker made songs like nobody else
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/15/19, 12:27 pm

On April 1, The New York Times published a story titled “‘Blurred Lines’ on Their Minds, Songwriters Create Nervously.” It detailed the anxiety besetting pop composers in the wake of recent plagiarism lawsuits in which courts have sided with the plaintiffs and thereby lowered the burden of proof to the point that almost any song might be actionable.  

And, despite its publication date, the story was no joke.

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Joel Garthwaite

Coherent complexity

Music | Passion oratorio assumes and rewards an intelligent and patient audience 
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 4/11/19, 03:25 pm

Gabriel Jackson’s The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is not by any means an “easy” work. Irregular rhythms jostle with mercurial dynamics. Orchestral instruments respond to the calls of operatic soloists who soar and dip amid or atop choral vocals. Sounds begin in mimesis and end in abstraction. Form yields to content, adapts, then yields again, creating phantasmagoric effects.

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