Music

Moving Pictures

Music | New albums are strong examples of art about art
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 6/14/18, 12:40 pm

It’s said that art imitates life and that life imitates art.

But life has also been known to imitate life. And sometimes art imitates art.

Consider, for example, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Mussorgsky based most of the suite’s movements on paintings and sketches by his late friend Viktor Hartmann. That one was a costume design for a ballet based on a short story actually makes Mussorgsky’s corresponding piece (“Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks”) an example of art imitating art imitating art imitating art.

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New or recent releases

Music
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 6/14/18, 10:15 am

Landfall 

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet

Anderson has never made a boring album, but with these Hurricane Sandy–inspired pieces, she comes close. Program music, which is what a good deal of this music amounts to, has never been her strong suit. And both in their subject matter and in their methods of delivery, her too-few-and-too-far-between monologues find her trotting out by-now familiar effects and coming off more style than substance. Never before has her voice-deepening filter made her sound so much like Emo Philips imitating Ken Nordine.

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Andrew Harnik/AP

Beyoncé’s Lemonade— a look back

Music | An avant-garde album chronicled a black woman’s journey from anger and pain to freedom
by Hannah Phillips
Posted 6/14/18, 01:25 am

Lemonade, the United States’ third-best-selling album of 2016 and the year’s best-selling album worldwide, should not be forgotten. From track to track, lyric to lyric, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter seamlessly transitioned between different layers of reflection. At surface level, the album chronicled the experience of a woman scorned, walking the listener from denial to self-blame to anger—and ultimately to reconciliation—as the singer dealt with the infidelity of her husband, Jay Z.

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