On An Overgrown Path is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, On An Overgrown Path is a qualified source of soClassiQ, like NY Times or I care if you listen and many others. The oldest article indexed by soClassiQ is dated 2012-01-02. Since then, a total of 1764 articles have been written and published by On An Overgrown Path.
With 23 articles published in the last 90 days, On An Overgrown Path is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that On An Overgrown Path is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
This editorial activity is slowing down compared to the previous period.
The last article in On An Overgrown Path, "New classical music for these troubled times", is dated 2020-08-04. By 2019, this source had published 117 articles (68 since the beginning of 2020). Over the past 12 months, On An Overgrown Path has published an average of 9 articles per month.
On An Overgrown Path has been selected by soClassiQ to be among its qualified sources because we believe that its articles fully contribute to the knowledge of classical music and opera. Because it is up to everyone to make their own opinion, to love On An Overgrown Path or to prefer other writings, all our visitors and members are invited to discover On An Overgrown Path. If you like it, feel free to add it to your browser bookmarks or soClassiQ bookmarks (for its members, with the button below). This will allow you to come back to it easily and regularly.
Add this page to your soClassiQ bookmarks
No reference is made to the Lebewohl (Farewell) theme in the final movement of Mahler's Ninth Symphony by composer/producer Steve Roach in the notes for his new album A Soul Ascends. But both works take the listener on a similar transcendental journey, albeit in very different ways. Mahler deploys a symphony orchestra in all its sonic glory for his masterpiece, while a century later Steve Roach crafts his music from synthesizers and sequencers. A Soul Ascends is important because it reaches the giddy creative heights of Steve's other ambient masterwork Structures from Silence. But it is even more important because it is new classical music for these troubled times. Steve crafted the album over seven solitary days of inventive white heat at his remote desert Timehouse Studio in Arizona while the world was entering lockdown. The title and a brief dedication defer to a farewell theme. But this is not […]
Beethoven is fortunate. His anniversary falls in December this year: which means, hopefully, it can be celebrated when a degree of normality has returned. Ravi Shankar is less fortunate. The centenary of his birth fell on April 7th, when the world had more important things to worry about. Which meant the anniversary passed almost unnoticed; with the major celebration at London's South Bank Centre postponed until April 2021. But it is important that Ravi Shankar's centenary is not lost to lockdown. Not only because he was a master of the sitar, but also because he was a great humanitarian who broke down the barriers dividing music of different cultures. One example is his collaboration with Philip Glass. In 1965 the neophyte American composer was studying in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and he was hired to notate the film score for Chappaqua composed by Ravi Shankar. In 1989 the […]
True diversity celebrates the linkages which connect different people and cultures. Gender and ethnicity are vital links in the diversity chain. But, despite received wisdom in the music industry, they are not the only links, and when torn out of context and isolated as exploitable causes, gender and ethnicity become devalued. In this extract from 'A New Map of Wonders' Caspar Henderson uses linkages impassively to probe the truly rich diversity that is art music:As for the end, well, many of us have a general idea that, one day, the Sun will become a red giant which will incinerate and swallow the Earth. No more cloud capp'd towers and gorgeous palaces for you, pal. The full story, though, is even more awesome and beautiful. It deserves, at the very least, a great musical score. I'd like to imagine something beyond the final chord of 'Der Abscheid' in Gustav Mahler's Dad […]
One of the many problems of being a great spiritual leader is that people are scared of telling you when you get it wrong. As in the case with the Dalai Lama's first album 'Inner World', which is released to mark his His Holiness' 85th birthday. The new super-cool Dalai Lama made his Glastonbury debut in 2015, and his latest venture into rock stardom combines Buddhist teachings with chill-out music*. Typical of the inability of Tibetan Buddhist camp followers to call a dog a dog is the review by the authoritative Tricycle online Buddhist magazine which buries mild reservations underneath the usual respectful platitudes: such as "His Holiness’s wisdom and compassion through this recording can bring inner transformation". This time the Independent gets it right in a 2 star review which judges that "...there is little to distinguish the shapeless instrumentation from any you’d find in a luxury spa". […]
Benjamin Britten's celebrated 'Holy Triangle' divides music neatly into composer, performer, and listener. But music is not the composer, not the performer and not the listener. So just what is music? Great music works its magic by changing our consciousness. This experience of transcendence can make us happy, sad, relaxed, positive, empowered etc etc. These changes in neurological consciousness occur when our brain parses minute electrical impulses generated by our ears and eyes. But what consciousness is, and how it works, is one of the great mysteries that science has so far failed to solve. Which is problematic, because consciousness determines our understanding of reality, and shapes our perception not only of the music we hear, but also of the world we live in.Two conflicting traditional views of how consciousness shapes reality predominate. In the West the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm of material realism is the product of scientific rationalisation. Material realism […]
Over the years I have played a modest role in promoting the causes of musicians of colour and women musicians, and I believe the UK should remain in the EU. However today I am less sure where I stand on these issues: because I have been alienated by the single issue fanatics on both sides of all three debates. The latest example is a petition to drop Rule, Britannia from the Last Night of the Proms as "it is offensive in today's society". Chi-chi Nwanoku is a prominent signatory of the petition, explaining her reason for signing as "This offensive song is no longer relevant of our times. It's presence serves to hold us back". Chi-chi Nwanoku is founder of Europe's first majority-BME classical ensemble the Chineke! Orchestra and has done much invaluable work advocating the cause of musicians of colour. Now regular readers will know I am not exactly […]
As an antidote to the saturation visuals of face masks and Zoom I offer striking graphics from two young Moroccan pop artists. Casablanca based Sarah Addouh (b.1993) created 'Tajine Vinyl' seen above and also the topically relevant middle image*. The third graphic 'Gnawi Boy' is by freelance graphic designer Ilyesse Nouhi (b.1994) who uses the nom de art Iriessu. This graphic is based on a photo by the late French–Moroccan photographer and video artist Leila Alaoui (1982-2016) who was killed while working for UN Women and Amnesty International on an assignment about women's rights in Burkina Faso. These graphics come via an article on a Moroccan news website about how pop art is transcending borders and finding a large audience in the Middle East and North Africa.The work of Sarah Addouh, Ilyesse Nouhi, and other young Mahgrebi artists challenges cultural comfort zones by breaking down established barriers between fine art […]
That CD of Péter Eötvös conducting Stockhausen's Gruppen* and Punkte is relevant to classical music's search for a new younger audience. What you see can change how you hear music: the artwork, which is the work of the Hungarian GAB/MER Design Studio whose other credits include the United Colours of Benetton brand identity, bridges the gap between the psychedelic art of the 1960s and the more recent visionary art of Alex Grey. Stockhausen himself bridged the same gap: his influence on 1960s counterculture was recognised by his presence on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album artwork, while his cycle of seven operas Licht (Light) composed between 1997 and 2003 inhabits a parallel universe to Alex Grey and other contemporary cybernauts. Among other 'mystery school' composers inhabiting this parallel universe are Olivier Messiaen, Jonathan Harvey, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener. In his fantasy novel Pawn of Prophecy David Eddings […]
For sixteen years On An Overgrown Path has been taking the road less travelled. One example was my road trip from Kalka to Leh in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir in the north of India. Éliane Radigue's electronic paeans to Tibetan Buddhism, Trilogie de la Mort and Jetsun Mila featured heavily in the iPod playlist for that journey. As my photos show, the road climbs from Kalka on the edge of the Ganges plain over the western end of the Himalayas to reach the alpine desert of Ladakh - 'Little Tibet' - seen in the final photo below. En route the road crosses some of the highest passes in the world: three are over 15,000 feet with the highest, the Taglang La pass reaching 17,480 feet. The 500 mile drive took three long days on the road plus one rest day to acclimatise. For the final 300 […]
You have to feel sorry for poor old Henry Purcell. He was born in 1659 B.Z. (before Zoom), so didn't have a 'commercial partnership' with streaming service Idagio and never had a gig with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, he was male, there are no crowdfunded novels about him, and, of course, in an age when diversity has become just another marketing tool, Purcell washes whiter than white. Which means today Henry doesn't receive the recognition he deserves. But some enlightened souls have given him his due. Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is sub-titled Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell and is based on the Rondeau of the composer's Abdelazer suite. The reverence Britten held Purcell in is shown by twenty-five index entries for Henry in Humphrey Carpenter's definitive biography of Britten; which is five more than for another Britten cause, Mahler. […]