New Music Festival allows audience to experience music in new ways Friday, Nov 22 2019 

By Zoe Watkins —

Last week, the University of Louisville’s School of Music held their fall New Music Festival with a plethora of concerts highlighting unique forms of music.

The festival began in 1998 to show how music can be made in creative and innovative ways. Students would take classic pieces and interpret them in a way that was unique and modern for the current time.

This year’s New Music Festival included all different types of concerts with performances from the University Percussion Ensemble, the Faculty Chamber concert, the New Music Ensemble, the Longleash trio and the Elysian Trombone Quarter.

Krysztof Wołek, director for the Electronic Music Concert, said the pieces chosen were classics of the electronic medium. “They were the first pieces that really did take the medium to larger forms,” he said. “They used technology of the times to the full extent.”

The final event of the week was the Electronic Music Concert.

Most of the pieces played during the performance were from when electronic music was just being introduced to the music world. During the performance, the pieces “Bicycle Built for Two” by Harry Dacre, “Gesang der Jünglinge im Feuerofen” by Karlheinz Stockhausen, “Symphonie pour un homme seul” by Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, “Bye Bye Butterfly” by Pauline Oliveros and “Silver Apples of the Moon” by Morton Subotnick were played.

Derek Carter, third year graduate student and event organizer, said they chose these pieces was because they act as a staple to the electronic music world.

“Pretty much everyone on this program made a large contribution to tape music. They’re kind of like the grandfathers and grandmothers of this genre so we’re paying homage to them,” Carter mentioned.

In an interesting twist all five pieces are a live spatialization of themselves.

“So essentially, we are going to be playing these pieces through all of these speakers in the hall and we’re going to be sending the audio to different speakers, so you can hear the sound move around,” Carter explained.

First year graduate student Gunner Basinger included a lot of the spatialization element in his interpretation of “Bye Bye Butterfly”.

“There was a moment where there was a recording where a full orchestra comes in and I tried to reserve that moment for fading all of the faders in and so that moment would hit louder for example,” Basinger said.

Though there was a lot of memorizing and trying to find focal points, he found it to be a great lesson in acoustics and how sound diffracts in a space. “I love the event, it was fantastic. I think it is great that U of L is doing an electronic music concerts,” Basinger exclaimed.

If you didn’t have time to make it to this semester’s New Music Festival, there will be another one held in the spring for people to see how many other ways music can be adapted.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”: Review & Podcast Thursday, Oct 10 2019 

Upon full contemplation, there really has never been anybody quite like Linda Ronstadt in the rock & roll era.

Her truly transcendent voice.

Her personality.

Her intelligence.

Her many worthy collaborations.

And, yes, her looks. (So sue me if it bothers you that I’ve mentioned that.)

She has been plagued with Parkinson’s which cut her career short, but which disease she confronts with admirable perspective.

It’s all set out in this entertaining documentary.

For more details about Ms. Ronstadt and this film, listen to the podcast below:

Audio MP3

NuLu Fest Returns Sept. 28 Monday, Sep 23 2019 

Now in its 11th year, the newly expanded festival will take place on September 28th in the 600 – 900 blocks of East Market Street in Downtown, Louisville. NuLu Fest 2019 is presented by Royal’s Hot Chicken, Feast BBQ, and bar Vetti. This year’s event will feature two stages that will ‘book-end’ East Market St, with even more local entertainment and live music throughout the day provided by sonoBLAST! Records.

This year’s lineup includes; Fredrick The Younger, The Fervor, Tyrone Cotton, Tyler Lance Walker Gill, Carly Johnson, Bridge 19, Beware The Images, and a performance from Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School. Additionally, we will have local DJs playing throughout the day and night starting at 1:30pm in the Green Building Lot. This year’s DJ lineup includes; DJ Joe Dubb, Blythe & Lisa of The Spinsters Union of Louisville, DJ Hi-Def, and Sam Sneed.

NuLu Fest 2019 will also feature expanded offerings of bourbon, beer, and other spirits.

Our Nulu Bourbon Row will feature specialty bourbon bars from Four Roses, Bulleit, and Michter’s.

The Kentucky Guild of Brewers Beer Garden features West Sixth Brewing, Against The Grain, Falls City Beer, Goodwood Brewing Co., Milewide Beer Co., Akasha Brewing Co., and Gordon Biersch.

Other specialty bars include a Nouvelle Bar & Bottle curated wine bar. Rabbit Hole Gin, La Crema Wine, Nulu Tequila, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will all be offered at our two new Premium Bars located near each stage, in addition to Four Roses Bourbon, West Sixth Brewing Co., and Against The Grain.

Focusing on local and regional original businesses. The festival runs from 11:00am – 11:00am and the family-friendly event as always is free and open to the public. In addition to live music the festival features numerous food and retail booths by local vendors, activities for all ages and a Kid’s Area from 11am until 5pm that will be located on Shelby Street.

There will be an official NuLu Fest After Party at TAJ Louisville following the event.

NuLu Fest is proudly sponsored by those mentioned above as well as; Park Community Credit Union, Jagermeister, Garage Bar, Louisville Downtown Partnership, Red Bull, Louisville Public Media, Jeb Advertising, Smith Creek, Le Leche, Red Tree, WestRock, Sunny Acres Farm, Cityspace Self Storage, and MPerfect.

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U of L professor blows away the audience with trumpet performance Friday, Sep 20 2019 

By Victoria Harris —

A steady stream of students and adults filed into Comstock Hall Sept. 10, each one ready and waiting for Reese Land, an associate professor of trumpet at the University of Louisville to step on stage.

Land, who also directs the trumpet ensemble and has performed with artists such as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Mannheim Steamroller and Joshua Bell, performed in Carnegie Hall with the Eastern High School Band in 2015.

The concert began not on the stage, but on the upper level by the organ. Land opened his recital with “Sonata in D for Trumpet,” accompanied by Jim McFarland, a former director of music ministries at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

“Sonata in D for Trumpet” is a rousing three-movement piece, the third of which, “Vivace,” certainly lives up to its title. Land’s fingers were a whirl of motion, as he kept beat-for-beat with exact precision.

The concert may have only lasted about an hour, but time seemed to have stood still. Post-intermission, Land was accompanied by pianist Krista Wallace-Boaz.

Wallace-Boaz is an associate dean and professor of pedagogy and piano and assistant dean for student programs. She has performed in Belgium as a guest of the Belgian Grand Consulate.

It was in the second half of the performance that Land displayed his dexterity and breath control as he spouted runs that would make another trumpeter sweat bullets, courtesy of “Andante and Capriccio for Trumpet and Piano.”

The program closed with “The Debutante,” a piece with so many adagio to allegro tempo changes, it was like watching a tennis match. Adagio means to slow down, and allegro means to speed up in a piece.

As the evening ended, Land received, not one, but two standing ovations, prompting him to give a second bow.

The crowd was buzzing with energy after the performance, once again breaking out into cheers when Land exited Comstock Hall to its atrium.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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PBS’s “Country Music”: Review & Podcast Friday, Sep 20 2019 

It would seem to me that to call Ken Burns an American treasure would be understatement.

The fellow has provided history and cultural perspective on any number of topics through the decades with his excellently crafted PBS documentaries.

The Vietnam War.

Jazz.

The Civil War.

To name but three.

He, along with c0-producer Dayton Duncan, have done it again.

This time the subject matter is the history and evolution and importance of Country Music.

It is 16 hours long, divided into 8 two-hour episodes. The first four aired last Sunday through Wednesday. The final four shall commence for four straight nights, starting this Sunday evening. The series can also be streamed through the middle of October at pbs.org.

It’s a brilliant piece of documentary filmmaking, and a must see for all music fans.

For more insight on the series, listen to the podcast below:

Audio MP3

WorldFest: Bringing the world to Louisville’s doorsteps Thursday, Sep 5 2019 

By Joseph Garcia — 

Every year on Labor Day weekend, the Belvedere is flooded by thousands for four days to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that lives in Louisville.

“It’s a festival to honor and bring nationalities and cultures together so people can be educated about the world,” said Jalen Todd, a volunteer at this year’s WorldFest.

WorldFest doesn’t just invite attendees to experience these cultures. It gives people the chance to truly celebrate and learn about them from that culture’s people.

“This festival has taught me to learn about different communities and overcome stereotypes about people that aren’t true,” Todd said.

Todd said almost 30 countries spanning the globe were represented this weekend of celebration.

It’s immediately obvious that cultures are represented by the array of vibrant colors from national flags and the mouth-watering aromas blanketing the festival.

The food alone was enough to make a trip to WorldFest. There were common items like tacos and pad thai, but WorldFest offered more exotic foods to excite your taste buds like Ethiopian cuisine.

Just about every corner had a view of an open grill that sizzled with kabobs or large pans of noodles being tossed.

But these are not the only things lining the packed pathways.  Both local and visiting vendors sold items that represented their nationality or heritage.

Items like vibrant dresses, small jewelry, traditional masks and wooden decorations were everywhere.

There were also three stages among the festival that offered unique performances throughout the day. Performances included belly dancing, flamenco dances and various bands performing traditional music.

Junior Computer Information Systems major Levi Walton described WorldFest as diverse and accepting.

“I enjoyed seeing so many cultures represented in such a small section of Louisville,” Walton said, “I love knowing that I live in such a culturally diverse city that not only welcomes but celebrates the differences in its people’s cultures.”

Photo by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

 

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Lana Del Rey has resounding return with greatest album yet Tuesday, Sep 3 2019 

By Blake Wedding —

It has been a long, winding road for Lana Del Rey, but it seems that after five previous studio albums, the titular singer/songwriter has finally found a signature sound.

In the past, I’ve had issues with some of Del Rey’s albums, but I could never possibly argue over the massive influence she has cast over her contemporaries as well as her appeal in modern music. Songs like “Videogames” and “Ride” are also undeniably sweeping, beautiful singles that absolutely excel where some of her full studio albums have missed the mark.

But with Norman F****** Rockwell!, Del Rey has pulled off something quite remarkable. After 2017’s disappointing and critically panned Lust for Life, the artist must have gone back to the drawing board completely and reevaluated herself; her unique qualities and strengths as a singer, and possibly reflecting on what could be improved and on what so many people took issue with on albums like Ultraviolence and Lust for Life.

Yet no less than two years later, Del Rey has shown incredible strives to try something new yet again; not only that, but something bold, and more than anything, something impressively authentic and sincere.

Norman F****** Rockwell is the culmination of all these ideas coupled with an artist at the height of their talent, focus and dedication.

So many of the songs on this album are standouts in Del Rey’s discography. Moreover, Del Rey embraces instrumental experimentation and a yearning to incorporate new styles of music and new sounds in a genuine manner.

Take the song “Venice B****,” which might actually be Del Rey’s single greatest song yet. It’s a long, instrumentally complex, emotionally powered and dense performance; one that single-handedly demonstrates Del Rey’s vocal chops and her talents as a performer and musician better than nearly any of her more well-known singles at this point.

Themes of heartbreak, infatuation, sensuality, love and summertime are at the forefront of this song, themes that Del Rey is no stranger to whatsoever. However, it’s the way that they are pulled off and come together on “Venice B****,” or other standouts like “Mariners Apartment Complex,” that make for a far more memorable listening experience than past songs.

All in all, it’s best to sum up Norman F****** Rockwell! by saying that it is one of the most important albums of 2019. It’s without a doubt the best work Del Rey has ever made, and even more so, it is proof that when an artist accepts constructive criticism and reflects on their art candidly, that hard work pays off. Del Rey has cemented herself as one of the greatest pop voices in the world at the moment.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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Lineup, Times Announced for Hometown Rising Thursday, Aug 29 2019 

Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival

Saturday, September 14 & Sunday, September 15 at Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center In Louisville

 With Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Dwight Yoakam, Trace Adkins, Brett Young, Jake Owen & More

The schedule of music performances is now available for Hometown Rising, the first-ever Country Music & Bourbon Festival, debuting Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 at Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center, combining two of Louisville‘s cultural cornerstones — great music and incredible bourbon.

Hometown Rising‘s music lineup will be led by country heavyweights including Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, and Little Big Town with additional appearances from Dwight Yoakam, Trace Adkins, Brett Young, Jake Owen, Bret Michaels, Frankie Ballard, and many more. In total, more than 30 artists will play on three stages, including two side-by-side main stages, over the course of the weekend. In addition, Hometown Rising will feature bourbon selections from nearly two dozen distilleries, a variety of food options inspired by Kentucky flavors, and onsite experiences from Jack Daniel’s, Kentucky Department Of Tourism (KDT), and many more.

A limited number of Hometown Rising exclusive VIP packages, General Admission tickets, camping and hotel packages, as well as special event tickets are still available at www.HometownRising.com.

The music schedule for Hometown Rising is as follows (subject to change).

 

Saturday, September 14
Barrel Stage Oak Stage
9:20 PM Tim McGraw 8:00 PM Little Big Town
6:55 PM Dwight Yoakam 6:00 PM Trace Adkins
5:10 PM Frankie Ballard 4:20 PM The Cadillac Three
3:35 PM Jimmie Allen 2:50 PM Lindsay Ell
2:15 PM The Steel Woods 1:40 PM Clare Dunn
1:05 PM Noah Guthrie 12:30 PM IMAJ
Boots & Bourbon Stage
4:10 PM J.D. Shelburne
3:10 PM The Sisterhood Band
2:10 PM Raelyn Nelson Band
1:10 PM Alice Wallace
Sunday, September 15
Barrel Stage Oak Stage
8:20 PM Luke Bryan 7:00 PM Keith Urban
5:55 PM Brett Young 4:50 PM Jake Owen
3:55 PM Bret Michaels 3:05 PM LOCASH
2:35 PM Drake White And The Big Fire 2:05 PM Mason Ramsey
1:35 PM The Wild Feathers 1:05 PM Gabby Barrett
Boots & Bourbon Stage
5:40 PM Everette
4:35 PM Dillon Carmichael
3:35 PM Jeffrey East
2:35 PM Larry Fleet
1:35 PM Hannah Ellis
12:35 PM Kendall Shaffer

Festival doors open at Noon each day. Download the official Hometown Rising mobile app through the Google Play and Apple stores. The app allows attendees to build their own schedules, learn more about the artists and personalities appearing at the festival, and get the latest information through push notifications.

The festival’s centerpiece, Kroger’s Big Bourbon Bar presented by Louisville Courier Journal, will feature more than two dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries, and a unique opportunity to enjoy bourbons and exclusive one-time specialty cocktails from 1792, Angel’s Envy, Barrell Bourbon, Coopers’ Craft, Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Jefferson’s, Jeptha Creed Four Grain Bourbon, Kentucky Peerless, Michter’s, Rebel Yell, Old Forester, Stonehammer and Wild Turkey.

Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar–hosted by the Hometown Rising bourbon curator, bourbon author/expert, and Amazon Prime host (Bourbon Up)–will showcase craft selections from Louisville’s world-renowned distilleries. Acclaimed Louisville whiskey bar The Silver Dollar will operate The Hunter’s Club, where attendees can find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles.

In addition to performances from top music artists and various onsite attractions, attendees at Hometown Rising will enjoy a variety of onsite food and beverage offerings that celebrate menus and flavors inspired by Kentucky. Selections from local and regional restaurants were curated by Southern Hospitality Concessions LLCDWP’s affiliate concessionaire.

As part of Danny Wimmer Presents’ innovative partnership and Kroger’s commitment to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, 25 cents from every Hometown Rising ticket sold will be donated directly to Dare to Care Food Bank (www.daretocare.org). Dare to Care Food Bank works to ensure that no one in our community lacks enough food to live an active, healthy lifestyle, and Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative is their bold plan to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste in their company by 2025.

Those looking to kick off the weekend early are encouraged to attend the official Hometown Rising Pre-Party featuring Raelyn Nelson Band on Friday, September 13 at 9:00 PM at Fourth Street Live! in Louisville.

That same night at the Hometown Rising Supper Club at Seviche, a special menu will showcase what makes Chef Anthony Lamas’ food so unique. Chef Lamas brings a genuine artistry to his award-winning cuisine, with elements of his Latin heritage, his Southern home, and his experimental spirit. Seviche showcases a brand-new take on the farm-to-table dining experience, with a rotating seasonal menu of the freshest local ingredients that perfectly complement Chef Lamas’ eclectic cultural influences. Visit https://hometownrising.com/experiences for details and to purchase tickets.

Hometown Rising partners include 291 Colorado Whiskey, 1792, Angel’s Envy, Balcones Distilling, Barrell Bourbon, Boone County Distilling, Bud Light, Catoctin Creek, Cooper and Thief, Coopers’ Craft, Eagle Nest Outfitters, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Four Roses Bourbon, Fxck Cancer, Jack Daniel’s, Jeptha Creed, Jim Beam, Kentucky Peerless, Kentucky Tourism, Knob Creek, Kroger, Larceny, Louisville Tourism, Maker’s Mark, Metro by T-Mobile, Michter’s, Mint Julep Experiences, Monster Energy, Rebel Yell, Robert Mondavi Private Select, Old Forester, Smooth Ambler Contradiction, Stella Artois, Stonehammer, Southern Comfort, The Music Experience, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Uncle Nearest Whiskey, US Marine Corps, Vendome, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve and Zyn.

The Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center are located at 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hometown Rising is produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination rock music festivals in America. DWP events include Aftershock Festival, Bourbon & Beyond, Chicago Open Air, Epicenter Festival, Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, and Welcome To Rockville.

 

For more information on Hometown Rising, please visit:

 

Website: HometownRising.com

Facebook: @HometownRising

Instagram: @HometownRising

Twitter: @HometownRising

Hashtag: #HometownRising

 

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Can You Hear This? Here’s How To Protect Your Ears At Upcoming Music Festivals Wednesday, Aug 14 2019 

There’s Gary Clark Jr., belting out his cover of The Beatles “Come Together.” There’s a field full of throngs of people — moving to the jazz and blues rendition. There’s the electric guitar, the heavy drums. It’s a great setting for live music. It’s also the perfect setting for hearing damage. 

Chances are that Clark’s music — along with much of the other music at Lexington’s Railbird music festival last weekend — was well over 85 decibels. This is the level where our ears can start losing cells, leading to both short-term and potential long-term hearing loss.

Lisa Gillespie | wfpl.org

A concert goer at Railbird sports earplugs.

Shelley Childress knows all about hearing damage — that’s why she wore earplugs for most of the three-day festival. Now 45, she once played in two bands and said she wasn’t taking any chances at Railbird.

“People don’t realize how and what it does to their hearing, and how it affects the little things going on inside of their ears,” Childress said.

The day before, she forgot the plugs.

“I completely forgot, and I’ve felt the effects,” she said.

In about a month, country musicians Tim McGraw and Keith Urban will be in Louisville to play the music festival Hometown Rising. A week later, the festival grounds will host Robert Plant and the Flaming Lips for Bourbon and Beyond. And the following week, Louisville will host the aptly-named Louder Than Life. Festivals like these are a special concern for audiologists like Casey Rutledge Roof who works at U of L Physicians. 

“This is actually a huge topic of conversation in the audiology community, because this is the only hearing loss that’s 100 percent preventable,” Rutledge Roof said. “If you know that you’re going to a concert, you could have a pocket full of earplugs. That would save you some future trouble down the road.”

Hearing loss, she said, doesn’t just mean noise gets harder to hear. It’s also losing the ability to hear subtle sounds that make up words. Studies have shown people for the most part don’t know the danger they’re in.

“Over time, you’re missing some of those subtle speech cues, especially the ‘F’, the ‘S,’ the ‘TH,’ some of those sounds that really help us separate one word from another and help make sense of words,” Rutledge Roof said. 

Rutledge Roof says earplugs can reduce the overall volume of sound, thus reducing harm. She said to check the back of an earplug package; there will usually be a number listed, which indicates how much noise the plug will cancel out. If a concert goer is right in front of a stage, they could be exposed to noise up to 115 decibels. Earplugs could cancel out 22 of those decibels; the resulting  93 decibels is still over the healthy range, but reduces the harm.

Lisa Gillespie | wfpl.org

Lauren Kilibarda said she didn’t wear earplugs to Railbird — she didn’t think the genre of music warranted them. But experts say any kind of music can still reach the same decibel levels as hard rock or metal.

Lauren Kilibarda, a 24-year-old from Lexington, didn’t wear earplugs at Railbird. She has worn earplugs at festivals that featured electronic dance music, which typically has high frequency notes. But she thought Railbird’s genre of music — more low-key bluegrass, blues and jazz – didn’t warrant extra protection. 

 “This type of music I didn’t think would be as damaging, but I guess I don’t know soundwaves that well,” Kilibarda said.

But Rutledge Roof says it doesn’t really matter what kind of music you’re listening to: a decibel is a decibel — no matter if it’s heavy metal or jazz. 

She said the biggest act of prevention at concerts is choosing where you stand — the closer to the stage, the louder the decibel, and the less an earplug will help you. Kilibarda at Railbird said she stood far from the stage for most acts. But for Hozier, she was waiting for the band right up front. 

“I haven’t once thought, ‘Wow, it’s been super loud.’ But I also haven’t been very close — maybe after Hozier I’ll know,” Kilibarda said. 

Ultimately, Rutledge Roof said festivals and venues could do a better job of both educating concert goers about the risks of standing close to the stage and promoting earplug use.

Lisa Gillespie | wfpl.org

Some in a crowd watching Gary Clark Jr. sport earplugs to protect their hearing.

Hearing loss loss is a public health issue — one that ends up costing the health care system billions in hearing aids and other devices.

“The research suggests there’s not a huge uptake in earplugs,” Rutledge Root said. “And it’s really mainly because they’re not always convenient, and they’re not always readily available.”

A spokesperson for concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents said earplugs will be available at September’s three Louisville music festivals — both for sale in the general store, and for free at the information booth.

 

Organizers of Hometown Rising, Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life are ready to show off new venue Wednesday, Aug 7 2019 

Bourbon & Beyond

With a little more than a month to go, organizers of September’s trifecta of Louisville music festivals — Hometown Rising, Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life — are preparing to welcome more than 240,000 people to their new venue space at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. In fact, in a recent interview with […]

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