Music

Movies on the Radio
Keith Weston / WUNC

For the next episode of "Movies on the Radio," The State of Things is asking, what is your favorite movie about music? 

Did you enjoy the humorous depiction of rock stars in "Almost Famous?" Were you moved by the dramatic portrait of Mozart in "Amadeus?" Do you still remember the soundtracks of "American Graffiti" and "Jaws?" Film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes will examine how movies depict musicians and the music industry and discuss memorable movie music.

photo of Violet Bell
Lizzy Ross

After spending four years making music in Nashville, singer-songwriter Lizzy Ross began to feel homesick.

Ross grew up in North Carolina, went to UNC-Chapel Hill and started her career in the Triangle music scene. While Nashville was filled with passionate and impressive musicians, she missed being part of a community that she felt really embraced diverse creative expressions.

An image of Durham-based music producer 9th Wonder
Creative Silence

 

Between the beats and rhymes of every hip-hop song is a story. A rapper catches a snapshot of their experiences with the lyrics. Meanwhile, the DJ or producer often samples older songs for the beat, in turn creating a lineage of music.

photo of Brett Harris
Jeremy Lange

Durham-based singer-songwriter Brett Harris didn't grow up in a musical family, but he has found one in the Triangle.

Harris is a touring member of The dB's and a core member of Big Star’s Third, a group that recreated '70s rock group Big Star’s album “Third” with live on-stage performances. In his new solo album, “Up in the Air,” Harris lets his strengths as a songwriter and storyteller shine on an original set of indie-pop songs.


photo of Jamie Anderson and Dianne Davidson in The State of Things studio.
Charlie Shelton

Jamie Anderson and Dianne Davidson have been touring for more than 30 years as leading singer/songwriters in the women's music scene.

In the 1970s, a collective group of women came out of labels like Olivia Records and empowered and promoted women musicians across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Anderson and Davidson about the legacy of this music scene and how it has shaped their songwriting. They also perform live in the studio with Anderson on vocals, guitar and mandolin and Davidson on vocals and guitar.

State of Things Host Frank Stasio hosts a broadcast at the Duke Chapel on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 to commemorate the chapel's reopening.
Duke Photography

Duke University has reopened the iconic chapel at the center of its Durham campus after a $19 million renovation.

Crews have been working for a year to restore the limestone walls and ceiling that define the chapel's Gothic architecture. 

In a special broadcast at Duke Chapel, university archivist Valerie Gillispie told WUNC’s "The State of Things" the chapel has served as an institutional icon at Duke for nearly 90 years.

Jim Avett
Crackerfarm (Mike Beyer)

  For Jim Avett, music is just as much a part of life as eating and sleeping. The son of a minister and a pianist, Jim grew up singing in the church choir and playing several musical instruments. 

AP IMAGE: A conference at UNC-Chapel Hill looks at Austrian composer Hanns Eisler and how he broadcast political messages through contemporary compositions.
Herbert K. White / Associated Press

Musicians have used their songs to filter political messages for decades, from Bob Dylan's song "Blowin' in the Wind" to Kendrick Lamar's song "Alright."

But in the early 1900s, Austrian composer Hanns Eisler was a pioneer in the way contemporary artists use political themes in their music. A conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explores Eisler's work and his ability to subversively broadcast political messages through contemporary compositions.

The Knights is a NYC-based orchestral collective that's flexible in size and repertory. Their concert opens the inaugural season of new Asheville-based arts organization Free Range Asheville.
Sarah Small

Asheville is quickly becoming a go-to national destination for music, art and culture.

And the new organization “Free Range Asheville” is aiming to make the city’s cross-disciplinary art scene accessible to people of all ages and economic backgrounds.

They open their inaugural season with a performance by “The Knights,” an orchestral collective that is adapting classical music for a modern audience.

Mallarmé HIP ensemble
Marc Banka Photography

The biennial North Carolina HIP (Historically Informed Performance) Music Festival hosted by Mallarmé Chamber Players is back this year with expanded programming. The festival features Baroque music played on period string instruments, which tend to sound richer, mellower and less edgy than modern counterparts.

The Mallarmé Chamber Players will play a two-part concert called the Biber Bowl featuring the Rosary Sonatas, 16 movements interpreting events from the lives of Jesus and Mary.

Composer Joelle Wallach is this year's artist in residence at Meredith College. She has been composing for more than three decades and also gives pre-concert lecutres at the New York Philharmonic.
Joelle Wallach

Joelle Wallach is the kind of composer who knows what her work will sound like long before her composition actually makes it onto the page.

She does not use composition technology or software, but instead relies on her ear and her instinct. She has been composing for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo voices and choruses for more than three decades and is an artist in residence at Meredith College in Raleigh this weekend.

Robert Lawson / North Carolina Central University

Elvira Green's prolific career as an opera singer catapulted her from the choir room at her church in Greensboro to the chambers of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

She was one of the few African-American women to break into a permanent spot at the Met during the 1970s, and her success as a mezzo-soprano has taken her all over the world.

She performed her signature role as Maria in the opera "Porgy and Bess." 

Ray Benson is the leader of the country band 'Asleep at the Wheel' and has been touring for more than 40 years.
Bismeaux Productions

Asleep at the Wheel has toured as country swing band for more than 40 years. Along the way, they picked up nine Grammys and played alongside musicians like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Alexandrea Lassiter

Mint Julep Jazz Band transports its audience back to jazz clubs of the ‘20s, ‘30s and early ‘40s. The bang gets inspiration and musical creativity from the toe tapping and head nodding of swing dance, something inextricably linked to the jazz of this time period.

Earlier this year, Mint Julep Jazz Band released its second album, “Battle Axe,” an amalgam of original pieces inspired by that era as well as modern arrangements of old songs.

BJ Leiderman composed the theme songs of several popular NPR shows.
Cole and Rian Photography

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

You might not know BJ Leiderman, but there is a good chance you have heard his music.

Photo of Arab composer Suad Bushnaq
Suad Bushnaq

Suad Bushnaq was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. She composed her first piece of music, a simple birthday song for her brother, when she was just 9 years old. She is now one of a handful of Arab women composers in the world. Her compositions are featured in documentaries and films like “The Curve,” a feature film recently selected at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Pianist Pamela Howland creates musical arrangments using the sounds of The Beatles with a classical music influence.
John Chapman

Pianist Pamela Howland has had a long love affair with legendary Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin. She wrote a one-woman show about his life and documented his roots in a film.

Dale Watson
Sarah Wilson

Guitarist Dale Watson feels out of place in the modern country music world, and he is perfectly OK with that. The Texas musician believes the genre has changed so much that it lost its identity, so he created a new genre of his own—Ameripolitan.

Ameripolitan music is original music with prominent roots influence, and the genre’s tagline is, "We’re not about leaving country music behind, we’re taking the ‘real’ country music with us."

Emil Kang is the executive director for the arts at UNC-Chapel Hill. He wants to elevate the arts to be as big as basketball in Chapel Hill.
UNC-Chapel Hill

Emil Kang bucked expectations when he decided to pursue a career in the arts. He was the first in his family born in the United States after his parents emigrated from Korea, and he was expected to capitalize on the new opportunity by studying medicine.

Southern Culture on the Skids
Ron Keith

Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS) formed in Chapel Hill more than 30 years ago. Since then, they have traveled the globe with their brand of southern rock.

BJ Leiderman composed the theme songs of several popular NPR shows.
Cole and Rian Photography

You might not know BJ Leiderman, but there is a good chance you have heard his music.

Josh Moore's Parted Ways

Aug 14, 2015
Josh Moore
Josh Moore

Josh Moore's musical career began in a Christian rock band in Kernersville when he was just 16. After five years, he jumped to a New York alt-punk band called Classic Case, and that led him back to Carrboro, North Carolina. 

Josh has been there for the last decade, composing music and playing in the local scene. But Josh’s friends noticed an increase in his drinking was affecting his music and relationships.

The Epic

Aug 7, 2015
Jazz musician Kamasi Washington
Mike Park

Kamasi Washington has long been known in the world of musical performers, but he is becoming a more popular name in mainstream music in 2015.

He performed on one of the most well-known and well-received hip-hop records this year, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly. The album increased attention to the intersection of jazz and hip-hop.

Stock photo of Steph Stewart and The Boyfriends in field.
Roxanne Turpen (c) 2014

Steph Stewart grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina surrounded by Appalachian folk music.

The sounds resonated with Stewart and she began creating porch folk music mixed with Americana.

Mark Katz

Six international artists in North Carolina this week demonstrate that international diplomacy can come in many different forms. While many may imagine diplomats wearing business suits and sitting in conference rooms, these artists paint a drastically different picture.

Black and white photo of band on couch.
thegenuinemusic.com

The Genuine is a four-piece band from Winston-Salem. The band originally began as a project of husband and wife Mathew Allivato and Katelyn Allivato née Brouwer, but now includes an electric guitar, piano and percussion. They are one of the many bands performing at Phuzz Phest in Winston-Salem April 17th -19th, and they will preview their festival performance with a live in-studio performance.

Composer and musician Jenny Scheinman wrote the score for a film comprised of 70-year-old archival footage.
Jenny Scheinman

North Carolina photographer Herbert Lee Waters created more than 200 films of people in communities across North and South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

He called the collection Movies of Local People, and he showed the films at small theaters so the subjects could see themselves on screen. 

Now, more than six decades later, his work is being revived as part of an experimental documentary project called Kannapolis A Moving Portrait.

John Prine Headshot
Oh Boy Records & Jim Shea

Legendary singer-songwriter John Prine is best known for writing "Angel from Montgomery," "Sam Stone," and "Paradise." 

His musical career began humbly in the late 1960s while he was still working as a mailman in Illinois. Five decades later, Prine is a Nashville icon who has won a litany of awards, including two Grammys and a lifetime achievement award for songwriting from the Americana Music Association

Headshot of North Carolina Native Rising Opera Star Jill Gardner
Jill Gardner

  North Carolina native and nationally-recognized opera singer Jill Gardner has been attracting attention for her strong vocal and acting talent.

She received her master’s in vocal performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has performed in operas around the country, primarily in the title role of Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca.” Gardner will be live in concert on Friday, March 20 as part of the Music Academy of North Carolina’s 6th Annual Vocal Festival at UNC-Greensboro School of Music, Theatre and Dance Recital Hall.

Cover art for Silent Lunch's most recent EP, Late to Bloom. Album art by Julienne Alexander.
Julienne Alexander

Durham’s Silent Lunch is a punk trio that plays music that they describe as “abrasive, sweet, brutal and tender.”

Their stiff upper-lip approach to music can be felt through their straight-ahead drumming, a purposeful gracelessness on guitar and lyrics delivered with a take-it-or-leave-it flair.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Silent Lunch: Emily O’Sullivan, bassist and vocalist; Kaitie Hereford, drummer; and Hannah Spector, guitarist and vocalist about their music and they perform live. 

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