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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

trentgilliss:

“O Come, Emmanuel”

For so many Christians, this song was sung and played this past weekend on the first Sunday of Advent. But I’m going to guess that very few church services featured such a stirring pairing of piano and cello.

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trentgilliss:

Take a moment (no puns allowed) to remember the great musician Dave Brubeck. A legend has passed.

“For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me. Frankly, labels bore me.”

Tagged: #music #jazz #legend
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kenpooley:

braiker:

Dammit! This is exactly what I’m wearing today. He’s rocking it much better. This is so embarrassing. 
superseventies:

Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage.


you have to ask: why?

No, no. The question is why not!
kenpooley:

braiker:

Dammit! This is exactly what I’m wearing today. He’s rocking it much better. This is so embarrassing. 
superseventies:

Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage.


you have to ask: why?

No, no. The question is why not!

kenpooley:

braiker:

Dammit! This is exactly what I’m wearing today. He’s rocking it much better. This is so embarrassing. 

superseventies:

Freddie Mercury and John Deacon on stage.

you have to ask: why?

No, no. The question is why not!

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QuestloveThe pleasure of being stuck on the Tarmac at O’Hare International is having the time to read some of my favorite mags (along with watching old Entourage episodes). As serendipity would have it, it was Burkhard Bilger’s profile — no, his portraiture — of Questlove, the ambitious bandleader and drummer for the Roots, in The New Yorker I most unexpectedly dug. A few weeks earlier my colleague, Stefn’i Bell, across the cubicle aisle said that she was going to “stop following Questlove on Twitter” because he’s so active on it. I hadn’t even heard his name before so I had no clue whom she was talking about, despite watching him on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon so many times.

After reading the piece, you can’t help but have a deep admiration for the musician and the man. Two days later? A video of Questlove in studio listening to and breaking down the original multitrack recordings of Marvin Gaye’s single “What’s Going On” is showing up in my Facebook feed.

trentgilliss:

Wow, this is groovy: Questlove breaking down the rhythm tracks of the original multitrack studio recordings of Marvin Gaye’s single “What’s Going On.”

“What’s so cool about it is that this is one of the most undefined drum songs of soul music. I don’t think of drums when I think of ‘What’s Going On.” I think of the conga, but I always felt like it was a ritual syncopated…

I always wondered though why didn’t they just bring the… like, it could’ve been a whole different song had the drums just been the force of it, but I guess that would’ve taken away from it.

And here Questlove discusses how he thinks of “What’s Going On” as a winter song and marvels at the perfection of its “crude harmonies”:

Then they break down how the single was recorded nine months prior to the release of the album, the piano being used as a percussion line, and the “infamous football players”:

(Big thanks to Mikel Ellcessor of WDET to turning me on to this.)

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trentgilliss:

It’s been some time since I’ve posted a Tuesday evening melody to the On Being Tumblr, so I’ll break form and post this tingly song by The Civil Wars. “Barton Hollow,” live from the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

I’m a dead man walking here 
But that’s the least of all my fears 
Ooh, underneath the water 

It’s not Alabama clay 
That gives my trembling hands away 
Please forgive me father 

Ain’t going back to Barton Hollow 
Devil gonna follow me e’er I go 
Won’t do me no good washing in the river 
Can’t no preacher man save my soul 

Did that full moon force my hand? 
Or that unmarked hundred grand? 
Ooh, underneath the water 
Please forgive me father 

Miles and miles in my bare feet 
Still can’t lay me down to sleep 
If I die before I wake 
I know the Lord my soul won’t take 

I’m a dead man walking 
I’m a dead man walking 

Keep walking and running and running for miles 
Keep walking and running and running for miles 
Keep walking and running and running for miles 

Ain’t going back to Barton Hollow 
Devil gonna follow me e’er I go 
Won’t do me no good washing in the river 
Can’t no preacher man save my soul

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trentgilliss:

Rarely is there anything by or dedicated to composer Philip Glass that I can’t fall in love with. Beck’s 20-minute contribution, “NYC: 73-78,” on the soon-to-be-released Rework: Philip Glass Remixed (Oct 23) makes it all too easy to melt into my cubicle rolling chair.

Take a listen; you will not regret it.

(h/t Open Culture

We’ve got to get Krista Tippett and Philip Glass in a room together soon!

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While editing what feels like a multisensory experience for Hussein Rashid’s piece on our blog, "Qawwalis, Found Sounds, and Benghazi: Locating the Sacred in a New York Church," our senior editor Trent Gilliss included this video of Korean-American experimental musician Bora Yoon. She creates soundscapes from found objects and digital devices, mixed with her voice:

"She has an ethereal voice that sounds like it would be at home in the Choir at the Church of the Ascension, which it is, or in the Elvish kingdoms of The Lord of the Rings.”

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Riyaaz Qawwali performs one of the oldest qawwalis, ”Man Kunto Maula.” Attributed to being written by Khusro to praise Imam Ali, the song is considered a manqabat , which is loosely translated as “characteristics” from the Arabic.

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trentgilliss:

While editing a post on Rosh Hashanah, women, and sealed spaces for On Being, I found myself enchanted by this choreography set to Ani DiFranco’s “Splinter.” Makes you feel good and peaceful, doesn’t it?

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Such a pretty tune on this Monday morning. Thanks to bitzlbitzlr:

Colossal Gospel - ‘Bloody Boat’

A duo that manage to sound like an entire chorus choir, Colossal Gospel are Stephen Weibelt and Chris Johnson, just a couple of southern folkies -  Leeds, Alabama to be exact.

As they harmonise on ‘Bloody Boat’, their chorals rattle and echo against a roll of steely guitar, swelling with reverberation. “Though you do not speak, I know you are with me”, they quiver on the chilling bonfire song - a real raw, Gothic Americana tune.

The track is off their debut album called Circles - out now on Autumn Tone.

[autumntone.com/circles][facebook/ColossalGospel]

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

(via mhisadj)

Tagged: #music
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The Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of religious hatred for their protest inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior today. The Interfax news agency translates the Khamovnichesky Court verdict as such:

"The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens.,” the court said in a verdict being pronounced on Friday.

The women were motivated by religious enmity and hatred, and acted provocatively and in an insulting manner inside a religious building in the presence of a large number of believers,” the court said.

The court also has found that the Pussy Riot activists realized that their actions during the “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior were insulting and intended to communicate information on the stunt to a broad range of believers.

"Intending to make the planned actions public and ensure that they drew public response, to draw the attention of the public to their illegal actions, and to communicate the expressed disrespect not only to the clergy and people in the church, but also to other citizens who were not present in the church at the time [of the punk prayer], but shared Orthodox traditions, Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina, and their unidentified accomplice informed various media assistants and active bloggers on their action," the sentence read in the Khamovnichesky Court on Friday says.

Up top is the video of the Pussy Riot "protest-as-prayer" performance for which three members of the band have found guilty.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Knitting. Fractals. Twitter. If you haven’t listened to this interview with Rosanne Cash, you should. She’s absolutely delightful. You’ll learn something.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."
~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett
Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)
"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."
~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett
Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

"You have to show the Muse you’re serious."

~Rosanne Cash, quoting Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in her interview with Krista Tippett

Photo of Gabriel Royal playing cello in the New York subway by Dan Nguyen. (distributed with Instagram)

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Agreed.

mhisadj:

What a gorgeous way to wake up.

halfgifts:

SYNTAKS ~ Awakes

(first track they did together)

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Tagged: #music
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trentgilliss:

Since I just returned from old Constantinople, this track from The Decemberists performing live at WDET studios in 2005 takes on new resonance.

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