Music in Strange Places

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This week, All Ears explores music which transports the listener to a different time and place.

The show begins in Scotland with a piece by Raymond Scott before moving into a place that evokes a 15th-century cathedral. From there, we move on to a dank prison in Kentucky and to what sounds like a sanitary prison in France. In the end we visit Mali and hear music played on its traditional instrument, the kora.

Other stops along the journey include Cage's She is Asleep and Ellington’s Liberian Suite: Dance No. 3. Those compositions represent specific places and sounds associated with them. We also make a detour with Michael Harrison’s Night Vigil or Kayhan Kalhor’s Silent City. Although not programmatic, these pieces also conjure the idea or feeling of place.

Where does this music take you? What did the Michael Harrison represent for you after hearing Dido's Lament? Please leave your comments below and get comfortable for a two-hour journey through sound.


Boy Scout in Switzerland
Raymond Scott
Quartet San Francisco
ViolinJazz Recordings

Ave Maria
Franz Biebl

Dido and Aneas: When I am laid in Earth (Didos Lament)
Henry Purcell
Denyce Graves, mezzo soprano
Munich Radio Orchestra
Maurizio Barbacini, conductor

Night Vigil

Michael Harrison
Michael Harrison, piano

Lonesome Jailhouse Blues
Aunt Molly Jackson
Aunt Molly Jackson, vocals

She is Asleep
John Cage
Sabine Meyer, voice; Marco Dalpane, piano

Prison, Op.83/1
Gabriel Faure
Gerard Souzay, baritone; Dalton Baldwin, piano

Liberian Suite: Dance No. 3
Edward K. (Duke) Ellington
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Andy Stein, violin; Joe Temperley, saxophone; Lew Soloff, trumpet

"Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" (Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune)
Claude Debussy/Jacques Loussier
Jacques Loussier Trio

Silent City
Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh; Brooklyn Rider; Jeef Beecher, bass; Mark Suter, bodhran, ghaval, pods, shells, metals
World Village

Kora Mali
Mamadou Diabate
Mamadou Diabate, kora
World Village