Which piece of music would you choose to complement Wendell Berry reading his poems?
Some of the best story lines coming out of this year’s World Cup aren’t about sport at all. They’re about people rising above their circumstances, creating something new, defying their genre, being recognized for their talents.
A Somali-born Canadian who grew up in Mogadishu before immigrating to North America at the age of 13, he takes an unexpected
tact tack when writing lyrics. K’naan doesn’t see much sense, he says, in glorifying the violence and strife that surrounded him in his childhood like many American rappers:
“There wasn’t a voice that understood the, ya know, the gratitude that comes from survival. There wasn’t a voice in music that was doing that.”
One song had the power to "unite all African people" during the struggle against apartheid.
A hip-hop street dancer from Rio says that it is a gift to know not only your own personal history, but also the history of others.
Replace notes with words and you might say that reading Miller is similar to Mingus "thinking on a piano."
How we arrived at choosing the late Lucille Clifton's "won't you celebrate with me" — with video.
A must-watch performance. And, a rather heart-warming back story from the senior senator from Utah.
This video from the World Science Festival in 2009 spread like wildfire online. Join along as McFerrin leads the audience in singing the pentatonic scale.
These vids from BBC's "Poetry Season" bring Byron and Blake to life — through punk rock and a soccer presser? Absolutely riveting!
The late Joe Carter tells the back story of a well-known spiritual.
Remembering a snowed-in encounter with the Kenyan Nobel Laureate.
Video of a troupe of dancers who express their mystical Sufi faith through exuberant movement and traditional music.
Last week when I was going through this week’s program with Vigen Guroian, I was listening to some of the choral music for the first time in two years. Later that evening, I put on an old Cocteau Twins CD, Heaven or Las Vegas (which must have been on my mind since SOF had recently been picked up by KNPR in Las Vegas!), and I was struck how some of the lush harmonies were seemingly reminiscent of some of the Orthodox Russian repertoire, or at least Kitka’s Bulgarian folk styling of Nikolai Kedrov’s Otche Nash — “The Lord’s Prayer” in Russian.
A noted historian and friend of the show recently forwarded this comedic performance to the SOF e-mail inbox. It's refreshing to see that even the most serious and wisest of public intellectuals has a good sense of humor — and isn't afraid to share it. Enjoy.