Ólafur Arnalds

Ólafur Arnalds

First time that I watched Ólafur Arnalds’s music live video was like — “wow! This guy is amazing!” If you watched Arnald’s NPR live, you probably would go to search this musician and purchase his music.

Ólafur Arnalds, a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Iceland, released eight albums through his 6-year career life. As a diverse musician, Arnalds is not only proficient in traditional musical instruments, but he also knows electronic equipment.

He places electronic fact as a unique characteristic into his music composition. The attentive listeners may find out that Arnalds composed and produced his music meticulously.

Every note and every phase are crafted and ingenious. Arnalds’s music will bring listeners into a fairyland. Most people would fall in love with his music from the first time.

I started to listen Ólafur Arnalds’s music was because of his recent released album “For Now I Am Winter.” The entire album is arranged under piano and stringed instruments. Meanwhile, the special process through electronic equipment created classic music into a unique style.

Every time listening to Arnalds’s music always brings me marvelous experience. I always choose to listen his music going through my spare time. I appreciate Arnalds’s music and hope more people will know this genius musician.

Today, I introduce Ólafur Arnalds to you and hope you will enjoy his music.

Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós

If you watched the film “We Bought a Zoo”, the original soundtrack in the end of this film may impress you. The bright piano with ethereal voice accompany with the end of the story perfectly.

This soundtrack is “Hoppípolla,” by Sigur Rós. Although this Icelandic post-rock band may be not unknown around the world, Sigur Rós is also not walking on the mainstream of music.

Sigur Rós has been active since 1994. It has two times member changes. Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson, the drummer, joined in the band in 1994 and left in 1999; Kjartan Sveinsson, the keyboardist, joined in 1998 and left in 2013.

Currently, Sigur Rós maintains three founder members — Jónsi, Georg Hólm and Orri Páll Dýrason. They respond for different part of works.

From early time to present, Sigur Rós has released ten albums. Every album presents this band’s different eras with ideologies.

Besides “Hoppípolla,” The first soundtrack that I listened from Sigur Rós was “Sigur Rós,” which is collected in its first album “Von.”   This soundtrack is the masterpiece that Sigur Rós made and also represented the best of this band.

Meanwhile, we still could get many amazing soundtracks from other Sigur Rós’s albums.

Today, I introduce Sigur Rós to you and hope you will enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find a right place to purchase music

Do you like collecting records or CDs? If you do have this hobby, you may like to know the following story about my investigation of seeking a great place for buying those music products. Getting music from a right place is a great way to enjoy music.

The story happened last Sunday when I was wandering in Walmart. I inadvertently walked by the audio section, and those unclassified music albums on the shelves drew my attention.

Zhuoqin Yang

The unclassified music section in Wal-Mart. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Although music CDs were placed on the shelves orderly, customers would still meet a tough time to select products. Because the music section was not categorized and collated, different genres of artists were placed together randomly.

I saw those shelves setting there side by side without listing the major genres on the top. I saw that a Michael Jackson’s album was located behind an Irish folk singer Enya’s CD (I respect Enya and love her music, but her music belongs to a different genre from Michael Jackson’s). I even saw Lavigne Avril’s newest album was laid under Lady Antebellum’s label!

Zhuoqin Yang

Lavigne Avril’s newest album was laid under Lady Antebellum’s label in Walmart. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

A Michael Jackson's album was put behind folk singer Enya's album

A Michael Jackson’s album was put behind folk singer Enya’s album in Walmart. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

I could not believe in what I saw in Walmart, but it was true, and the disorganized music section still existed in Walmart. Walmart is the biggest chain department store in the world, and this enormous enterprise’s attitude on music product disappointed me. During that moment, a question bumped up from my head—is every supermarket did the same terrible work on music section like Walmart?

The music section in Target

The music section in Target .Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Bringing with my question, I went to a Target’s retail store behind that Wal-Mart. The music section that I saw in Target was somewhat better than Wal-Mart. The major music genres were labeled on the top of every shelf, and most artists’ works were also displayed in the appropriate sections.

Zhuoqin Yang

The R&B music’s section in Target. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Zhuoqin Yang

The rock music and country music’s section in Target. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

From my observation, target is more attentive on its music products than Walmart.

However, I still felt that the music section was not complete in Target. I understood that department stores could not take every product into their consideration very well because they have different marketing strategies. Maybe neither Target nor Walmart is a good place to buy music.

Outside of MOJO

Outside of MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Today, I went to a book and record store behind the University Mall, MOJO, which was a good place to purchase music.

Although the space in MOJO was far away smaller than either Wal-Mart or Target, the store’s layout was delicate.

The thorough distribution in MOJO is into four parts, which are coffee shop area, book area, CD section and record section. Costumer could sit down and have a cup of coffee inside of store to talk about music and books. Walking around the CD section and record section, the multifarious products were listed in the different corners, but I would not lose myself in selecting.

Record and CD area in MOJO

Record and CD area in MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Because artists’ works had been classified into different genres on the shelves, customers could find out their music in the easy way. Meanwhile, few special artists were put into the particular sections and placed in the prominent positions.

CD area in MOJO

CD area in MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

The labeled CDs in MOJO

The labeled CDs in MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

The record area in MOJO

The record area in MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Besides the clear distribution of music products in the store, the massive scale of music selection was another highlight. I could not only find out CDs or albums that I wanted to buy but also had other options to select.

The specialized section in MOJO

The specialized section in MOJO. Photo credit by Zhuoqin Yang

Spending time in Mojo was valuable and enjoyable.

After I finished my limited investigation, I realized that in the future, I will go to purchase music in a specialized place like MOJO, rather than Walmart or Target. Because my experience revealed that a general department store would not meet my demands in music, purchasing music in a music store is better than other places.

Getting music from a right place is a great way to enjoy music.

Made in Japan

Made in Japan

Today, the introduced band is Made in Japan.  Do not be confused by this band’s name because of this band’s name. Made in Japan was not formed in Japan but Australia.

A primary question of this dream-pop band that surrounds people may be its name.  Why a group of people from Australia would like to use Japan to represent their music?

Unfortunately, due to the scarcity Internet resources of Made in Japan, it seems difficult to find out the clue.

Made in Japan was formed by two schoolmates James Cooney and Jono Graham in Sydney, and other two members, Tom Davis and Andrew Knox, joined in the band soon afterwards.

This band committed to create captivating groove based indie music. According to its profile on Facebook fan page, Made in Japan establish its unique between dream pop, post-rock and the pastel Sydney skyline.

As listeners could feel from Made in Japan’s soundtracks, every piece of music could draw people into a lonely space somewhere and enjoy a piece of quiet.  Made in Japan blended light metal into the typical Australian classic culture and present different music to people.

Because this band is for the minorities that possess special taste, Made in Japan is still unknown for most of people. However, this band’s music is truly delicate.

Today, I introduce Made in Japan to you and hope that you will enjoy the music from this band.

Rhye

Rhye

I feel excited for no reason today.  Woke up in the morning, I opened up the radio service on Spotify.  The first played song was “The Fall” by Rhye.  The light piano with Mike Milosh’s gorgeous powerhouse voice made an impressive beginning of Sunday morning.

I cannot believe that as a male, Milosh could perform a superior feminine voice to express women’s secret thoughts, which is from a male’s side.  The truth is that he did a good job in his group’s past album “Woman.”

Milosh is not the only member in the Group, Rhye.  Robin Hannibal is the other person in this group.

These two musicians have the similar experience before they made a group together.  They both ever signed to a German record label, Plug Research.  Milosh released two solo albums, and Hannibal was a member of Danish Duo Quardon.

Milosh and Hannibal went to know each other by a fortuitous chance, and then Milosh flied from Berlin to Demark to meet Hannibal.  They worked together one week in studio and make three collaborative soundtracks.  They appreciated the other’s work. 

Later on, both of them went to pursuit their career in Los Angels.  Based on the previous successful works they did, Milosh and Hannibal decided to form an R&B duo.  The name that they used to title their new career is Rhye.

Rhye released its first album “Woman” 2013 and started a series of performance in California area.  Although their soundtracks never posted on the Billboard, they still gathered many royal fans.

Rhye’s music is perfect to be placed under the list of moody music.  I promise that Milosh and Hannibal’s music will bring people a marvelous experience while they are relaxed at home.

I introduce Rhye to you today and hope you will enjoy its music.  In the next week, I will introduce an indie rock band from Sydney, “Made in Japan.”

Wilhelm Tell Me

Wilhelm Tell Me

I am going to introduce an indie band that does not have official or unofficial biographies.  This band is Wilhelm Tell Me, from Germany.  Although this band only released one solo album so far, Wilhelm Tell Me still impressed me and drove to introduce it.

Wilhelm Tell Me has four members in its band.  Because I could not find any related information from the Internet, I do not know those members’ names.  However, it does not mean that its music is awful like their popularity.  On the contrary, people would be in love with its voice and melody.

The following soundtrack “Oh My God” might impress a part of people.  This song may be a representative work that Wilhelm Tell Me made in its album “Excuse My French.”

Wilhelm Tell Me released the album “Excuse My French” 2011 and started its career in music.  “Excuse My French” recorded eleven soundtracks.  Almost every piece of music is highlighted.  Everyone who ever listened to this band’s music should appreciate its delicate works.

I found this band on Spotify accidentally, and I think this band did a great job in music.  And now I introduce this band to you and hope that you will enjoy music from Wilhem Tell Me.  In the next week, I will introduce another singer and songwriter Rhye.

Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins

If you never heard Jon Hopkins in your life, it does not mean that you never heard his music indirectly.  As a London-based producer and musician, Hopkins released six solo albums and two albums of original motion picture soundtrack in the past decade.  Except for his works in those six albums, he also produced soundtracks or contributed works for various singers or groups, such as Coldplay, Brian Eno, David Holmes and others.

You may know the gorgeous opening music “Life in Technicolor” from Coldplay’s album “Viva La Vida.”  This song borrowed Hopkins’ soundtrack “Light Through The Vein” to frame the construct.

Like “Life in Technicolor” that brought Coldplay a successful album, Jon Hopkins created much brilliant music, which was under other musicians’ titles.  However, He never stood in the spotlight.  This is the fact that brings his music career into a different way. 

Through his music career, he barely spent human resource and material resource on publicity work of his every album.  ITunes was his first option to release EP on Internet, and classic edition was his primary choice to put albums into market.

He did not draw public attentions, but he gave people hints to find out his brilliant music.  “Life in Technicolor” is a typical clue that Hopkins made to people to explore his albums on the corner of the world.

I cannot remember the exact date or year that I started to listen to Jon Hopkins’s music, but “Life in Technicolor” was definitely the first soundtrack that led me to Hopkins’s world.  Now, I introduce him to you and hope you will enjoy his music.

Benn Jordan

Benn Jordan/The Flashbulb

Today I would like to introduce Benn Jordan, who performs his music in dual identities.  He was the person who made me in love with electronic music.

The first time that I started to listen to Benn Jordan’s music was in 2012.  I purchased and downloaded the album “Opus at The End of Everything,” which used one of his pseudonyms The Flashbulb. 

 I fell in love with his music immediately after I listened to the first soundtrack “The Trees in Juarez” in this album.  The Flashbulb blended classical instruments with electronic music perfectly and created an ornate opening. 

Unlike other albums that may only have few highlights, every piece of music in “Opus at The End of Everything” could draw my attention to keep listening.  The Flashbulb endued a little scene in every soundtrack and composed these little scenes into an impressive story.  He used his creative thoughts in music to describe his ideas of the end of the world, which is looking on the bright side and becoming optimistic.

After I listened to this brilliant album over hundreds of times, I started to search any related information of The Flashbulb.  To be honest, I did not know that The Flashbulb and Benn Jordan were the same person at the beginning.  Meanwhile, I did not know Benn Jordan separated his name from The Flashbulb and set up two different identities in music.

It means that Jordan is creating music and developing his styles in two or more different ways.  As the result that I got from the Internet, he concentrates on modern jazz and intelligence dance music.  These two genres are revealed in a series of albums under Benn Jordan and The Flashbulb.

Jordan arranged different proportions of modern jazz and intelligence dance music in his two identities and created two unique styles.  If a listener simply enjoys the music from Jordan’s two identities, he may not recognize the same person made these albums.

For instance, in the album “Louisiana Mourning” and “Arboreal,” Jordan applied his two major genres but created two different styles of album, which separated his identities in Benn Jordan and The Flashbulb. Although Jordan needs to make music in two different ways, he still could create wonderful opuses.

His music has completely got my favorite, and now I introduced this talented musician to you.  I hope you will enjoy his music.

In the next week, I will bring a London-based electronica and dance musician Jon Hopkins.

Welcome!

Benn Jordan performs in his concert

This is my first post on the blog.  My name is Zhuoqin Yang (Joe-Chin Young).  I am a senior college student in Mass Communication major.

In the current spring semester of 2014, I need to take one class from the first academic sequence, which is Writing for Mass Media.  Because I am not a native English speaker, my current writing skills do not meet the criterions of mass media in English language.  I wish that I will get progress and gain benefits from Writing for Mass Media.

According to the basic requirement from this class, I created this blog to finish eight posts throughout the rest part of semester.  For this reason, my original intention that establishes the first blog in my life is for my class assignments.

However, this blog is not only for my class.  I am aware of the distinctive influence of blog in social network.  As a future mass communication professional, I need to set up an experimental field to practice my writing skills on the Internet and to examine my response capabilities under different situations.

I will not stop posting new contents after I finish my class in this semester.  On the contrary, I am trying to start from every minute detail to gather essential experiences, from this moment.

About the theme or topic for my blog, I have decided to discover the alternative musicians and songwriters, and to share their music to readers.

I thought over few entertaining fields.  The direct opinion that came into my mind was pop music or top-grossing movies, but this topic has been used over million times in other blogs.  I do not fond of following suit to decide my way.

Since I approached the English band Muse’s albums in 2006, I have been enjoying the delicate non-mainstream music.  I bought many related artists’ discs as a part of my collections.

One common ground among those musicians and songwriters is their minimal popularities.  Although those people created brilliant works that could bring them massive fans and supporters, they choose to invite listeners to find out their music on the corner of the world.

Introducing those “unknown artists” may be a good theme to me.  I thence set up the topic of my blog as The Undiscovered Corners to discuss some wonderful music that people might never know.

The process of working on my blog should be a long-term plan.  Although I did not have experiences in using or editing blogs, developing a new area in my life would become an interesting work to do.

Reading others’ blogs is enjoyable to me, and writing blogs for people should also be in the same way.  What would I do for my blog?

Multimedia is the vital element that I will use in The Undiscovered Corners.  Pictures, videos, linked soundtracks and other sources will be embedded between paragraphs.

These sources will combine with the introducing texts effectively and bring readers a thorough description of every artist.  Readers will understand those people’s stories and works through audio mediums and visual mediums.

After I expressed my thoughts from above paragraphs, it is time to start getting into works.  In the next week, I will bring an American modern jazz and intelligence dance musician Benn Jordan into my blog.