By Hoshino Sakura
High notes? High art? Let's take it up a level …
For the past week we have been exploring songs with high voices. Where does that take us? It's time not only to go up in pitch, but also elevate things in other ways. Not everyone knows this but there is an art gallery on the first floor of the Song Bar. It is not a secret, we just do not tell anyone, but today I am going to take you to … The Gallery ! ! !
Follow me. And be careful though, the stairs are steep. On the left is the Landlord's office. I will shut the door, he always leaves it open and it is such a mess.
Those are the staff changing rooms. We each have a personal uniform and keep it there. I am not actually wearing my uniform today, I just happen to be on the way to a party.
Here we are ! ! ! Behind this door is the Landlord's priceless art collection, with this particular exhibition all about songs with high voices.
Of course it is a special Gallery, and if you stand in the circle in front of the picture you will hear music to accompany each picture.
So let's enter and enjoy the music and the art ! ! !
The first painting is Women From Yemen by M.F. Husain. You can feel the heat in this picture and almost smell the scents of the spices which is captured by the music of the Berklee Indian Ensemble performing A R Rahman's Kun Faya Kun:
Now as we move on, the next painting is The Jungle by Cuban artist Wifredo Lam. Here the contrast between the passion of the tropical jungle and the cool colours is matched by the cool but passionate track Amaotayku Avelino Sinani (El Buho Remix) by Luzmilla Carpio:
The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau is a beautiful painting of a lion drinking water by a sleeping woman, but not harming her. It is a rare image of nature and human in peace and harmony, which is also an image created for me by the listening to the track Yabay by Dhafer Youssef.
Anak Negeri by Yee I-Lann, is a beautiful picture of man with his family friends and if you closely you can see his pet. The feeling it creates is perfectly captured by the performance of the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker:
Orange Fighting Cocks by Victor Delfin is colourful representation of battling birds in Peru and you can see and feel the heat and orangey redness in the painting. Chuncho by Yma Sumac also creates a feeling of soaring heat, especially in her extraordinary Peruvian voice, and in this song you can hear the sheer passion of a cock fight too.
The Moon by Pan Gongkai is a simple but somehow oddly disturbing picture. Tiny Tim’s version of People Are Strange has the same simplicity and strangeness.
Night Snow at Kambara by Utagawa Hiroshige is wonderful woodblock print of a traveller in village at night. The sense of the silent village and heaviness of the snow is captured by I Will by Samaris:
White Peacock by Massad is a picture of an elegant and beautiful peacock and this elegance and beauty is perfectly accompanied by Monteverdi’s Pur ti miro sung by Elin Manahan Thomas & Robin Blaze.
The Death of Eurydice by Nicolò dell'Abate is a dark picture depicting the moments before a murder. The colouring is dark and there is almost no sky shown, yet the woman appears to reach to the sky. Ask The Gods To Pull Down The Sky by Petra Jean Phillipson seems to almost describe the picture and her voice captures this mood perfectly.
Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre by Utagawa Kuniyoshi is an impressive supernatural work in which a skeleton and witch who summoned him can be seen looking down at those who she has cursed. It is strange but powerful print. Death by Klaus Nomi matches the theatrical nature of the print perfectly.
Tapestry by El Anatsui is a fabric creation that expresses the richness and subtle colours of the African landscape. Wamba by Salif Keïta has a similar richness and subtlety in his voice which matches the tapestry.
Finally we have maybe the most famous painting in our collection: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. Two beautiful lovers wrapped in a golden blanket, giving the aura of both sophistication and romance. In Questa Reggia from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot sung by Dame Joan Sutherland has the same level of grandeur and passion.
We hope you enjoyed the tour and please take a free catalogue as souvenir ! ! !
Now please listen to the music again, and peruse each painting as each song plays:
High Art A-List Playlist:
Kun Faya Kun by A.R. Rahman (performed – Berklee Indian Ensemble)
Amaotayku Avelino Sinani (El Buho Remix) – Luzmilla Carpio
Yabay – Dhafer Youssef
With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles) – Joe Cocker
Chuncho – Yma Sumac
People Are Strange – Tiny Tim
I Will – Samaris
Pur ti miro (Monteverdi) – Elin Manahan Thomas & Robin Blaze
Ask The Gods To Pull Down The Sky – Petra Jean Phillipson
Death – Klaus Nomi
Wamba – Salif Keïta
In Questa Reggia (Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot) – Dame Joan Sutherland
Amp Breakin', Blow Your Socks Off B-List Playlist:
November Rain – Guns N' Roses
Hocus Pocus – Focus
Taki Rari – Yma Sumac
Roots Train – Junior Murvin
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Sylvester
Yesterday Man – Robert Wyatt
Call Me – Al Green
Gypsy Blood – Doll By Doll
Free Fallin' – Tom Petty
Kuganimichihushi – Rinken Band
Bread And Butter – The Newbeats
Nothing Is Keeping You Here – A-ha
Guru's Wildcard Pick:
Rin Toshite Shigure – Telecastic Fake Show
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Take me higher: soaring songs with high-pitched vocals. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.