Music

Megan Washington: Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking

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Published on 8 Aug 2014 Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has ... Read More »

Peter Sculthorpe, composer of Kakadu and Earth Cry, dies, aged 85

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AUSTRALIAN music’s elder statesman, composer Peter Sculthorpe, has died in Sydney. He was 85. Best known as a composer of orchestral and chamber works, Sculthorpe had a long career that started from his earliest compositions at age nine. From the 1960s he was a pioneer of music that sought an authentic expression of Australia, its landscape and people. He introduced ... Read More »

Pussy Riot pair sue Russia over imprisonment

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Two members of the feminist group, Pussy Riot, are suing the Russian government over their imprisonment for a protest in a Moscow cathedral. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova say their prosecutions amounted to torture. They have filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights against Russia, seeking compensation. The pair are demanding 120,000 euros (£95,000) each in damages, ... Read More »

Cauldron controversy: why the Olympic settlement is a milestone for designers

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Bright idea … fireworks above the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images The settlement between Atopia and Locog is one of the few legal wranglings over intellectual property to become public – and shows just how hard it is to prove an idea is one of a kind News that the ... Read More »

Myung-Whun Chung, interview: when music is life or death

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Conductor Myung-Whun Chung doesn’t know if the North Korean musicians he worked with are alive or dead. He talks to Adam Sweeting. Should playing classical music be a matter of life and death? Horrifying reports last year claimed that North Korea’s unpredictable ruler Kim Jong-un had ordered the executions by machine-gun fire of a dozen North Korean musicians from the Unhasu ... Read More »

Explainer: classical music

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Classical music means more than one thing and explanation is in order. Sometimes I make the distinction between big “C” and little “c”, but even that doesn’t fully solve it. The starting point is this: the “Classical” period in music is generally described as encompassing the works of Haydn (1732-1809) through to Beethoven (1770–1827). Mozart (1756-1791) fits squarely in the middle. In my mind it conjures ... Read More »

Unseen Woodstock photographs displayed 45 years on

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The Glastonbury festival is well under way with bands like Metallica and Kasabian among the thousands of artists who will be playing across the weekend. This year, Woodstock, one of the early music festivals which – along with the Monterey Pop festival – arguably laid the foundations for the modern-day music festival, celebrates its 45th anniversary. Over an August weekend ... Read More »

Bobby Womack dies at 70

Bobby Womack, who died on 27 June, performing at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam in July last year. Photograph: Greetsia Tent/WireImage

Soul great who worked with musicians from Sam Cooke to Damon Albarn has died after career spanning nearly six decades Bobby Womack, who has died aged 70, was one of the great soulsingers, who, in a professional career that lasted nearly six decades, worked closely with leading musicians ranging from Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Sly Stone to Damon ... Read More »

Afghan Idol escapes Taliban threats to find voice in Australia

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Navid Forogh was Afghanistan’s answer to Guy Sebastian, but instead of earning him fame and fortune, Navid’s talent put his life in danger. Making music might seem like a harmless hobby, but for some refugees it’s been a punishable offence. The Voices Without Borders choir is made up of singers forced to flee their homeland. For many, music was their ... Read More »