Posted on May 29, 2020
The most engaging musicians for me lately, are ones who have perfected the art of music as Trojan horse. Unleashing their rage from within a perfect overlay of pop, R&B, or Indigenous drumming, Janelle Monáe, King Princess, Eastern Owl, and U.S. Girls, create sublime melodies and catchy hooks that tackle an array of topics not often captured in song.
Posted on October 1, 2019
Annie Q. Syed describes her relationship to music and writing. Her essay, "Landscape Through the Body," appeared in The Fiddlehead No. 279 (Spring 2019).
Posted on June 25, 2019
Megan Denton Ray's poem "As In Blackjack" appears in issue No. 279 (Spring 2019). Click "Read More" to access her music recommendation!
Posted on January 10, 2019
Mikka Jacobsen 's essay "Parlour Tricks" appears in this fall's Creative Nonfiction issue.
Posted on December 6, 2018
Jeanie Keogh's essay "Somewhere Over Greenland" appears in this fall's Creative Nonfiction issue. What does she "put on when story ideas are hatching"?
Posted on November 28, 2018
Šari Dale tells us why she recommends listening to Soccer Mommy's 2018 album Clean.
Look for Šari's essay "Eulogy for Pale Lilies" in this fall's all-creative nonfiction issue, edited by Alicia Elliott.
Posted on August 18, 2016
Lately I have been listening to John Cage's strangely delightful and thoughtful sonatas as performed by Boris Berman. They are very short, running between two to four minutes. There are sixteen sonatas and four interludes, so even after some twenty-five listens I still don’t feel like I can encompass the scope of the music.
Posted on August 3, 2016
This past month I’ve been obsessing over video recordings of Van Morrison concerts, especially early performances from the 70s and 80s. This is partly because I’ve been thinking a lot about poetic pacing and what I guess I’ll call ‘rawness’ in poetry — moments of risk-taking and truth-telling, registers of feeling that create something almost textural in a poem.
Posted on July 11, 2016
For years I’ve listened to the likes of Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Mary Gauthier, and Chris Whitley while writing, as well as a smattering of classical works, but over the past year — perhaps reflecting a spiritual or emotional change — the focus has shifted almost entirely to classical music, both traditional and contemporary. Works by people like Olafur Arnalds, Ludovico Einaudi, Anouar Brahem, Hildur Gudnadottir, Hildegard of Bingen, and Dijan Gasparyan.
Posted on June 27, 2016
Mostly jazz — an idiom in a hard way these days (once Sonny Rollins dies, that’s it for the giants who shaped it from the late 40s onwards; the Toronto jazz festival this year has the nerve to bill KC and the Sunshine Band as its headline act!). Still have a lot of vinyl and have been playing a fair amount of — you guessed it! – Prince, Merle Haggard and, for some unfathomable reason, R.E.M. from the mid-80s.
James Adams is a reporter at The Globe & Mail covering a variety of arts topics.