Song of the Day: February 2

Written by Susan Botti


In category: Song of the Day

Published February 2, 2016

SusanBottiThis week our SoTD curator is composer Susan Botti who will host and curate the second installment of NYFOS Next 2016 on Febuary 11th alongside fellow Manhattan School of Music faculty member, Richard Danielpour. Botti is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Rome Prize. Orchestral commissions include works for the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In addition to performing her own vocal works, she specializes in the vocal performance of contemporary music by a diverse range of composers. Thank you, Susan!

Calling You by Bob Telson (Baghdad Cafe) (1987)

This song has an essential-ness about it. Nothing extraneous. It sounds of the desert, and the wind. It haunted me after I saw it in Baghdad Cafe (as sung by Jevetta Steele)… and then surprisingly, I heard Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sing it as an encore in a (beautiful) recital, and the song became even more resonant to me. A great song transports the singer and the listener. Lorraine was and is a great inspiration to me. I treasure the memory of her singing this song that night, and am so grateful it was captured.

Here is the original version from Baghdad Cafe sung by Jevetta Steele:

Here’s some more Bob Telson…
One of my favorite singing experiences was being a part of the Gospel Choir at Berklee College of Music. I was in awe of the soloists and the way they embodied the music. Musical structures connect with message and words, and become a point of departure for improvisation and virtuosic vocal expression. It was a thrill to just ride the musical waves in the supporting ensemble. The Gospel at Colonus (which I saw at BAM’s Next Wave Festival) added the dimension of Greek theater to the mix – soul-stirring…

from The Gospel at Colonus – Bob Telson/Lee Breuer (1985):
How Shall I see you Through My Tears?
(sung by Jevetta Steele)

Stop, Do Not Go On (The Blind Boys of Alabama)

author: Susan Botti

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