Notes from Underground

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Details from exhibit celebrating John Harbison's 80th Birthday

Mills Music Library exhibit in Memorial Library lobby celebrates Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow John Harbison’s amazing – and ongoing – musical career, with a focus on his Madison connection.

Emeritus Professor of Folklore and Scandinavian Studies Jim Leary garnering media attention for his Best Album Notes Grammy nomination.

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  • We are on Spring Break this week, and as of 4:58 pm local time it is officially spring! To celebrate, we’re singing “The Spring Has Come,” a song by Maude Valérie White, published in 1899 by Chappell & Co., London, and Boosey & Co., New York. White (1855-1937) was born in France, but her family moved to England when she was one year old. She went to the Royal Academy of Music, and became one of the most successful songwriters of the Victorian period. She dedicated this song to Mary Anderson de Navarro (1859-1940), an American actress who ended up living in England after she retired. This copy of the sheet music bears the stamp of Wm. A. Kaun Music Co., Milwaukee, and is in our Americana Sheet Music Collection. The entire song is available to view online via @uwdigitalcollections #springhascome #vernalequinox #maudevaleriewhite #womenshistorymonth #americanasheetmusiccollection #millsmusiclibrary
  • A patron returned a stack of LPs today, and among them was Huntington Ashram Monastery, Alice Coltrane’s 1969 Impulse album. [Jazz Impulse AS 9185] Coltrane plays piano and harp, and is joined by Ron Carter, bass, and Rashied Ali, drums and percussion. All compositions written by Alice Coltrane. I’m her liner notes, she writes: “Ashram means ‘hermitage.’ It is sometimes spelled ‘ashrama.’ Of the many humanly-constructed ashrams and monasteries throughout the world, I feel that the real ‘ashrama’ is in your heart.” We also have a 2011 CD reissue that combines this album with her 1972 album World Galaxy, for those who don’t have a turntable or who prefer CDs. [COMP DISC 31746] #alicecoltrane #alicecoltraneturiyasangitananda #huntingtonashrammonastery #womenshistorymonth #roncarter #rashiedali #millsmusiclibrary
  • We’re serving this tasty piece of Pi to celebrate #piday It’s Tyshawn Sorey’s album Verisimilitude, released by Pi Recordings in 2017. [COMP DISC 32645] Pi is a jazz record label founded by Seth Rosner in 2001, and we have many of their releases—including more by Tyshawn Sorey. Sorey is a composer and drummer, and also Assistant Professor of Music and African American Studies at Wesleyan University. He’s joined on Verisimilitude by Cory Smythe (piano, toy piano, electronics) and Chris Tordini (bass). Come get some! #tyshawnsorey #pirecordings #corysmythe #christordini #millsmusiclibrary
  • Student employee Lily Finnegan has added Björk’s 2006 box set Surrounded [COMP DISC 15227] to our Staff Picks tree. Surrounded contains 7 discs: Björk
  • Guitarist Mary Halvorson played on eight albums released in 2018, including this duo recording with guitarist Bill Frisell titled The Maid with the Flaxen Hair, on Tzadik. [COMP DISC 33447] Halvorson and Frisell paid tribute to Johnny Smith, performing nine ballads associated with Smith and his composition “Walk Don’t Run.” Frisell concludes his liner notes thusly: “I can’t wait to hear what Mary Halvorson does next.” We can’t either. #maryhalvorson #billfrisell #tzadikrecords #womenshistorymonth #millsmusiclibrary