Richard Powers' new novel, Orfeo, tells the story of an avant-garde classical music composer who finds himself dabbling in DNA. Like the Orpheus myth that inspired the book's name, this story takes its hero, Peter Els, on a journey. He becomes a fugitive accused of bioterror, but what follows is also a walk back into the recesses of his own memory told through the music and people he's loved and lost.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:27 pm
The Portland, Ore., band Blitzen Trapper has spent seven albums refining its style, which mixes Americana, folk and rock with a wild-eyed psychedelic side. Its newest record is titled VII.
Singer-songwriter Eric Early wrote a piece for the New York Times Opinionator blog last year called "The Tale of The Seed and The Song," and we'll find out about some of the seeds of these new songs here.
Legendary composer and arranger Johnny Mandel started in the big bands of Joe Venuti, Buddy Rich and Jimmy Dorsey. Mandel's resume includes film and television classics such as "Suicide Is Painless" (the M*A*S*H theme) and "The Shadow of Your Smile" from The Sandpiper.