Arachnophonia: Waitress: The Musical

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student manager Danny (class of 2023) and features the Broadway musical Waitress. Thanks, Danny!

Waitress: The Musical

Waitress - Broadway poster

Waitress: The Musical holds a very strong place in my heart and might have the strongest memories and feelings attached to it than any other album could do in my life. And it all started pretty recently.

My senior year of high school, I gave up playing club soccer for the spring. I had played soccer year-round my whole life and wanted to take a break from club sports. I finished my senior season with the high school team as captain and thought that would be a fitting end to the journey. So, I did track and field in the spring to spruce it up and try and build on my winter times (which I had done for 4 years). Since the practices did not eat up nearly as much time as soccer, I still felt I needed something to do.

And so, through a few of my friends who were involved, I somehow got myself roped into joining a school musical (42nd Street). It was more intimidating than anything I had ever done, given I had never tapped, danced, sang, nor acted in my life. It was so out of my comfort zone and I felt worlds apart from anyone else. Given that I try to immerse and be the best that I can at anything I do, naturally, I tried to get myself adjusted to the world of arts.

I basically went to Playbill and found every contemporary musical that was currently playing on Broadway and listened to every single album. Some albums were played more than just once, as I continually listened to them until the lyrics were etched into my brain. Even if I was not totally invested in Broadway like my friends, I at least wanted to know everything about the culture and what I was getting myself into just as I do with any job or sport.

And through it, I heard Waitress. And I listened to it over and over and over and over and over. It became my second most-listened-to album in 2019 on Spotify and three of the songs were in my top 5. The lyrics and the songs were just ultimately too good and did not sound like a traditional Broadway musical songs. When I was younger, I felt a lot of Broadway was dance-heavy numbers, with raging horns and jazz beats, lights, eccentric acting (I did not like stage acting, I felt it was too jittery or not as deep as a film), and crazy costumes. And yet, Waitress was kind of the complete opposite. It took music from Sara Bareilles, a mainstream artist that was consistently played on the radio and turned it into a story. I was hooked. I obviously realized there were tons of other musicals like this, but it was the first one that really opened my eyes to another side of theatre.

To make a long story short, it became a habit to listen to the music, and I got pretty good at a couple of the songs on piano. The year I started listening, all of a sudden, an announcement was made that the show was closing January 5th, 2020. I was lowkey upset because I wanted to go so bad to the show, but I would never want to drop the pricey amount to go watch it live.

And then, like the grace of God’s warm light, I was bestowed with three tickets to watch the show. It was gifted as a birthday present. Me and two others got to watch the show two weeks before close, a week before Christmas, and made a whole day trip. We took a bus to NYC at noon, walked around the city for a couple hours, ice skated in Central Park, went out to eat at a nice restaurant, saw the tree at Rockefeller Center at night, and then saw the show at night. The show was even better in person and I got to watch it with people I loved.

Ultimately, after that moment, I knew that album had other sentimental value that could never be replaced. However, a couple of months afterward, I had not actually listened to the album again. Things happened that almost ruined the musical for me and the memories I had attached to it, but I put a positive twist on it and tried to forget some of the negatives.

And when it arrived at the music library, it made me want to listen once more. After I did, I became hooked once again – even through the present day.

Parsons Playlists: “Midnight Delight”

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today’s playlist is curated by Music Library student manager Danny (class of 2023) and is entitled “Midnight Delight”.

Midnight Delight

(the title depends heavily on if you enjoy letting your feelings out before a good sleep)

Moon on Cloudy day.

Drake – “Marvins Room”

Maroon 5 – “Won’t Go Home Without You”

Shawn Mendes – “Fallin’ All In You”

Pink Sweat$ – “Pink Moon”

Ed Sheeran – “Love In Slow Motion”

XXXTENTACACION – “changes”

Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”

Dion – “Only You Know”

Roy Orbison – “Crying”

Sam Smith – “I’m Not The Only One”

The Killers – “Why Do I Keep Counting?”

blackbear – “why are girls?”

Giveon – “For Tonight”

fun. – “The Gambler”

ZAYN – “fOoL fOr YoU”

Bruno Mars – “If I Knew”

Chance the Rapper – “Same Drugs”

The Shadowboxers – “Honeymoon”

The Moth & The Flame – “The New Great Depression”

The Weeknd – “How Do I Make You Love Me?”

Here is a link to the whole playlist on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU94rco57ZeydhaS982XvRcWBpGa0b7rh

And here is an extended version on Spotify:

Parsons Playlists: “POV: 1:30am and you have two finals tomorrow”

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today’s playlist is curated by Music Library student manager Danny (class of 2023) and it may be somewhat relatable during exam season. Hang in there!

POV: 1:30am and you have two finals tomorrow

coffee

MARINA – “Oh No!”

The 1975 – “UGH!”

Roy Orbison – “Crying”

Cast of Hamilton – “Helpless”

The Beatles – “Help!”

Janelle Monáe feat. Zoë Kravitz – “Screwed”

Snow Patrol – “This Isn’t Everything You Are”

Rhys Lewis – “Better Than Today”

Tate McRae – “feel like shit”

That Poppy – “Lowlife”

Mabel, Jax Jones & Galantis – “Good Luck”

The Killers – “Everything Will Be Alright”

Drake feat. Sampha – “Too Much”

The Vaccines – “I Can’t Quit”

Jane Krakowski – “A Trip To The Library”

Lauv – “Adrenaline”

blackbear feat. Stalking Gia – “wish u the best”

The Story So Far – “If I Fall”

Here is a link to the whole playlist on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU94rco57ZezBO2PYAYVXq9avemL-zl0w

And here it is on Spotify:

Arachnophonia: Elton John “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student manager Christian (class of 2023) and features Elton John’s classic 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Thanks, Christian!

Elton John

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Elton John is one of the most successful and influential musicians of all time, known for his expressive outfits and electrifying performances. In 1973, John released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, a 17-song album that would go on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide. The album, with lyrics written by Bernie Taupin and produced by Gus Dudgeon, is known as one of John’s best works. Some of the best songs on the album include “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Candle in the Wind,” and “Bennie and the Jets”.

Ever since I had to analyze Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for a school project, the title track is one of my favorite songs. On the surface, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” contains rich vocal harmonies, dreamy piano chords, and a crisp drum beat to create a contemplative atmosphere for John to reflect on his life of fame. As a child, I remember my parents singing along to “Bennie and the Jets” on the radio, another personal favorite song of mine from the album. The song has an instantly recognizable introduction and a spectacular piano solo that displays John’s genius piano and composition skills.

Though John struggled with addiction at the height of his fame, he managed to quit his substance abuse and create his own charity, the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Despite his personal struggles, Elton John is one of the most successful musicians of all time, selling over 300 million records and producing many timeless hits that will live on long after his career is over.

Parsons Playlists: “Songs That Make Me Happy”

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today’s playlist is curated by Music Library student manager Allison (class of 2022) and features some songs that make her happy. 🙂

Songs that make me happy

music-makes-me-happy-by-plastickheart

Palace – “Live Well”

Grizzly Bear – “Two Weeks”

alt-J – “In Cold Blood”

Dr. Dog – “Nellie”

Young the Giant – “Mind Over Matter (Reprise)”

The Maccabees – “Toothpaste Kisses”

Shakey Graves (feat. Esme Patterson) – “Dearly Departed”

alt-J – “Lovely Day”

Passion Pit – “Carried Away”

Milky Chance – “Colorado”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “So Good At Being In Trouble”

Local Natives – “I Saw You Close Your Eyes”

Broken Bells – “Shelter”

alt-J – “Left Hand Free”

NoMBe – “Wait”

Cold War Kids – “Love Is Mystical”

Here is a link to the whole playlist on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU94rco57ZezE8C3Ih7-i8bBqEZGfFKIf

And here is an extended version on Spotify:

Parsons Playlists: Inspired by “Newsies”

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today’s playlist is curated by Music Library student assistant Kinme (class of 2022) and features a playlist that was inspired by the musical Newsies.

Newsies: The Musical
Synopsis (from Broadway.com):
“Based on the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this new Disney musical tells the story of Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city. After publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action. With help from the beautiful female reporter Katherine Plumber, all of New York City soon recognizes the power of ‘the little man.'”

Newsies

“Santa Fe” from Newsies
(Jack’s act one closer where he is contemplating leaving New York and finding a better place for himself after losing a battle against Pulitzer)

“Seize The Day” from Newsies
(A show-stopping number from act one where Jack and Davey rally the newsies to take a stand. Filled with amazing taps and acrobatics)

“The Beanstalk” from Renascence

“Cool” from West Side Story

“Mama Will Provide” from Once on this Island

“Opening – The Audition” from 42nd Street

“Sincerely Me” from Dear Evan Hansen

“Magic To Do” from Pippin

“On The Right Track” from Pippin

“King of The World” from Songs For A New World

“Sick To Death Of Alice-ness” from Alice By Heart

Here is a link to the whole playlist on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU94rco57Zex4cTU5SXmAwzZBrWYZnu7H

Arachnophonia: Main Hoon Na

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student assistant Kiran (class of 2024) and features the 2004 Bollywood film Main Hoon Na. Thanks, Kiran!

Main Hoon Na

“Main Hoon Na – The Importance of Support During College”

Main Hoon Na - movie poster

Growing up, I didn’t understand much about my culture. It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I really started to appreciate my ethnic background. Bollywood movies changed my entire perspective on a hidden part of my identity that I had neglected to explore. I began to immerse myself in India’s film industry, enamored by the music, dancing, and storylines. Main Hoon Na (I am there) quickly became one of my favorite movies and a staple pick for family movie night.

Main Hoon Na explores the journey that a young soldier (Ram) takes to find his half-brother after the death of their father in the midst of a peace treaty between India and Pakistan. Indian terrorists threaten to destroy this peace and are after Sanjana, the Indian General’s daughter, who happens to attend the same college as Ram’s half-brother. Ram goes undercover as a student and must protect Sanjana without compromising his position for his half-brother. What follows is a charming and action-packed adventure that will test them all.

College, especially after COVID-19, has proven to be a mental challenge for both students and professors. We continue to see deaths of college athletes by suicide and a rise in demand for mental health resources. We often forget that it’s ok to reach out for help, and that we don’t have to go through college alone. Main Hoon Na is a reminder that we can lean on our support systems, no matter what. Although fictitious, every Bollywood movie has real-world lessons or morals to learn from. Ram’s dedication to his family and his friends when they need it the most carries over into our daily lives – we can both give and receive support.

You can check out Main Hoon Na and other Bollywood movies at Parsons Music Library. If you or someone you know is seeking mental health resources, click on this link to learn more about CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) at the University of Richmond.

Parsons Playlists: A Mini Collection of Mozart

Welcome back to Parsons Playlists! Today’s playlist is curated by Music Library student assistant Xipeng (class of 2024) and features works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

A Mini Collection of Mozart

I have to say that my childhood was accompanied with Mozart’s music, and today’s playlist is all about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

violin solo with orchestra

Mozart – Piano Concerto No.21 in C Major, K.467 “Elvira Madigan”: I. Allegro maestoso
Artist: Rudolf Buchbinder

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, Op. 17, K. 595: I. Allegro
Artist: Rudolf Buchbinder

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415 – 1. Allegro
Artist: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

Mozart – Piano Sonata in C major, K. 330- 3rd mov. Allegretto
Artist: Mitsuko Uchida

Mozart – Piano Sonata in A minor, K. 310- 3rd mov. Presto
Artist: Mitsuko Uchida

Mozart – Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major (K. 313)
Artist: Sharon Bezaly, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

Mozart – La Flute Enchantee – Der hölle Rache
Artist: Sabine Devieilhe

Mozart – Violin Concerto No.3 in G major, K216: I Allegro
Artist: Hilary Hahn

Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, KV 219 “Turkish”: III. Rondeau
Artist: Bomsori Kim

Mozart – Piano Trio in G Major, K. 496
Artist: Clara Trio

Mozart – Piano Trio No. 1 (Divertimento), K. 254 in B-flat Major
Artist: Sean Cavanaugh, Nathaniel Shapiro, Kelly Knox

Mozart – Fantasia in D minor K. 397
Artist: Mieczyslaw Horszowski

Mozart – Flute Quartet No.1 in D Major, K.285
Artist: Ensemble Connect

Here is a link to the whole playlist on YouTube:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU94rco57Zexyj2fQfwVMgM2RqB25FRkP

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Arachnophonia: Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item(s) in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student assistant Eli (class of 2024) and features Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Thanks, Eli!

Edward Elgar

Enigma Variations

Sir Edward Elgar 1857-1934

Sir Edward Elgar 1857-1934

Edward Elgar, a classical English composer who gained prominence around the turn of the 20th century, is perhaps best known for his Pomp and Circumstance Marches, a key part of any graduation ceremony today.

Yet his most intriguing work is undoubtedly Variations on an Original Theme, better known as the Enigma Variations. These fourteen variations are each dedicated to important people in Elgar’s life, including his wife and his students. Each variation shares similar phrases, but the attitude and voices vary widely. Significant moments in Elgar’s relationship with these people are written into the variations, as well as their key personality traits.

The “Nimrod” variation, dedicated to his mentor Augustus J. Jaeger, is widely considered one of Elgar’s finest works and is frequently reproduced. Most notably, it was played at Princess Diana’s funeral and at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

The “enigma” within these variations has yet to be solved, but is believed to be a secret melody hidden across the variations. I highly encourage listening to these variations as it is one of my favorite orchestral works. You can read more about the Enigma Variations by checking out Julian Rushton’s book Elgar, ‘Enigma’ Variations or you can listen to both Pomp and Circumstance and the Enigma Variations on CD.

Arachnophonia: Guillaume Dufay “Chansons – Forty-Five Settings in Original Notation”

Editor’s note: Arachnophonia (“Arachno” = spider / “-phonia” = sound) is a regular feature on our blog where members of the UR community can share their thoughts about resources from the Parsons Music Library‘s collection.

All links included in these posts will take you to either the library catalog record for the item in question or to additional relevant information from around the web.

Today’s installment of Arachnophonia is by student manager Brianna (class of 2023) and features music by the early Renaissance composer Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474). Thanks, Brianna!

Guillaume Dufay
Chansons: Forty-Five Settings in Original Notation

Dufay and Binchois

Guillaume Du Fay (left), with Gilles Binchois (right) in a c. 1440 Illuminated manuscript copy of Martin le Franc’s Le champion des dames (source: Wikipedia)

One of the most fascinating aspects of music history to me is the way that musical notation and writing has evolved. A prime example of this is the madrigal. A madrigal is a part-song for several voices most commonly found in the Renaissance period. While this style of music was most popular in Italy and England, there are several noteworthy French composers who wrote madrigals.

One such composer is Guillaume Dufay. The music library is lucky to have a score of a selection of 45 of his pieces, all in original notation. Flipping through the pages shows a style of notation that has since lost popularity, but it is still incredibly interesting to look at.

Learning to transpose such music is a vast field of study that is very active to this day. I find it to be a sort of puzzle, as there are some notes and articulations that were assumed to be inferred by performers in the period it was written, but that are generally explicitly written out in modern music. Finding these hidden clues and listening to your transcription is a rewarding and fun experience. If you get a chance, be sure to check out this music!