Sunna Gunnlaugs

Name that Tune… My Listeners Did.

October 27, 2009 11:02 am | Filed under: Music | Comments (24)
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I did a little experiment on my facebook fanpage last week. I posted a home video of myself playing a composition that I will premier next week and needed a title for. I was really just looking for a title, but when people started to submit their suggestions I realized that everyone was expressing how the tune made them feel. To me that was really neat. I rarely get such direct feedback from listeners. Most of the suggestions had a commonality and many referenced the season. It would be interesting to see how that would change if I had done this in summer. I got so many great suggestions that I really would like to write music with those titles in mind, if there are no objections. (read more…)

Happy Birthday Thelonious

October 13, 2009 12:28 am | Filed under: Music | Comments (4)
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Saturday was the birthday of pianist and composer Thelonious Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) so I wanted to write a little something in his honor. First and foremost, he was unusual, and the uniqueness and peculiarities of Monk's personality were perfectly reflected in his music. This is partially the secret to his success. He put so much of himself into how he played, and the tunes he wrote that as a listener you can't help but feel some sense of kinship with him. He put himself out there as an artist, naked. He wasn't polished technically, but he was advanced in his own way. His melodies are very angular and rhythmic but catchy at the same time. Some are incredibly simple. Some deceptively so. His own sound on the piano was a bit square and clunky, but in a charming way. Most composers are very loyal to their tunes but Monk was one of few who might change his own tunes a bit from gig to gig. (read more…)

The Best Pianist

October 9, 2009 12:19 am | Filed under: Music | Comments (4)
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A few weeks ago I posted on my facebook fan-page and on twitter this question "Who do you think is the best jazz pianist ever?" However, I could have asked "Who's your favorite jazz pianist?" and gotten much different responses. The replies were interesting because most people don't necessarily just think about who is the best in terms of technical abilities on the instrument but combine it with who appeals the most to them musically, and that's the beauty of it. Technical abilities don't really mean much if the music (or the emotional content to connect with the listener) isn't there. But then again, without the technical abilities one may not be able to execute the ideas to communicate the emotion. It takes two to tango.

The nominees were (read more…)

5 Gateway Albums to Jazz

October 1, 2009 12:16 am | Filed under: Music | Comments (3)
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Patrick Jarenwattananon at A blog Supreme asked a few jazz bloggers to pick 5 albums that they thought might bring the open-minded listener into the jazz of today. However, more people responded, and by following the link to his site one can find samples and recommendations of quality jazz being performed today.

It is, of course, impossible to pick 5 albums that could magically appeal equally to listeners from various backgrounds such as heavy metal, classical, electronica etc. I used to live in Brooklyn, so my contribution to this discussion is heavily influenced by the music I experienced there. So here goes. (read more…)