Timberlake previews album in forest-like space, bugs and all

Timberlake, who will headline next month’s Super Bowl halftime show, worked again with mega-producer Timbaland on the album. (Reuters)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Timberlake previews album in forest-like space, bugs and all

NEW YORK: If the latest photos from Justin Timberlake’s new album campaign don’t relay the message that he’s into nature and the woods, his first listening for the project drove the point home.
Tuesday’s event in New York City to debut “Man of the Woods” was decorated with bushes and trees, while ants coated in black garlic and rose oil and grasshoppers were served.
But don’t get too concerned about the pop star switching gears, the album — much like the lead dance single — sticks to Timberlake’s musical persona, as upbeat pop, R&B and electronic tracks make up the collection of 16 songs.
Music industry insiders, members of the press and American Express cardholders — the company put on the event and will hold another on Wednesday — listened the full album as red lights beamed in the large space, which Timberlake helped design.
“I’m not going to go all Ray LaMontagne,” Timberlake said at the listening, jokingly referring to the singer-songwriter known for his rock and folk sound.
He called “Man of the Woods” a “personal album” and said the record is a tribute to his 2-year-old son, Silas, a name that means “living in the woods.”
“That’s where I got the idea,” said Timberlake, who attended the event with his actress-wife, Jessica Biel, as well as family and friends he said had flown into town to support him.
Silas’ voice appears on the album’s closing track, “Young Man“; Alicia Keys is on the rootsy “Morning Light“; and Chris Stapleton appears on “Say Something,” which seemed to be a crowd favorite at the event.
Timberlake, who will headline next month’s Super Bowl halftime show, worked again with mega-producer Timbaland on the album. First single and album opener, “Filthy,” debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.
“Strangers Things” actor Gaten Matarazzo also attended the event.


Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

Updated 21 June 2018
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Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

  • The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum.
  • Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events.

ATHENS: Hymns sung to the Greek gods thousands of years ago resonated from ancient musical instruments in Athens on Thursday, transporting a transfixed audience to antiquity.
The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum as part of World Music Day celebrations.
A family of musicians, Lyravlos have recreated exact replicas of the ancient instruments from natural materials including animal shells, bones, hides and horns.
Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events. Today only some 60 written scores of ancient Greek music have survived, said Lyravlos member Michael Stefos.
Stefos said they interpret them as best they can, relying on the accuracy of their recreated instruments.
“Joking aside, ancient CDs have never been found,” he said.
Their performance included a hymn to the god Apollo, pieces played at the musical festival of the ancient Pythian Games in Delphi and during wine-laden rituals to the god Dionysus.
Michael’s father Panayiotis Stefos, who heads the group, travels to museums at home and abroad studying ancient Greek antiquities and texts in order to recreate the instruments.
“Usually each instrument has a different sound. It is not something you can make on a computer, it will not be a carbon copy,” said Stefos.
The difference with modern day instruments?
“If someone holds it in their arms and starts playing, after a few minutes they don’t want to let it go, because it vibrates and pulsates with your body,” he said.
French tourist Helene Piaget, who watched the performance, said it was “inspiring.”
“One sees them on statues, on reliefs, and you can’t imagine what they might sound like,” she said.
World Music Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the summer solstice.