Musical Shares: eighth blackbird

eighth blackbird

Photo by Luke Ratray

Contemporary chamber music rockstars eighth blackbird performed here at the Center in March and were even kind enough to compile a playlist of some of their favorite music!

Click here to listen to it, and keep reading for their comments on some of their selections.

Lisa Kaplan, piano

  • "Babys" by Bon Iver
  • "Paranoid Android" by Brad Mehldau (from the Live in Tokyo album)
  • "Stupidity Tries" by Elliott Smith

Nicholas Photinos, cello

  • "Sai Dessa" from Luciana Souza's Duos II
    Not only is this some great Brazilian singing, but check out the amazing virtuosity of guitarist Romero Lubambo — he's a monster! (Note: This song is not available on Spotify; click here to view the album on
  • "Spirit in the Dark" from Aretha Franklin's Live at Fillmore West
    The whole album is amazing (especially Dr. Feelgood), but when Ray Charles is in the audience, Aretha brings him up, and then he forgets the lyrics and starts making them up — priceless.
  • "Get Happy" from Brad Mehldau's Anything Goes
    This first track is a great example of what Brad can do with a seemingly simple tune, and of his rich contrapuntal improv style.
  • "Business Time" by Flight of the Conchords
    Just cuz.

Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets

  • Tristan Perich: 1-Bit Symphony
  • "Keep Your Shoes On" by Scissor Sisters
  • "End of the World" by Matt Alber
  • "Mambo Diablo" by Tito Puente
  • "Yoda's Theme" by John Williams
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Yvonne Lam, violin & viola

  • "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered" by Ella Fitzgerald
  • "Roly Poly" by Asleep at The Wheel and Dixie Chicks
  • Ades: Violin Concerto (performed by Anthony Marwood)

Tim Munro, flutes

  • Poulenc: "O Magnum Misterium" performed by Polyphony
    Best choir in the world, singing a tingle-inducing motet. 'Nuff said.
  • Beethoven: "Kreutzer" Sonata with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Fazil Say
    If Beethoven ate Bartok, this is what the result would sound like.
  • Handel: "As with rosy steps the morn" with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    A voice to reach in and strangle your heart.
  • Bach: "Jesu, meine Freude" with Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner
    JEG was how I came to love olde music. He demands total commitment from his singers, and the results are breathtaking.
  • "About to Die" by Dirty Projectors
    Quirky, funky, lyrical.

Matthew Duvall, percussion

  • "Spondee" by Matmos
    Clarice Smith peeps: You realize asking for favorite tracks is an impossible task, right? Depends on the day, or the hour, or the minute, and at this particular minute, I chose this track because I'm thinking about my kids who crack up listening to this Matmos jam, so there you go.
  • David Lang: Memory Pieces: III. wed (performed by Danny Holt)
    Ok, fine, this little piece may actually be an all-time favorite. If the avant-garde music world has greatest hits, this is likely one of them, as close as the genre gets to a poignantly wrenching track like Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah in mainstream music. The poetry here is the David Lang doesn't need lyrics to make your eyes well up.

Listen to eighth blackbird's playlist

To listen, open the playlist in your Spotify player, or if you're already logged in to Spotify, use the Spotify widget below. You need a Spotify account to listen to this playlist. To open a free account, visit Spotify's website.