Jim Lange

Host - Classical Music with Jim Lange and Eclectopia

Jim has a Master's Degree in Guitar Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. His BA is in Music Education from West Liberty University.

He joined West Virginia Public Radio in 1998, working part-time on Sunday nights. This developed into original programming called Sunday Nights with Jim Lange. Around 2002, this became Eclectopia- a program that has become a WVPR staple.

Recently, a kind listener, called Jim "the mad scientist of cool music."

In 2007, he became host/producer of Classical Music with Jim Lange. He is also host/producer of Symphony of Ideas- a co-production with maestro Grant Cooper and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. He is responsible for both Classically Speaking and EclecTopia blogs.

He has interviewed classical greats such as John Eliot Gardiner. Joshua Bell, Hans Zimmer, George Crumb, Simone Dinnerstein, Erich Kunzel and many others.

In contemporary music, he has interviewed and produced shows about David Sylvian, Bill Bruford, Ralph Towner (2014) and jazz author Joe Goldberg.

Writing music, playing the guitar, taking pictures and the occasional written word piece amuses Jim to no end. His wife tolerates his discursive interests and scatterbrained lifestyle.

In 2013, Jim helped form Terra Firma, a group interested in contemporary music of an eclectic nature. Local musical luminaries such as David Porter, Ryan Kennedy, Lisa Peery, John Ingrahm and Scott Milam are the current lineup.

Terra Firma premiered  his sextet, "Brambles and Briers," as part of Kanawha United Presbyterian Church's Kanawha Forum in April of 2014.  People seemed to like it.

In September of this year, the Velvet Brothers, a band he was in long ago, had a twenty year reunion. People seemed to enjoy themselves.

His greatest accomplishment and that which gives his life real meaning is his loving wife, Beverly, who tolerates him. They have been married for 21 glorious years. She is a saint for doing this.

Wikicommons

"Technically, I think I'm a crap singer. I don't have the chops, but I know that I can move people and I can touch them. That interests me more."

The proliferation of  singing talent shows on American TV all suggest that prodigious vocal technique, along with the singing of as many notes (plus ornamentations) is the pinnacle of musical expression.

Wrong.

More is not better. Quality is not defined by quantity.

Kim Arnesen

To use common parlance: this is big stuff, a big deal and quite an honor.

Charleston-based Opus Chorale has been a given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give the American premiere of Norwegian composer Kim Andre Arnesen's Requiem Mass. "Arnesen is a rising star in the choral world," said Opus Chorale director, David Donathan, "and for us, this is a major coup."

Josh Saul

  When Ryan Kennedy picks up a guitar, people pay attention. Kennedy has released his debut CD titled Something to Say– a collection of nine original compositions. The 34-year-old Berklee School of Music trained Charleston native is a member of both the Bob Thompson Unit and the Mountain Stage Band.

The Ryan Kennedy Trio will be performing at his CD release party – Friday, March 27 at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, 702 Quarrier St, in Charleston at 8 p.m.

WikiCommons

The annual Grammys: annual display of crass commercialism or America's best given due recognition?

I am truly curmudgeonly when it comes to any discussion of the Grammys. Truth is, the Glammys are a hit-and-miss and very uneven theatrical event. This is more about what someone wears than the content of the music.

However, there are moments when the Grammys almost redeem themselves. Then there are moments when....eh...er...what?

The list of nominees. Here's my list:

The Return of the King

Feb 4, 2015
DGMLIVE

The return of King Crimson in 2014 was certainly a surprise to everyone. Robert Fripp, let's just call him the lightning rod of the group as well as its most consistent member, had devoted page after page in his online diary about the bliss of not having to endure what he calls the "wretched life of the professional musician." Fripp writes: "But mostly, the life of the working musician is wretched.

BBC

Brian Eno has called them "radio Dadaism," and ranks them among the best in British comedy. Eddie Izzard believes the Goons were the start of modern comedy. And Monty Python? Well, they idolized them. Count John Lennon and The Beatles, Firesign Theater and Prince Charles among their fans.

Jim Lange

A creative life or daily creative activity is a funny thing- fraught with missteps, miscues and misfires. It is not, as we might think, a Sturm und Drang artistic wrestle with the fates. It's far more practical and hilarious than that.

Occasionally, an amusing thought, often containing a bitter grain of truth, will pop into my head.This is a partial list of these nuggets of "wisdom."

1. Coffee helps. A lot.

2. Let your voice be the only one speaking in your head.

3. Create a space for silence. Music comes from there.

4. Listen, don't think.

The Velvet Time Machine

Oct 29, 2014
WikiCommons

"Let's get the band back together!"

Is this the battle cry of the midlife crisis? The rallying slogan point with those with far more paunch than punch? Is this just grown men, well past middle-age, trying to relive their youth and former glory? Is it a ridiculous idea fraught with potential hazards?

You double betcha.

Yes. But if you never try anything outside of your comfort zone, what good are ye to thyself?

PART 1. Good or bad idea?

It is estimated that 40 million Americans now practice yoga. If that isn't a cultural mind-shift, I don't know what is.

Beginning with the counterculture of the '60's, slowly, ever so slowly,  concepts like organic, vegetarianism, vegan, and meditation have taken hold in our commercial American culture. I have cynically said of my country that if Americans can't place a dollar amount on something, we are mystified. And spiritualism, in any form outside of the go-to-church-on-Sunday variety, is often dismissed.

Tonight is the last night of the KC Elements Tour. (Sadly, really regretfully, I could not attend any show.)

Most would say that the King Crimson Elements Tour of 2014 was a resounding success. Going through the reviews, all the ones I read were positive.

No surprise to me. This group was different from all my expectations (therefore, in my mind, exciting) and this very difference allowed them the freedom to explore the music in a new way. 

The Unseen Hand of God

Sep 24, 2014
WikiCommons

"If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if they (invertebrates-insects) were to disappear, the land's ecosystems would collapse.  These small creatures are within a few inches of our feet, wherever we go on land – but often, they're disregarded. We would do very well to remember them." ~Sir David Attenborough

Tony Levin.

A musician lives for music.

Perhaps better to say, for the 'experience' that music has to offer. More precisely, a musician lives to further clarify and deepen the relationship between themselves and that mystical experience when music removes us from any sense of time, ourselves, our obligations - all those encroaching weights that keep us aground.

A friend of mine, normally taciturn, expressed his experience after a joyous reunion of our old band:

Jim Lange

Symphony of Ideas: SEPTEMBER 25 at 12:15pm & OCTOBER 2 at 8pm. 2 hours.

Symphony of Ideas, a collaboration between WV Public Radio and the WV Symphony Orchestra returns this Thursday with a brand new program with many West Virginia connections.

This week's show is all over the musical map.

So, how's that any different from any other show?

Good point. This week we embrace funk, rock, alt folk and the once king of dances- the mambo.

Perez Prado was called the Mambo King. He is easily identifed by his famous grunts (Huh!) that you hear throughout the nearly-off-the-rails brass arrangements of his band.

Lest you think me being ironic with all this mambo business, thus embracing hipsterdom, I am not. This is fiery, vivacious, Latino music that gets me moving.

Tony Levin. Used by permission.

I know I'm a bit obsessed about this band. I get that.

To be perfectly honest, my tireless enthusiasm is founded on one basic idea: by comparison, every other band seems lame. When friends or family talk wildly about some country singer (yawn) or some muso drones on endlessly about a new hot band, I sigh internally. About 40% of the time, the music is engaging and I might even download it and roll it through the Eclectopian wheels. It's clever and catchy, but it pales by any comparison. It's not fair to do that, but music people are like that.

I am a dreamer.

Far worse when I was young when just about everything jolted me or made me fearful. To counterbalance, I developed a strong imagination. My mother told me that I never needed entertaining; that hours spent with clay, comics, TV or outside activities largely kept me engaged.

But my dreaming nature created a mind that easily left the room. In short, being truly present, controlling or crawling out of that dream state, was an issue that followed me through adolescence and well into my adult years.

King Crimson 2014: Joy?

Sep 3, 2014
dgmlive.com

"Everything you've heard about King Crimson is true. It's an absolutely terrifying place." ~Bill Bruford

King Crimson - a place where the music might resemble a tsunami, a typhoon, a hurricane and that's just the nice bits. King Crimson - where musical ideas such as acerbic Bartokian Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs, wicked bass lines and polyrhythmic drumming are commonplace. King Crimson - where the 21st century schizoid man roams in all his fractured red nightmares.

K Flay - Mixing It Up

Aug 27, 2014
K Flay

Channel surfing one night, I stumbled upon a video of a young woman performing on Carson Daley's Last Call.  She was rapping and singing what appeared to be original material. It was infectious.

Teacher, Teach Thyself?

Jul 30, 2014
Jim Lange

We are binge watching In Treatment, starring the marvelous Gabriel Byrne, and there is a relationship, in the most respectful terms, between certain elements of private counseling sessions and private music lessons.

Byrne's character, Dr. Paul Weston, is having all sorts of fits with his patients, his private life is fractured, and his detached therapeutic persona is shattered by the revelations of his own therapist, the bright and insightful Gina.

My life is nowhere near that level of upheaval, but there's no doubt I've had some strange encounters with students.

Dowland or O'Dolan?

Jul 17, 2014
WikiCommons

The man of mystery, the enigmatic composer and lutenist, John Dowland (1563 –  1626) has been on my mind lately.

Periodically, I go through these heavy Dowlandesque periods where I immerse myself in his profound songs, finger-tangling lute music or his soft and sorrowful music for viols.

You see, there are more than a few of us who believe that Dowland, among a myriad of other Renaissance composers, never get a fair shake in the world of classical music. They are largely ignored and it is duly noted.

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