Classical music video no. 6

There are several young classical composers that critics are calling “indie-classical,’ because they combine the singer-songwriter sensibility of indie rock with classical music complexity and depth. Today you get three videos, all of “indie-classical” music:

Gabriel Kahane (b. 1980)works both as a classical composer and has a career as a singer-songwriter. Here’s a lo-fi DIY video that Kahane shot of himself performing “Neurotic and Lonely” from his song cycle “Craigslistlieder,” with words taken from an actual Craigslist personal ad. I’m not all that fond of this piece — it’s a little too close to mockery of people who place personal ads — but musically it’s pretty interesting (and it’s also the only video I could find of Kahane’s classical music). I could almost see using this song in a worship service on loneliness and urban alienation; maybe some of the other Craigslistlieder lack the nastiness of this song:


Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980) has written a successful opera, is part of the “all-female chamber rock quintet” Victoire, and is working on a multimedia work titled “Salt,” based on the story of Lot’s wife. In this video. Victoire performs Mazzoli’s work “Cathedral City.” The videography is a good example of what classical music videos could be like, with just a little more imagination.

And boy, I’d love to have this ensemble playing for a worship service: the music is relatively accessible, yet it also has real depth.


One last up-and-coming young composer is Judd Greenstein (b. c. 1979). Here’s an excerpt from Greenstein’s “AEIOU,” performed by the very talented vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. It’s Renaissance polyphony meets Tuvan throat singing meets a capella (but without any beatboxing). There’s a lot of potential here; I just wish the words were a little more interesting.

2 thoughts on “Classical music video no. 6”

  1. Thanks, David! While Newsome is another classically-trained musician who turned to the singer-songwriter scene, I was very interested to learn that she’s a serious harpist as well — which makes her somewhat unique.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *