The Night... The Love...

Lights... Camera... ACTION.

You’ve asked for more behind-the-scenes stories, so here you go! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re revisiting the second movement from Rachmaninoff's Suite No. 1. "The Night... The Love..." paints an evocative picture of a passionate nocturnal tryst. We absolutely adore this piece, as do our mothers: they personally requested the suite for our recent Mother album, claiming it as one of their favorite works that we perform.

During the early planning stages of video-making, we allow our imaginations to run wild, and this time was no exception; we browsed countless locations in the quest for a beautiful and unusual setting. For this video, we decided to keep it simple and selected a stark studio, the darkness only to be illuminated by glowing bulbs.

(Throughout the planning process, our minds kept wandering to our New Music • New Video composition competition; we're currently looking forward to sharing the video-making experience with the winner of our competition, Edgar Ordóñez!)

When the time came to shoot, we realized our "simple" concept involved some major challenges. Hanging the lights was super difficult despite drawing up a detailed lighting plan. We had dozens of light strings hanging from hooks and nails, taped this way and that, plugged in all over the studio. The slightest bump or breeze would send the lights swaying precariously at inopportune times and we found ourselves constantly tangled in the lights. And at one point only half of them were working! 😅

As frustrating as the lights could be, the shoot was a blast overall and the effect mirrored what we envisioned: two lovers draped in an ethereal blanket of stars. We had a fantastic experience with Cherry Soda Studios in Eagle Rock, CA, and STEINWAY & SONS Los Angeles were amazing, assisting so generously with the gorgeous pianos.

We're very happy with how the video turned out, and we hope you enjoy it, too. Let us know what you think in the comments below and on social media!

And the winner is...

new music new video winner announcement c.jpg

After much deliberation and several emotional, sleepless nights of judging, we’re thrilled to announce the winning piece of our New Music New Video composition competition: "Fuga allucinata" by Edgar Ordóñez! 🏆

Our judging criteria was always simple: find the piece that most excites us. We asked for very little personal information from our applicants because we hoped to connect with the winning composer based solely on the music. Meanwhile, our competition administrator made note of the stats she picked up from email signatures and social media.

We found our 46 entrants hailed from around the world, many with impressive resumes and compelling personal stories. The winner, however, is something of a mystery! We're unable to find performances of his music online and only know the minimum details requested in the application.

Edgar’s win is truly all about his thrilling music. “Fuga allucinata” is bold and compelling (and a bit daunting to play 😅). We can’t wait to meet our mysterious music video muse and collaborate together.

We received so many phenomenal compositions that it was extremely difficult to pick a single winner. Kudos to our runner-up, J Diaz (@diazsounds), who overwhelmed us with his intense and haunting "an incomplete autobiography".

Once again, our deepest gratitude and heartiest congratulations to all who participated. We are absolutely floored by your talent, passion, and generosity. Between now and the debut of the music video featuring the winning composition, “Fuga allucinta,” we’ll showcase excerpts from a few of your amazing pieces on social media. It’s been our great pleasure and honor to connect with you all in this way, and we’re only getting started. 😘

-Greg & Liz

UPDATE: New Music New Video

The entry period for our New Music New Video composition competition has closed and submissions are in.

Our heartiest congratulations to the 46 composers who participated—women and men between the ages of 18 and 79, hailing from 18 countries spanning 6 continents! Check out the countries represented below:

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Canada

  • China

  • Columbia

  • England

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Italy

  • The Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Romania

  • Scotland

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • USA

We received the incredible news while on our most recent music video shoot. Now we’re in heaven playing through the new compositions and can’t wait to share the results. We’ll announce the winning composer on November 15, 2018.

It’s been an absolute pleasure bringing these new works to life on the keyboard. Thank you all for your passion, participation, and support. 😍

The Mambo!

Musical Mixology is back with a fun and festive Caribbean cocktail in honor of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday (this Saturday, August 25, 2018)! A zesty twist on a classic rum punch, we crafted The Mambo's big flavors to match the bold rhythms and sassy kick of the "Mambo" from Lenny's West Side Story.

The sweetness of fresh tropical juices reside at the forefront of this cheery tribute, and they're perfectly balanced by the subtle heat of homemade ginger syrup and Puerto Rican spice. Whether you're looking for a little liquid courage (to help make your way to the dance floor!) or extra pep in your step, a couple quick shots are the perfect accompaniment to your favorite rendition of Bernstein's "Mambo."

THE MAMBO!

Yield: 1 full cocktail (or 3-4 small “shooters”)
 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bacardi White Rum (or another Puerto Rican white rum)
  • 1.5 oz orange juice
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup (see below)
  • dash grenadine
  • pinch adobo seasoning (Puerto Rican spice blend)
     

Instructions

Combine the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled glass (or shot glasses, if making shooters!) and sprinkle with a pinch of adobo seasoning. A store-bought bottle of this Puerto Rican spice blend provides plenty of punch, but you can also easily whip up a homemade blend from equal parts of these common ingredients: black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
 

Ginger syrup recipe

Add 1/2 cup fresh ginger juice with 1 cup superfine sugar to a blender and blend until sugar is dissolved. Make fresh ginger juice with a juicer or by finely grating fresh ginger, wrapping it in a thin cotton towel or cheesecloth, and squeezing out the juice.

This is the perfect recipe for summer entertaining! It's a breeze to prepare in a big batch for parties and is also delicious as a family-friendly virgin cocktail. By simply replacing the rum with coconut water, you can craft a zippy juice cocktail that everyone can enjoy.

Bottoms up!

-Greg