Category: classical music

New Video: Introducing the Gorgeous and Brooding Sounds and Visuals of Quietwater

Comprised of  classically trained cello Michelle Elliot Rearick  who has collaborated with a diverse list of acclaimed artists including Adele, Nas, Erykah Badu, and H.E.R. and producer and drummer Colin Ingram, who has worked with Living Legends’ Luckyiam, Terra Lopez and Vast Air among others, the California-based duo Quietwater write moody and ethereal compositions featuring classical cello arrangements over hip-hop like breakbeats. The duo’s debut, self-titled EP is slated for a November 16, 2018, and the EP’s latest single “Overcast,” is a cinematic track that will further cement their reputation as its centered around a gorgeous and melancholy cello arrangement and boom bap-like breakbeats that brings the Detroit-born, Los Angeles-based beatmakers and Chilly Gonzales’ The Unspeakable to mind. 

As the duo’s Colin Ingram says of the song and its inspiration, “I was improvising with a couple friends. One friend on guitar, one friend on drums, I was playing a synth. We recorded it. My friend Cory who was playing drums always talked about how much he loved the song. Cory decided to end his life when he was faced with an overwhelming amount of life’s let downs and depression. When I met Michelle the first thing I wanted to do was remake this song we had recorded and honor Cory in a more complete and cinematic way. This song means so much to me and it gives Cory eternal life as far as I’m concerned.”

Interestingly, the recently released video features cinematically shot landscape footage superimposed with psychedelic imagery that manages to emphasize the song’s brooding nature. 


Born in rural Vermont and currently based in Atlanta, GA, Nick Takenobu Ogawa is a classically trained cellist and composer, who writes, records and performs under the moniker Takénobu. As the story goes, Ogawa was raised in an extremely small town with a population of about 1,000 residents — and as a result, the cellist and composer grew up playing in the woods, since he had no next-door neighbors and had no cable TV. His parents were professors at Middlebury College, and when Ogawa turned 6, they introduced him to cello, and he took private lessons and practiced religiously until he had turned 18. But after 12 years of study and orchestral playing, Ogawa began veering away from classical music and started focusing on a self-taught style of play that borrowed techniques from his guitar playing and composition based on a variety of roots and world music influences.

Ogawa moved to Kyoto, Japan, where he spent a year experimenting and cultivating his unique playing style and sound — until he had suffered a wrist injury from intense practice. He then wound up attending Haverford College in Philadelphia where he graduated with thoughts of entering law school; however, instead of studying for the LSAT’s and preparing applications, Ogawa moved to Vancouver, BC, where he recorded his full-length debut album. He then moved to Brooklyn and won the 2006 Williamsburg Live singer/songwriter competition and with the winnings he was able to release his 2007 debut effort, Introduction. The album was released to favorable reviews but didn’t gain much exposure.

Frustrated and despondent, Ogawa was close to giving up on pursuing music. But just before his own deadline, the Vermont-born, Atlanta, GA-based cellist and composer submitted his debut effort to Pandora. And ironically enough, just as he was about to give up was the exact moment that he started to see increasing press attention and commercial success; in fact, thanks to Pandora’s recommendation algorithm, in the four year period between 2007-2011, Introduction received enough streams and sales that Ogawa was able to focus on music full-time, releasing three more full-length album. Adding to a steadily growing national profile, Ogawa’s music has received airplay on NPR‘s Morning Edition, has opened for Kishi Bashi and performed and arranged cello on Dessa‘s “It’s Only Me.”  

Reversal, Ogawa’s fifth full-length effort is slated for a February 12, 2016 release and the album’s first single “Curtain Call” pairs a gorgeous and moody cello composition with Ogawa’s achingly plaintive vocals singing about a relationship that has come to an inevitable conclusion, and both sides have recognized that they have to part — perhaps forever. Sonically speaking the song employs the use of several different layers of cello to create a lush and yet spectral arrangement that emphasizes the melancholy sense of acceptance at the core of the song.





New Video: The Hip-Hop and Classical Music Sounds of The Bay Area’s Ensemble Mik Nawooj

Formed and fronted by classical trained Korean composer and pianist JooWan Kim, the Bay Area-based hip-hop collective Ensemble Mik Nawooj  have received attention and praise from several media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, SF Weekly and East Bay […]