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Weekend Audition: Pink, Green, Violet & Orange

Coldplay - "Mylo Xyloto" released on October 25, 2011
Coldplay - "Mylo Xyloto" released on October 25, 2011

How about some "colorful" music in this vivid holiday season? An intoxicating mix with Pink Martini, Michael Torke, and Coldplay...

They’ve actually sold a couple million albums…. Founded in 1994 to perform at progressive political fundraisers, the Portland, Oregon-based group, Pink Martini, always serves up their musical cocktails with a twist. For example, last year's holiday release, "Joy to the World," opens with an English version of Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas" with Marilyn Monroe-esque crooning, then a Japanese version of this chestnut! In case you missed it on PBS, here’s a taste of Pink Martini beyond the holidaze.

On another slightly curious note, NPR just released their “100 Favorite Songs of 2011.”First on their list is "Fiji" -- "a 17-minute sashay through Michael Torke’s deliriously colorful,  imaginary tropical landscape.” I confess being a long-time fan of this inventive composer. True, some called a new unveiling by him, “Torke’s turkey,” but his rhythmic and percussive orchestral soundscapes are like nothing you've likely heard. Perhaps that’s because he’s a rare fellow, a synesthete - he sees colors when hearing music.  Hence, his pieces are often so named: Bright Blue Music, Charcoal, Ecstatic Orange. Here’s a performance of Michael Torke’s "Green."

Keeping our colorful theme, how about violet now --"Violet Hill" by England's Coldplay from their previous project. Their latest album is called Mylo Xyloto, of which Q Magazine said:  "Music this uplifting, this inspirational, belongs among the stars."

(Oh, I can't resist: If you're partial to orange, check out the Annoying Orangeseries on YouTube for light-hearted fruity grins in this fruit-cake season.)

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