Music Picks: Music Day Out! 2021 and The Rising Duo concert

Rit Xu will perform an East-meets-West take on French composer Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto.
Rit Xu will perform an East-meets-West take on French composer Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto.PHOTO: RIT XU/INSTAGRAM

The Rising Duo

Home-grown jazz flautist Rit Xu is performing in a Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) concert in a joint show, The Rising Duo, with ruan player Jonathan Ngeow.

Xu will perform an East-meets-West take on French composer Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto, backed by the SCO.

Besides being a member of the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra, Xu is also bandleader and composer of The Rit Xu Group. In May, the group performed at the Taiwan International Flute Festival in Taipei.

The group also released in June their sophomore album, Scenes And Stories, comprising original songs inspired by Singapore's history.

Where: SCO Concert Hall, 7 Shenton Way, Level 1 Singapore Conference Hall and online through Sistic Live stream
When: Oct 23, 8pm. The online stream is available until Oct 31, 8pm
Admission: From $15 through Sistic (go to Sistic's website or call 6348-5555)

Music Day Out! 2021

An annual music festival by *Scape, Music Day Out! 2021 celebrates the movers and shakers of the independent music scene in Singapore.

The hybrid event features programmes that bring together musicians who are starting out and seasoned industry professionals.

There are also live performances by home-grown acts such as emo/math rock trio Forests, alternative rock band Coming Up Roses, progressive rock band Anechois and singer-songwriter Bennett Bay.

Fans who wish to catch the gigs live at *Scape will have to register for limited free tickets.

Where: *Scape, 2 Orchard Link and online on platforms such as YouTube
When: Oct 18 to 23, various times
Admission: Free
Info: *Scape's website


Friends That Break Your Heart

Friends That Break Your Heart is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter and producer James Blake. PHOTO: REPUBLIC RECORDS AND POLYDOR RECORDS

James Blake
4 stars

British troubadour James Blake is one of those rare specimens - a singer blessed with a soul-stirring voice who is also a consummate songwriter and an innovative electronic music producer.

All three abilities are brought to the fore in his fifth album, Friends That Break Your Heart.

Collaborators on his album include producers and songwriters such as Mount Kimbie's Dominic Maker and his girlfriend, Jameela Jamil, as well as rappers such as slowthai.

But make no mistake, it is Blake who shines the brightest.

English singer-songwriter and producer James Blake. PHOTO: JAMES BLAKE / INSTAGRAM

His singing, divine on its own, is often enhanced through the judicious use of voice modulation effect, while the lyrics delve into heartbreak and the complexities of relationships between friends and lovers.

These might be his most barefaced tunes to date, a collection of ballads as beautiful as they are bleak.