top of page

10 Seconds: Julia Dos Reis

"Thanks, George, for inviting me to write some words on my chosen 10 seconds; very fun and interesting exercise! There were a few songs which I instantly knew I wanted to include, songs which I thought I knew very well, but in trying to discern 10 special seconds I found myself listening to familiar songs in new ways, finding new angles, and re-discovering reasons as to why I love them so much… it’s like, this song is great as a whole but where does it really hit?!?! There were many more I wanted to include, but here are my picks:" - Julia Dos Reis

1. Gil Evans - Las Vegas Tango (4'07" - 4'17")

From Gil Evans - The Individualism of Gil Evans (1964)

"I thought about this album immediately when coming up with my choices – I am completely enamoured by its sound world as a whole, and have chosen a moment which I think encapsulates it well. There are very distinct elements within expansive textures – a backdrop of huge reverberating drums (Elvin Jones in a concert hall) contrasted with the directness of screaming trumpets and punchy bassy trombones, laid out underneath a Kenny Burrell guitar solo. I get massive 60s vibes from this album, such strong colouring through Evan’s orchestration, taking us through cinematic narratives; I sometimes feel like I’m floating."

2. Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come (2'10" - 2'20")

From Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come (1961)

"I have transcribed and practiced a few of Miles’ solos and there are always phrases like this one, which, when playing them over and over, seem to effortlessly fall out of Miles’ trumpet perfectly formed, seemingly pre-composed. This is one of those phrases, sweet and a bit funky – I have tried sampling it as a loop in a composition of mine, and I think just quoting it as a melody would be awesome too."

3. Sonny Rollins - There Will Never Be Another You (4'08" - 4'18")

From Sonny Rollins - There Will Never Be Another You (Live at the Museum of Modern Art) (1965)

"Ooh such a joyous version of one of my favourite standards! A 16 minutes track…maybe the 10s ratio clip can increase?! Its length is partly why I love this version so much: it captures a number of Sonny’s spontaneous tangents, you can hear him wandering around and playing off mic, and a couple of false finishes followed by the band – it feels very live (a bit rough round the edges) but I think that all helps you imagine you were there at the scene. I need to fully engage when listening to this or else the last 5 minutes can get a bit lost in the background, but when I’m fully focused, I don’t want it to end!"

4. Joni Mitchell - Refuge of the Roads (4'22" - 4'32")

From Joni Mitchell - Hejira (1976)

Some of the imagery Joni creates in ‘Refuge’ blows my mind, it’s so evocative and transports me places; whilst I could have chosen a number of other clips, the verse which I went with really stands out for me:

“These are the clouds of Michelangelo

Muscular with gods and sun gold

Shine on your witness in the refuge of the roads”

I have fond memories of performing this album on a tour with The Nu Civilisation Orchestra, and ESKA interpreting Joni’s vocals. I remember ESKA talking about the challenges in learning these songs, dense with lyrics…of course she absolutely owned them!!"

5. John Lennon - Mother (4'54" - 5'04")

From John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)

"An example of John Lennon’s sometimes simple, purposefully childish, and yet hard-hitting lyrics (I could have chosen many other examples in this vein - Oh My Love, Imagine, Give Peace A Chance, O Yoko!). I think he does this paradox so well, always working in combination with the music (I don’t think his lyrics would have the same impact just read alone). I have chosen these 10s as an example of simple lyrics, but the vulnerable raw vocal delivery and process of attrition leave me stunned."

6. The Beatles - Something (1'16" - 1'26")

From The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)

"I had to include this song as every facet of it seems so perfectly formed - from the structure, to the guitar tone; and it’s a very nostalgic trip for me. So now I have a Lennon and Harrison, but unfortunately no room for a McCartney, which, for the record, is probably the Beatle I listen to the most currently. (And sorry Ringo!)."

7. Dirty Projectors - Gun Has No Trigger (3'08" - 3'18")

From Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan (2012)

" Picked partly for the backing vocals! (Which work neatly with this music video). The song is structured into 3 verse-chorus build ups, and the BVs compliment this by moving from closed mouthed ‘mmm’s’ to brash open mouthed ‘ahhh’s’!. I chose a clip from the last cycle of this form for its final climax where I think Dave Longstreth’s vocals are at most on edge."

8. Becca Stevens & Attacca Quartet - 2 + 2 = 5 (1'35" - 1'45")

From Becca Stevens & Attaca Quartet (2022)

"I had a shortlist of Radiohead/Thom Yorke songs I wanted to include but couldn’t fit on, so this Becca Stevens cover is a way to give a nod to Radiohead, whilst including Becca’s voice alongside the incredible arranging of Nathan Schram (Attacca’s violist ). I really enjoy this live video version too, seeing everyone’s faces - especially Becca’s – embody the music.

I take a lot of inspiration from this arrangement when thinking of creating different textures for my trio, it’s so punchy; Nathan and Becca do a really cool walk through the arrangement in a video, which I recommend ( My 10s are 1’35” – 1’45” when I first get the shivers, and the song takes off."

9. Caroline Shaw / Attacca Quartet - Plan & Elevation: V. The Beech Tree (1'43" - 1'53")

From Caroline Shaw / Attacca Quartet - Orange (2019)

"A recent contemporary classical hit! Needless to say this album has been a huge influence on my writing recently, and this track is probably the ‘hit single’. 1’43” is where the build peaks and releases into a soaring violin line accompanied by fervent cello string crossing. I think that section ends at the point of the golden ratio - maybe a coincidence - although I know that architecture is a big influence on Shaw (see the title: Plan & Elevation) so definitely could be an intentional way of designing the structure."


Follow Me
  • Facebook B&W
Featured Review
Newsletter - coming soon!
bottom of page