The latest edition of "What Are You Listening To?" features some of the favorite music of composer Steve Escoffery. The 26-year-old from Seattle's picks range from abstract German strings to American indie rock.
His first selection is "Lass Mich Dein Pirat Sein," by the German group Nena, known for its 1980s hit "99 Red Balloons." This song is from the same era, and the title translates to "Let Me Be Your Pirate." Escoffery doesn't speak much German, but he enjoys the mellow sound of the music and the impressionistic feeling created by not knowing all the words.
Next up is a song by John Wesley Harding, a prolific indie singer songwriter who leans toward the literary. Escoffery chooses "Love's Reign of Terror" from the album Swings and Roundabouts. The song was inspired by a quote from Czech writer Milan Kundera, and Escoffery enjoys its ironic, yet poetic, feel.
The final main selection is "Verklarte Nacht" by Arnold Schoenberg, the German composer commonly identified with atonal music. Despite being written before Schoenberg went in that direction, the unique piece's first performance sparked a riot. Escoffery, who names Schoenberg as a major influence in his own compositions, includes an original work called "Sea of Tranquility" to round out his playlist.