I always ask people what do they listen to, and what’s the book on their nightstand. Michael Vuscan’s playlist was so good that I forgot to ask about the book.
I’m wired for it; that’s what we did when I grew up in the dark ages of communism: music and books. But now I am Canadian for almost 20 years, so I begin with “how are you? What are you up to?”. “Nothing much”, says Michael Vuscan over a February 2019 morning Starbucks at the snowy corner of Yonge and Davisville in midtown Toronto. A self-released album and three blockbuster documentary soundtracks in the past 3 years is a tad more than ‘nothing much’, but this is Michael: an extraordinary artist modest to the bone.
As an artist who plied his trade over several decades and time zones (he keeps tight connections with his native hometown of Timisoara in Romania), Michael is not an easy guess when it comes to his current playlist. We went to see Gilad Hekselman at The Rex a few days ago, so that was a safe bet. He also drove me to a Toronto west-end rehearsal basement to serve as a fly-on-the-wall for one of his (yet nameless) projects, so coming out of it I expect at least one ECM track on his playlist. But the rest is wide open.
Here is what he came up with (click here to launch it in Apple Music):
It surely is a balanced hour of high grade contemporary music. America and Europe come together with no conscious effort paid to genre division, or the time the record was published: just a perfect flow.
You can reach Michael via his website. If you want to publish your playlist on this site, please use the contact form on the top right.