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Posted by: | Posted on: March 2, 2021

Watch Holly Bowling’s Beautiful Take On Grateful Dead’s “Unbroken Chain” [Premiere]

first_imgHolly Bowling continues to wow fans everywhere she goes, taking on the catalogs of jam greats like Phish and the Grateful Dead in a totally unique manner. A classically trained pianist from San Francisco, Bowling first caught the jam scene’s eye with her solo piano interpretation of the famed “Tweezer” jam from Lake Tahoe in 2013.Praise for Bowling’s technique only grew from there, as she eventually released a full album of Phish interpretations called Distillation Of A Dream. Naturally, Bowling set her sights on the jam scene founders themselves: the Grateful Dead.“The Grateful Dead’s music lends itself easily to a solo instrumental interpretation in part because it’s music with intricate songwriting,” says Bowling. “That’s a big piece of it, as anything too repetitive would be difficult to arrange in this format. But more importantly, I think it works because of the depth of emotion expressed in the music.”The pianist is set to release Better Left Unsung on December 9th, a two-CD/three-vinyl album that explores the music of the Grateful Dead in solo piano composition form. You can read all about the album, and find pre-orders, here.With the new album coming out so soon, we wanted to get fans excited by sharing some of Bowling’s foray into the Dead’s catalog. We’re excited to premiere a brand new live video of Bowling’s interpretation of “Unbroken Chain,” played at the Lost Sierra Hoedown on September 24th in Johnsville, CA. Enjoy below!Bowling takes us inside her love of the Grateful Dead and scoring their music. “With solo piano music, and classical music in general, I love the structures and intricacies of composition, but it’s the emotional expression and unspoken human-to-human connection expressed in it that really makes me fall in love with a piece of music. The Dead’s music is just full of that. I feel it. Everyone who loves the Dead’s music feels it. And I think part of the reason my reinterpretation works is because this music resonates with me and holds a lot of meaning. It’s easy to open up and make that connection and pour emotion into these works. And you can feel that when you’re listening. It’s all about connection and expression of human emotion.I don’t mean to downplay the beautiful songwriting–that’s a huge part of it too. The chord changes in “Unbroken Chain,” for example, are unexpected and stunningly beautiful. I feel just as strongly about them as I do about Schubert’s surprise turns of harmony, and he’s one of my absolute favorite composers. They hit me the same way. But even then, we’re back to emotion again! It’s music that makes you feel something, deeply. It’s powerful.”We can’t wait for Better Left Unsung to be released on December 9th, and we also can’t wait to see Holly performing at the upcoming Brooklyn Comes Alive festival on October 22nd. Brooklyn Comes Alive brings over 50 musicians to three venues in Brooklyn, pairing them in exciting super group formations throughout a day full of excellent music. With musicians from The String Cheese Incident, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Disco Biscuits, Dead & Company, Snarky Puppy and more – including Holly Bowling – don’t miss out. Tickets can be found here.For more about the Better Left Unsung album, including pre-orders, head here. The full tracklisting and Holly Bowling’s upcoming tour dates can be seen below.Better Left Unsung TracklistingHelp On The Way > Slipknot!Franklin’s TowerCassidyBird SongWharf RatUnbroken ChainCrazy FingersCryptical Envelopment > The Other OneRow JimmyTerrapin Station (Suite)Eyes Of The World (6/18/74 Lousisville, KY)China DollDark StarHolly Bowling’s Upcoming Tour DatesOct. 22 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Comes AliveOct. 23 – Beacon, NY – The Towne CrierDec. 31 – The Cutting Room – New York, NY[Photo by Jessie Bell]last_img read more

Posted by: | Posted on: September 29, 2020

Santander pension fund closes in on £10bn after 18% return

first_imgThe £9.5bn (€13.2bn) Santander UK Group Pension Scheme saw an investment return of 17.7% over 2014 as its commitment to real assets proved successful and the scheme lowered risk.The pension fund, which provides retirement benefits to more than 60,000 former and current bank employees, saw its investment return outstrip the 13.3% seen in 2013.It said investment performance was ahead of its benchmark and came as the fund increased hedging levels to nearly 60%, and decreased costs through simplifying administration.Director of pensions at Santander UK, Antony Barker, said there was still a funding deficit in the scheme, which was not helped by falling interest rates – something the fund did not expect to change any time soon. The scheme’s discount rate dropped 90 basis points to 3.6% over the year.“Our fund is close to £10bn now, and we agreed to reduce our quoted equity exposure by a further 5% in favour of real assets, which we have been securing around the globe,” Barker said.Its property fund increased by £296m and now stands at £1.1bn, including a range of properties across the UK and eight new commercial, housing and industrial properties.Barker said the fund continued its approach to find the value in “hairy deals”, which require additional active management.But he added that each new deal had a clear and detailed business plan and exit strategy.The fund owns a concert venue in Manchester, which added a 24.6% return after the Santander scheme launched a raft of changes to the arena and helped increased revenue via advertising.It also implemented a new approach to investing in hedge funds, shifting its entire allocation to hedge fund strategies into the equity of hedge fund managers.“As pension funds worldwide questioned the value in the fees paid to hedge fund managers,” Barker said, “Santander has sought to benefit by reinvesting the proceeds from its own hedge fund exposure into the equity of hedge fund managers themselves – one of the first European pension funds to do so.”Alongside the fund’s plan to shift equity exposure to real assets, it also boosted exposure to government index-linked debt, with total exposure now at £2.5bn from £2bn in 2013.Last week, it acquired a 4% stake in Eurostar, the London to Paris and Brussels train operation, after the UK government sold its stake as part of its privatisation plan.The stake was purchased by Hermes Infrastructure as the asset manager secured a 10% stake on behalf of Santander scheme and other UK pension funds.The common investment fund, the amalgamation of six pension schemes brought together by Santander’s banking acquisitions, said last year it would reduce investment risk as the funding level improved.On an accounting basis, the pension fund is now showing a £116m surplus at the end of 2014, a shift from the £554m deficit seen a year earlier.Read IPE’s interview with Anthony Barker on the scheme’s investment strategy implementationlast_img read more