Track of the Day: 'Power'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Last week, two of my favorite contemporary American musicians performed together at a Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco. The first, of course, was Caroline Shaw, a visionary American composer and the youngest-ever Pulitzer Prize winner for music. She’s also a member of the experimental vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

Oh and the second is Kanye West.

Above, you can watch a shakily filmed but still, I think, thrilling video of their performance together, which President Obama was a spectator to. Alex Ross, the classical critic at The New Yorker, gives context:

The hip-hop artist Kanye West has lately taken an interest in the music of Caroline Shaw. West was present for Roomful of Teeth’s rendition of Shaw's Partita at Disney Hall last May and went backstage to meet the performers. In September, he invited Roomful of Teeth to join him at a show at the Hollywood Bowl.

To which I can only add: Caroline. Yeezy. Please, please record together.