It’s a story about two female African-American musicians from the early 20th century. They have angelic voice but are rarely known by the public. Their records are few and their stories are no where to find—It’s a story about music and myth, and it’s ingeniously presented by the New York Times Magazine.
Since it’s a story about music, the article embedded music from the two musicians’ recordings. There are seven songs free for listening at the end of the article, which echoes the beginning. The article contains a few names of their songs and some line of the lyrics when introducing the music style of the two women, and I find it helpful to understand the context when having the corresponding music during reading. I like the producer’s effort in typing the lyrics out and showing them in the videos when the songs are played—It feels like watching a music video.
The layout is clear and well arranged. It’s essential to keep the style simple when you have so many things to present—videos, photos, captions, interviews and music. I noticed that the color of videos and photos are almost in the same tone—a faded brown or grey, which brings out a sense of past, and also matches with the style of the music. The photos are very carefully sized—not too large, not too small, nothing abrupt. The coherence is also in the opening image of the videos—they usually start with leaves and branches, and then move forward into the topic related to the context.
The story uses their songs to introduce the story behind the two mysterious musician, and there is no better way of doing it than showing the readers their music. The New York Times Magazine managed to do it, and they did it in an artistic and elegant way.