Listeners familiar with the music of Missy Mazzoli are unlikely to be shocked by her latest CD, Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt, which suggests the gentle, queasy motion of an ocean liner.
The a cappella octet Roomful of Teeth have trained in non-Western traditions and have collaborated with several fashionable composers. Hear the results on their debut album.
The prominent new music sextet called eighth blackbird performs music by Stephen Hartke, Thomas Ades, John Adams and Missy Mazzoli, featuring instruments like the flexatone and harmonica.
The tradition of the star performer-composer is as old as classical music itself — Beethoven on the piano, Paganini on the violin. But Mason Bates isn't a virtuoso of the organ or the lute. The role of the performer and the role of the composer have changed: Bates's instrument is the laptop.
The music on this disc, by a range of rising young composers, is nothing short of gripping from the first note to the last, and it's thanks largely to the intense focus of these highly individual musicians.
Philip Glass began composing for organ early in his career, and in a way, he never really stopped: His orchestration bears a resemblance to the tradition of Bruckner or Franck, treating the sections of the orchestra like the stops on an organ.
Philip Glass is one of the only living classical composers, if not the only one, to have achieved any kind of popular celebrity. For people who "don't listen to classical music," his name still evokes his instantly recognizable musical signature.
As the circumstances of composer Viktor Ullmann's life became more brutal, his music only became lovelier, more polished, and more playful this new recording indicates.
Jacob ter Veldhuis, the Dutch composer better known as JacobTV, comes as close to pop art as classical music is ever likely to get. Borrowing the "speech-melody" technique of Scott Johnson and Steve Reich, he loops sampled conversation to form the basis for his music.
A decade or two before post-minimalism became the lingua franca of emerging American composers, the young Michael Torke was already building his career on it. Learn more about Torke and listen to the composer himself introduce many of his key works.
Listen to the new all-Pärt disc by Estonia's Voces Musicales all this week. Selections range from Sol LeWitt–like spareness of Summa to the sweetness and pathos of Magnificat to the darker, denser textures of the title track.
Tan Dun's teacher, student of Edgard Varèse, Chou Wen-chung stands at the intersection of Asian and European traditions, of old and new logics for cross-cultural listening.
It will be hard to keep Latvian composer Peteris Vasks's passionate, yearning, eminently accessible music secret here much longer. Read Daniel Stephen Johnson's portrait and listen to the composer introduce his own music.
There's hardly a DJ alive who hasn't slowed a vocal down, or sped it up, to fit another beat, while keeping it in the same key. This landscape is the place where composer Jacob Cooper calls home.
"Lowell Liebermann," wrote one critic, "has achieved a reputation of writing some of the most melancholy, even gloomy, music on the planet." Why was this, the writer wanted to know—had something terrible happened to him that wasn't hinted at in his biography?
Composer/guitarist Scott Johnson is an inventor of a technique of generating a piece of music based on recorded speech and approximating it with musical notes.
Some of Ingram Marshall's earliest recordings are of solo, semi-improvised performances, playing an Indonesian flute and singing falsetto to an accompaniment of prerecorded electronics and live tape delays. They are mesmerizing—thick, swelling, fragrant clouds of music.
While it is true that Tyondai Braxton's father is the revered composer and improviser Anthony Braxton, their music might as well come from two different planets (neither of which is Earth). Light-years away from his father's liberated, happily baffling ensemble experiments, Braxton fils sounds more like a long-lost son of Zappa, his compositions as gaily colored, as rigidly constructed, and as outrageously, extravagantly pop as a life-size sculpture in Lego blocks.
The Bang on a Can collective—Michael Gordon, wife Julia Wolfe, and fellow Martin Bresnick student David Lang—took a shared fascination with modernist dissonance, minimalist process, and rock volume, and turned it into a new kind of New York institution. They founded festivals and a record label, and collectively composed evening-length works like the oratorio Lost Objects (2001) and the opera Carbon Copy Building (1999).
Phil Kline is a composer of the Bang on a Can generation, championed by that collective and sharing with them good deal of common aesthetic ground, fusing an experimental sensibility and minimalist processes with rock sonics and vigor.