Evening Music : September 2009

For the Love of Golf

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Television and film composer Earle Hagen began his career playing trombone in big bands during the 30's, and went on to be an orchestrator and arranger for 20th Century Fox studios. One of his most ambitious projects was to write music for the adventure series I Spy, the first time ...

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Live at the Greene Space

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tonight on Evening Music, Terrance McKnight will host a live concert event in WNYC's Jerome L. Greene performance space, featuring members of Ensemble ACJW and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The Ensemble ACJW is made up of fellows and alumni of The Academy – a ...


Dark Waters

Monday, September 28, 2009

Composer Ingram Marshall had a special interest in dark, oceanic deep sounds while writing his album Dark Waters, and decided to use the oboe d'amore (a Baroque version of the oboe with a low register) in his piece Holy Ghosts. Marshall found inspiration in an excerpt from Bach's Mass in ...

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Mountain Man

Sunday, September 27, 2009

When composer John Luther Adams began working on environmental protection upon graduation from Cal Arts, he ended up in Alaska in 1975 where his deep love of its wilderness led to his permanent residence there. The influence of Alaska's vast landscape has been a source of inspiration and emotion in ...

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Sweet Song

Friday, September 25, 2009

There aren’t many instruments that have had more names, varieties or as world-wide a reach as the hammered dulcimer. Literally meaning "sweet song" from the Roman translation, this stringed instrument (typically played with mallets), originated in Persia nearly 2000 years ago. Variations of the dulcimer can be seen and heard ...

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All the Rage

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bob Ostertag became an early success in New York City's collaborative improvisation scene, leading him in the late 70s to use sampling, tape manipulation and electric custom-made instruments. By the 80's, a politically-minded Ostertag moved to El Salvador to participate in the turbulent revolutions and counter-revolutions of South America but ...

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Bossa of Brazil

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Antonio Carlos Jobim (a.k.a. Tom) was the primary forced behind the Bossa Nova style, bringing it from Brazil to the rest of the world. Born in 1927, Jobim was a beach boy with a faint desire to be an architect, until he followed his instincts and took up music instead. ...


Cosmic Connection

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Detuned instruments, machines and warped 78 records: all among the fascinations of composer Annie Gosfield. She believes in the inherent beauty and musicality of unusual sources, and the instrumentation of her works can range from solo violin and satellite transmission to machines found in a German factory. Gosfield's journey down ...

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Counting Sheep

Monday, September 21, 2009

Imagine playing a melody with one note and then, with each consecutive repetition, adding an additional note until you reach the melody’s 65-note culmination. Then imagine doing that in unison, in a large ensemble and at breakneck speed. This is what you have in Frederick Rzewski’s Les Moutons de Panurge, ...

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Sounding Out

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Listening to sound is pretty essential for any musician. But some musicians go even farther by developing their own unique philosophies about it, and Slow Six is such a group. They describe themselves as life-long musicians sounding out a room together, and use amplified instruments coupled with computer software to ...

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Spiderman's Songs

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If there was a prize given out for the Professional Musician With the Most Unusual Hobby, Payton MacDonald would certainly take home the title. He's an arachnoculturist (fancy term for spider keeper) and proud owner of over 70 tarantulas, also giving a presentation at the 10th Annual American Tarantula Society ...

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Sparking the New Year

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tonight marks the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashanah, and we celebrate by playing music of traditional Yiddish, Sephardic and Oriental sources, arranged by guitarist Tim Sparks. A major inspiration for Sparks' album, Tanz, was the legendary Klezmer clarinetist Naftule Brandwein, whose authentic playing style and quirky personality made him ...

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Fascinating Rhythm

Thursday, September 17, 2009

American composer Michael Gordon's music is an outgrowth of his underground New York rock band experience combined with formal music training from Yale, so it's no surprise that he's obsessed with the nature of rhythm. Co-founder of the rousing ensemble Bang on a Can, Gordan has built his career on ...

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Perfect Passages

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fresh out of college in the mid-60's but still studying privately in Paris, Philip Glass lamented he didn't have enough exposure to world music- until he met Ravi Shankar, that is. The two immediately hit it off, resulting in a lasting friendship that led to their album together called Passages, ...

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Miniature Masterpiece

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze produced an enormous amount of pieces throughout his career, but what immediately catapulted him to fame in his country was his very first work, Minatures for string quartet. Tonight, we hear an arrangement of this piece for violin and chamber orchestra, enhancing what is already a ...

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Signature Songs

Monday, September 14, 2009

Composer Arturo Marquez became fascinated with music at an early age while listening to his father play mariachi and folk music in northern Mexico. Studying at the Mexican Music Conservatory and then awarded a scholarship to Paris, it wasn't long before Marquez developed a signature style rooted in his heritage. ...


Lutes in Translation

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toyohiko Satoh studied cello and guitar at the Rikkyo University in Tokyo in the early 1960's, but his love affair with the lute began soon thereafter, traveling all the way to Basel, Switzerland to study with his teacher of choice. Satoh went on to form an all-Japanese, Baroque-styled ensemble ...



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Violinist and composer David Balakrishnan, founding member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, has the ability to integrate classical string tradition with American folk, jazz, and Indian classical music in his compositions, breaking the boundaries of the traditional string quartet- and chamber music in general. While collaborating with the Ying ...


Souls of September

Friday, September 11, 2009

Many artists, moved by the tragedy of 9/11, were called on to create and dedicate work to honor the victims of the attacks. Composer John Adams was one of many who accepted such a call, and answered with his choral piece, On the Transmigration of Souls, which we hear tonight. ...

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Notable North

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Known for his modesty, composer Alex North was never the pushy, show-business type. But he still managed to accumulate 15 Oscar nominations and a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his work in the film industry. A gifted child musician, he developed a fascination with Russian music, and became the first American ...


Mr. Big

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Douglas J. Cuomo settled on composing when he moved to New York, after some years of touring with jazz groups (playing guitar) and studying world music. Taking on small projects in the beginning, he ended up taking the Big Apple by storm with his compositions for Broadway, television and the ...


School of Schoenfield

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Paul Schoenfield wrote his first composition while he still had his baby teeth, and now at age sixty-two, he's considered an original American composer who mixes classical, jazz and popular music forms- and adds his own twist. A staple in the orchestral and chamber music repertoire, the versatile Schoenfeld also ...

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Diggin' Higdon

Monday, September 07, 2009

American composer Jennifer Higdon has quite a few admirers, considering that her works are performed 200+ times each year, including even at the White House. Champions of her music stretch from conductor Robert Spano to violinist Hilary Hahn to ensembles such as the Atlanta and Philadelphia orchestras. It seems that ...


Write Road

Sunday, September 06, 2009

It seems like young violinist Colin Jacobsen is open to just about anything in the world of music. He’s an accomplished composer and has played with ensembles ranging from Yo-Yo-Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, the adventurous ensembles Brooklyn Rider and The Knights, and dance companies including New York City Ballet and ...

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Cage Uncaged

Saturday, September 05, 2009

On this day, 97 years ago, composer and class clown John Cage was born. In that year 1912, the Titanic also sank into the Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of China was created, and the 8-hour work day was established in the US. Clearly a lot has happened since that time. ...

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Age of Arnalds

Friday, September 04, 2009

Born in 1987, Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds has embraced the twittering age wholeheartedly. He recently recorded seven songs in seven days (one song per day), and released this series titled Found Songs immediately to the public via Twitter in April. A believer in mixing the classical, contemporary and pop genres, ...

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Sample Wizard

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Computers and software and memory, oh my! Composer Christopher Tignor loves to experiment with sound, and not just simply in the written score- he samples and transforms live performances with the signature computer software he designed himself. Core Memory Unwound, his new album, refers to memory- both the computer and ...

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Alternate Twining

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

With autumn now just around the corner, what better way to celebrate the approaching season than with a musical homage to our favorite macabre holiday? One of composer Toby Twining's best known piano pieces is his Nightmare Rag, where he uses a toy piano in a most sinister sounding way, ...

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Superman Symphony

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

There aren’t many who can lay claim to writing a symphony inspired by Superman, but Michael Daugherty has done just that with his Metropolis Symphony. Daugherty is known for writing evocatively titled concert pieces, such as Ghost Ranch, Shaken Not Stirred, and Dead Elvis. In tonight's selection, try to make ...

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