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Latest Episode / Thursday, August 28, 2014 Edit This

Link to the Old Style Via Donnacha Dennehy

For this New Sounds, John Schaefer catches up with the Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, who speaks about his musical theatre piece, “the Hunger,” based on the events of the Irish famine.
Segments and Articles

New Music Based on Gospel, Spirituals & Folk Hymns

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Listen to works inspired by gospel, early folk hymns, spirituals, and shape note singing on this New Sounds program.  There's an intense and shimmering setting by drummer Jaimeo Brown of the gospel hymn “Everything is Moving by the Power of God," which incorporates samples from the rural Alabama gospel group the Gee’s Bend Quilters from their 1941 and 2002 recordings.  On drums, Brown builds and highlights the ecstatic melody of the gospel group by way of crashy and tasteful washes of cymbals.  Then, as the sampled voices fade away, that build gradually gives way to pianist Geri Allen’s inspired and passionate improvisation on the melody of the tune.

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With Ludovico Einaudi

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Italian keyboardist and composer Ludovico Einaudi joins John Schaefer to present selections from his record, “In a Time Lapse,” recorded in a wooden room in a monastery near Verona, Italy. For this New Sounds, listen to selections from that record, as well as a liberal sampling of his music; from solo keyboard works to pieces featuring forward-thinking violinist Daniel Hope, to collaborations with kora player Ballake Sissoko and duduk master Djivan Gasparian from Armenia.

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World Music From Europe

Monday, August 25, 2014

There’s world music from Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, and other parts of Europe on this New Sounds show.  Listen to music from Caspian Hat Dance which suggests the Mediterranean, along with music that is Sardinian in origin, and music sung in Frisian, a language spoken only in the northern part of Holland.  Then, hear Czech music from Marta Topferova along with revolutionary gore songs and hardcore folk from Poland.  Plus, a mostly-immigrant, multi-ethnic band based in Italy reinvents music from all over the world, Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, and more.

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Extended Covers

Sunday, August 24, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear new works based on existing ones.  There’s a work by the 2012 Pultzer Prize winner, Kevin Puts - his Symphony No. 3, “Vespertine,” inspired by Icelandic singer Bjork’s album of the same name. Then hear a piece by John Halle based on two Thelonius Monk tunes, “Straight, No Chaser” and “Brilliant Corners.”

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As the World Drones

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hear drones from across the world and recent recorded history on this New Sounds. Listen to instrumental melodies over drones, vocal melodies and vocal drones, and sometimes the drone of the Earth.  To that end, there's music from guitarist John Abercrombie, something from the band Ergo, and a piece from Norwegian saxophone player Jan Garbarek accompanied by a wind harp.  All that and more.

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Gamelan-Inspired Music

Friday, August 22, 2014

For this New Sounds, there’s pattern music with interlocking rhythms, either drawn from Indonesian gamelan - those metallic orchestras and court ensembles from the islands of Java and Bali- or from the parallel “systems” music of Steve Reich and others.  Listen to music  from harpist Zeena Parkins and her new band-semble, the Adorables, who combine a core of harp with percussion and electronics for something completely unexpected.  There’s also music from NYC-based Patrick Grant who serves his post-minimalism with a twist of Rock and Balinese gamelan. Plus, hear the Celtic-Balinese tapestry of Matthew Welch’s Blarvuster and film music (not Tubular Bells) from Mike Oldfield, and more.

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West Meets West Africa

Thursday, August 21, 2014

For this New Sounds program, listen to a meeting of western music and the music of West Africa, as in music from the Beirut-born Raja Kassis or the Jewish Afro-beat party band Zion80, led by Jon Madof. There’s music steeped in the traditions of Mali and Senegal from New York-based guitarist born and raised in Lebanon, Raja Kassis, (who also plays with Blitz the Ambassador.) From his forthcoming record, HumanBEING, listen to “Aiisha,” inspired by a Curtis Mayfield tune, it incorporates an Ethiopian tune on cello around halfway through. Also, from Zion 80’s latest, “Adramalech,” hear “Metatron” – Jewish themes through the Afrobeat lens.

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Chamber Music With Turntables and Electronics

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Listen to electronic chamber music on this edition of New Sounds, including a suite for string quartet and diverse machines, chamber music with electronic and factory noises, as well as a work for violin, piano and the pre-recorded sounds of voices. From composer Randall Woolf, hear his piece “Bodegas” which uses violin and turntable over a bed of drum machine and synthesizers. Written for violinist Jennifer Choi, the work also incorporates found sounds recorded in a bodega.

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Bowed String Multiples

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Listen to music for multiple stringed instruments on this New Sounds.  Hear a work from “Recursions,” the solo record by violist Nicholas Cords, who is both a member of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.  Cords’ five-part suite, “Five Migrations,” builds looped melodies that range from the thoughtful to the propulsive, with stops at the Penguin Café and along the Silk Road.  There’s also music for multiple violins with music from Todd Reynolds, for multiple cellos by Zoe Keating, and perhaps music performed by double-bass player Robert Black of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

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Chamber Pop/Art Songs

Monday, August 18, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to orchestral and chamber music songs that don’t fit comfortably into the “indie” rock world, like music from My Brightest Diamond, Kaizers Orchestra, or Beirut.

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Lost Cities & Civilizations

Sunday, August 17, 2014

We’ll spend an hour listening to music from lost cities and civilizations on this New Sounds program.  Hear music by Turkmenistan-born Iraida Yusupova, with the title “Kitezh” – the invisible city of legend that appears in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera and a kind of Russian Atlantis.  It is said to have disappeared under water when Mongols were about to attack, and Yusupova suggests as much with theremin and tape.

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Electroacoustic Songs

Saturday, August 16, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear music by sean-nos singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, from a brand new recording, “Foxlight.”  The producer/guitarist Leo Abrahams is all over this unclassifiable album (Confessional ballad? Minimalist art-folk? Electro-Irish trad?), featuring electro-acoustic accompaniment to Ó Lionáird’s personal songs, sung mostly in Gaelic.  With a host of intriguing guest collaborators -composer Jon Hopkins, strings duo Geese, folktronica innovator Leafcutter John and fiddle and hardanger player Caoimhin O Raghallaigh- the violins, viola, cello, fiddle, guitars and keyboards are expertly woven into the epic electro-acoustic compositions.

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Choral Music, Gamelan-Style

Friday, August 15, 2014

Listen to music for chorus, "gamelan-style" on this New Sounds.  Japanese drummer and composer Yoshimi is the mastermind behind OOIOO, an improvisation-based project whose latest effort, “Gamel” revolves around voices and gamelan instruments, (with a bit of electric guitar and weird effects.) Yoshimi also drums for the Boredoms, helped curate the epic gatherings of drummers/percussionists between the two bridges in in 2007, “77 Boadrum” and “88 Boadrum” (on 8/8/2008), and is involved in many other musical ventures. [Yes, she is the enigma for whom the Flaming Lips album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" was named.] Listen to the gamelan-based wonder that is “Don Ah," from “Gamel,” the seventh record from OOIOO, which is all sorts of curious, and full of freewheeling manic energy.

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Non-Classical Music (Special Podcast)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to some non-classical music from classically-trained musicians, including an acoustic music quartet that is neither classical nor jazz - The 442s, comprised of members of the St. Louis Symphony, and jazz musicians. There’s also new music from Shara Worden, who records as My Brightest Diamond, from her brand-new EP, "None More Than You" scored for vocals, brass and percussion – something that can be performed with say – a marching band! Then, hear music by Andrew McKenna Lee with members of the Knells, some very cinematic work by the French-born London-based Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, and more music from the L.A.-based collective, wild Up. Plus, something from electronic musician/ sound designer/ producer/ programmer Michael Hammond, aka No Lands, as well as a tune from cellist Erik Friedlander. And more.

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Alone at My Wedding

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This New Sounds is all about party music from the Balkans, Near East, and Central Asia.  From the frantic and sweaty pop that provides the soundtrack for celebrations in Egypt, to Punjabi wedding music, it’s all here.  Listen to music from the Albanian horn band Fanfara Tirana, along with a Bjork tune arranged by Syrian pop legend Omar Souleyman.  Then there’s music from Egyptian DJs of the Cairo Liberation Front, and music from Brooklyn-based Punjabi sweaty-making party band, Red Baraat.  Plus, listen to the highly danceable Syrian electronic dabke music, also heard at weddings and parties.  And more.

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Cross Cultural Music From the Indian Subcontinent

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear a blend of western music & musicians with singers and instrumentalists from the Indian subcontinent; North and South India and/or Pakistan. Most unexpectedly, there’s a recently issued record, recorded in the late 1990’s, by guitarist Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran, Frank Zappa and Missing Persons fame together with the late Hindustani classical singer and sarangi (Indian box cello) player Ustad Sultan Khan. Then, listen to music from the late, great Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in collaboration with Canadian Michael Brook. Also, hear music from the South-Indian born American-based double-necked 10 string electric violinist and composer, L. Shankar.

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Female Voices

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There’s music for female voices, very often one voice layered atop itself on this New Sounds program. Hear the New York- and Sendai, Japan-based composer Aya Nishina’s work, “Flora”, a layered vocal offering of several singers, dedicated to the memory of March 11, 2011 (also called the Great Sendai Earthquake or Great Tōhoku Earthquake.) "Flora" features the voices of composer/bandleader Becca Stevens, composer Monika Heidemann, vocalist/composer/bandleader Sara Serpa,  and jazz singer Gretchen Parlato.

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African Crossover Music

Monday, August 11, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to musicians from Belgium, Switzerland, the U.K., and Italy working together with musicians living in Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.  Hear the late American slide guitarist Bob Brozman working together with Guinean kora player Djeli Moussa Diawara from a record called “Ocean Blues.” Then there’s music from another American guitarist Ry Cooder, collaborating with the late great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure, along with some Saharan desert blues from Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara.

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Cello and Voice

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Listen to music for cello and voice on this edition of New Sounds.   We’ll hear a few selections from "The Escape Artist," a new opera by composer, vocalist & cellist Robert Een.  He worked with Meredith Monk for fifteen years, culminating the creation of their hour-long music-theater duet, "Facing North," and his writing, including this opera, employs extended techniques for both voice and cello. 

 

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Christian Mysticism

Saturday, August 09, 2014

This New Sounds offers music from the Christian mystic tradition from the 12th to the 20th centuries.  There’s music from Dutch composer and lute player Jozef van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch, from their “Concerning the Entrance into Eternity,” with titles that come from Swedish scientist, philospher, & Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.  One of the works also contains poetry by the Spanish language poet and theologian (Saint) John of the Cross.

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