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Latest Episode / Friday, November 28, 2014 Edit This

40 Years (and more) of Kronos Quartet

Founding violinist of Kronos Quartet, David Harrington joins John Schaefer to take a retrospective look at 40 years of musical adventure.

British Choral Works

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hear choral works by three contemporary English composers on this New Sounds program, all of which invite comparisons between spiritual and mystical realms and that of reality on Earth.  Listen to Tarik O’Regan’s “The Ecstasies Above,” a setting of Edgar Allen Poe’s lyric poem Israfel (after the angel “whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures”), painting quite the vision of heaven versus that of the lowly human condition. Also, O’Regan’s work is unusually scored; for full chorus, string quartet, and 8 vocal soloists [two separate SATB quartets.]

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Hot Brass Band Party

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Listen to as much brass band music as we can handle on this New Sounds program.  From Egypt to Rajastan, from New Orleans to Benin, there's party music aplenty.  Hear music from the soundtrack to the film "Brasslands," documenting the pilgrimage of New York-based Zlatne Uste to the 50th annual trumpet competition in a tiny Serbian village, Guča.  Then, listen to the Gangbé Brass Band from Benin and their unexpected collaboration with the Belgian band Jaune Toujours.

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Orchestral and Electronic Music

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear electronic-inspired orchestral music from Ted Hearne and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, music that mixes orchestra and electronics from Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, and a work from Brian Eno as well. Listen to “Aeriality” for orchestra by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, which has echoes of her work with electronic sound. Also, from Thorvaldsdottir’s recent release, “Aerial,” hear a work for piano and electronics, “Trajectories.” 

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"Indie Classical" and "Garage Chamber" (Special Podcast)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hear so-called “indie classical” works on this New Sounds - music which is at home in both the contemporary classical music world and the indie rock/pop music halls, basements, and dive bars. Listen to the “NYC garage-chamber septet” The Cellar and Point, who use acoustic instruments and electronics to create a sound that is winningly melodic, thoughtful in its balance, groove-heavy, sometimes glitchy, and delightfully unpredictable as the septet straddles all kinds of genres. Members of the group also currently perform with JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Signal, and Mantra Percussion.  

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With The Touré-Raichel Collective

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Touré-Raichel Collective brings together Malian guitar virtuoso Vieux Farka Touré and Israeli pianist and singer Idan Raichel who met by chance at an airport in Europe. Following a concert in Tel Aviv, these friends got together for an impromptu session, producing a magical and creative acoustic global music which crosses boundaries of country, culture and tradition. Their second collaborative record, “The Paris Session” is just out this past September. For this New Sounds, the Touré-Raichel Collective visits the WNYC studio to perform works from their stunning collaborative sessions. 

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Tangled Web of Fiddling

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has fingered Irish music and its Celtic fiddling of being the connection between American folk music and classical music. In the North Sea region, the influence of the Scandinavian tradition with its Norwegian farmers and Vikings permeated the Celtic culture, more in Scotland than in Ireland.  The roots-web is even more tangled than that once the Italian contribution to the development of the violin is considered  (Antonio Stradivari in Cremona.) For this New Sounds program, listen to the shared musical territory between Celtic, Scandinavian, “early music,” & Appalachian fiddle music.

 

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Global Collaborations

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This New Sounds program highlights some unexpected global collaborations- including but not limited to- Uzbeki bluegrass, musicians based in Italy who meld North African and Bollywood music, and Mardi Gras marching bands coupled with Argentinean tango flair. Listen to a Creole tango from the Boston-based Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, who regularly ride the party train down to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

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Gated Music

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hear music made using noise gates on this New Sounds program.  How does it work?  Basically, when open, a gate allows you to hear the sound behind it, but when closed, you don’t.  (Here’s a handy tutorial about gates.) Listen to music from A. Leroy (Dick Connette) as he takes a recording of a Mardi Gras Indian song and through the use of gating, turns it into a rhythm track.  Also, hear Joshua Fried’s musical shoes, as played with drumsticks in the service of Linda Fisher’s piece, “Big Mouth,” featuring cartoon music and sound effects, from a live performance recorded back in 1990.

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New Sounds Live: Tubular Bells

Thursday, November 20, 2014

From the New Sounds Live Concerts, hear a new arrangement of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells by guitarist and singer Grey Mcmurray, with the Wordless Music Orchestra, as recorded this past October, at Brookfield Place. Oldfield's 1973 proggy, ambitious, almost symphonic set of variations on a theme is perhaps best known for its inclusion in the soundtrack to The Exorcist, which became a global hit for the then just-launched Virgin Records. Mcmurray’s world premiere arrangement of "Tubular Bells" uses an unreleased ending to the piece (narrated by our own host, John Schaefer, impersonating a drunk Vivian Stanshall) and supplements the original orchestration with electric violin and cello.

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Dispatch from the Metal Trenches

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sometimes the New Sounds All-Purpose Assistant stumbles upon really wonderful music and sounds that might not EVER get airplay on New Sounds. Perhaps because they are too easily categorized as metal. We already know that Schaefer is a Black Sabbath fan, but this latest crop of music goes beyond that classic heavy metal sound, drawing from chamber music (smaller than an orchestra, played in a room), and male / female choral writing, in addition to incorporating traditional folk instruments (hammered dulcimer and banjo.) Despite many of the artists below possibly being able to comfortably wear a cloak of black metal, these works could definitely straddle some genre fences, in the way that New Sounds should.

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Black Mountain Songs

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For this New Sounds, Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner, the co-curators of “Black Mountain Songs,” along with Dianne Berkun-Menaker, the director of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, join John Schaefer in the studio. Richard Reed Parry is a member of the Grammy-winning rock group Arcade Fire, as well as the chamber post-rock band Bell Orchestre. Bryce Dessner is also known as the guitarist for indie-rock band the National, as well as the improvising new music quartet, Clogs.

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Music With Echoes of the Near East

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

For this New Sounds show, listen to music redolent of the near East, with echoes of Turkey, Israel, Armenia, Persia and Egypt. Hear music from the French-born Klezmer clarinetist Yom, and his record “Silence of the Exodus.” The music tells the story of the departure of the Jews from Egypt by way of the sounds of Iranian percussion, the double bass and the clarinet, and modal cellos. 

 

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Fair Play for Women

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thematically, this New Sounds program goes for works by women. Listen to Juliana Barwick's recent record, “Nepenthe,” featuring countless fragments of her voice electronically layered to create soaring choral music.  Then, listen to selections from a song cycle by Leah Kardos based on themes of technology, loneliness and the human condition. All of the texts have been taken from a few years of collected spam emails.  

 

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Piano Plus...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear music from the duo Moon Ate the Dark, which is Anna Rose Carter (piano) and Christopher Brett Bailey (treatments.) Carter provides soft peals of piano and Bailey weaves them together with dark washes of reverb, and other subtle electronic processing. There's also glitchy ambient music from Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto along with music from the Hilary Hahn & Hauschka release, "Silfra." And more.

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Afrofunk, Afrojazz & Afropop

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hear the Ghanaian-rooted Afrofunk band KonKoma, (now based in the U.K.), along with recent releases and/or reissues of music from South, East, and West Africa. Sample selections from Zambian miners and minstrels, music from street musicians in Malawi, and some gorgeous acoustic Afropop from Mali.

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New Music for Duos

Friday, November 14, 2014

Listen to music for duos on this New Sounds show, including stunning and inviting works from harpist Mary Lattimore & synth/guitarist/producer Jeff Zeigler from their recent collaboration, "Slant of Light."  Also, hear music from Xylouris White, comprised of Cretan singer and lute player George Xylouris and drummer/percussionist Jim White (The Dirty Three, Cat Power, others), recorded and engineered by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi, Rites of Spring). Then, hear music by Paola Prestini from a new record by cellist Jeffrey Zeigler (formerly of Kronos Quartet), which features percussionist/composer Jason Treuting (So Percussion). Prestini's Listen, Quiet is a conversation between cello passages and drums, blocks, marimba, and what sounds like glockenspiel all layered over cuts of chattering groups of female voices.  Plus, music from the recent record by Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal, and more.

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New Sounds Live: The Knights & Bryce Dessner

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From the New Sounds Live Concert Series, listen to new music from a collaboration between guitarist/composer Bryce Dessner and the flexible NY-based orchestral collective, The Knights. Dessner is best known as one of the twin guitarists in the rock band The National, and when he composes, he draws on Baroque and Folk music, late Romanticism and Modernism, Minimalism and the Blues, winding these elements together with the urgency and directness of a guy in a top-notch rock band. Hear a new arrangement of Tenebrae, a piece originally composed for Kronos Quartet with vocals from singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens (appearing here via tape.)

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El Camino - a Musical Pilgrimage

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to music inspired by El Camino, the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, thought to be the final resting place of the Saint James. There’s music from the late Canadian violinist Oliver Schroer, who took the journey to “Finis Terra” (the end of the earth) on foot. He wrote pieces about it and took field recordings. 

 

 

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New Blues

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hear new blues on tonight's New Sounds, including music from the likes of Bobby McFerrin and the recent record "Spirityouall."  McFerrin takes two lines from Psalm 25, "'You know my eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare," and turns them into a deeply bluesy spiritual.  Also, listen to arrangements of Skip James and Charlie Patton blues by Chris Thomas King and the Soldier String Quartet.

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More All Over the World Music (Special Podcast)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Listen to music that brings together sounds of the Mediterranean, Southern Italy, and India, with Morocco, and the sounds of Balkans and Scandinavia. There’s music from the NYC-based band Dálava and their arrangements of folk songs, folksongs meticulously transcribed over 100 years ago by biologist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Vladimir Úlehla from one village in the Slovácko region of the Moravian countryside. Dalava is led by vocalist Julia Ulehla (Vladimír’s American great granddaughter) and guitarist Aram Bajakian, and features violins and the Moroccan gimbri. 

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