There's music recorded in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on this New Sounds program. Composer/vocalist Meredith Monk has just returned from a trip to India and Bhutan where she obtained recordings of young musicians striving - via the talent show, "Bhutan Star,"- to keep the traditional sounds of Bhutanese music alive. The program is an "American Idol"-esque talent show which forces contestants to sing the nation's fading traditional songs.
Recent Episodes and Articles
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Listen to some music by bass players on this New Sounds. Hear the orchestral double bass, as represented by German bass player Eberhard Weber, along with the electric bass guitar, represented by the Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg. There's also music by California bass player Michael Manring, whose signature instrument, the hyperbass, he helped to develop and is designed for limitless altered tunings. Plus, music from bassist/composer and jazzer/rocker Ben Allison (composer of NPR’s On the Media theme) and more.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Listen to music from the Armenian diaspora on this New Sounds program. Hear the duduk, that distinctive double reed instrument, by the “Master of the Duduk,” Djivan Gasparyan, in many different combinations, from Gasparyan’s collaboration with Canadian-American producer Michael Brook’s electric guitar, to a work featuring the cellist Maya Beiser. Then, hear Gasparyan’s duduk in a work by the Italian pianist/composer Ludovico Einaudi. There's also music from the recent release by violist Nicolas Cords (of Brooklyn Rider) playing a work by Alan Hovanhess.
Monday, May 20, 2013
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.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Philip Glass’s opera “Kepler,” about the German astronomer and mathematician who identified the elliptical orbits of our solar system, was written expressly for Landestheater Linz and Linz09. Glass based his compelling and complex score on the astronomer’s conviction that “without genuine knowledge life is dead.” On this New Sounds, we’ll hear selections from “Kepler” along with music from the Alloy Orchestra.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
For this New Sounds, we’ll have at least a double-helping of guitar music, featuring some solo works by Marc Ribot intended as music for films: some are adaptations of music he has actually written for films, others for classic silent movies that he scored for his personal amusement, still others for films of his own imagination. These haunting and wistful pieces explore, as Ribot says, "the strange area between language and spatiality that exists partly in between music and visual image, and partly as a common property of both."
Friday, May 17, 2013
For this New Sounds program, hear music that falls in the space between classical and pop, as well as in the small hollow between chamber music and folk. There’s electronic chamber pop music by composer Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) for yMusic, the versatile composer/performer collective, and some post-rock from the Arcade Fire’s multi-instrumentalist, Richard Reed Parry, in the guise of the ensemble, Bell Orchestre. We'll also expand the folk umbrella to include traditional instruments of Korea and Japan making chamber music.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
For this New Sounds, John Schaefer catches up with the Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, who also presents some of his latest music including a bit of his multi-media musical theatre piece, “the Hunger.” Based on the events of the Irish famine, this opera-in-progress incorporates the unaccompanied Irish vocal music called Sean nós, like Dennehy’s previous work, “Grá agus Bás.” In “The Hunger,” however, Dennehy knits vintage recordings of sean-nós into the piece and uses the writings of American non-conformist Asenath Nicholson to inform the main narrative.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Italian keyboardist and composer Ludovico Einaudi joins John Schaefer for this New Sounds program. Einaudi’s latest effort is “In a Time Lapse,” recorded in a wooden room in a monastery near Verona, Italy. 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.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
For this New Sounds, we’ll listen to songs with a twilight feel – that is, evening songs. We’ll hear songs, both old and new - by Henry Purcell along with songs by Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake- featuring baroque harp, Swedish Nickelharpa, and viola da gamba on a record called “If Grief Could Wait.” The project is a collaboration between baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi and the Swedish singer Susanna Wallumrød.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Listen to music from the steppes of central Asia on this New Sounds. Hear the overtone singing of Huun Huur Tu colliding with the New York folk/world group Hazmat Modine. There’s also music from the Mongolian group, Hanggai, recorded in the WNYC studios. Hear music by Russian composer Anton Batagov and a Buddhist monk from Republic of Kalmykia. Plus, listen to other voices from the Eurasian steppes, including a singer from the Russian region of Buryatia, Namgar Lhasaranova, whose 4-person group goes by “Namgar,” and performs traditional Buryat and Mongolian music.