New Sounds : December 2012


Monday, December 31, 2012

Pre-empted by "Radio Deluxe," a New Years Eve special, with musician John Pizzarelli and singer Jessica Molaskey.

Comments [1]

Women's Tales

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Listen to a recent recording featuring vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond together with the new-music supergroup Signal (led by Brad Lubman) performing Snider’s remarkable song cycle, “Penelope” on this New Sounds.  It’s a haunting 60-minute song cycle for female voice, chamber orchestra, and electronics that limns the boundaries between art song, chamber folk and post-rock. 



Bang on a Can Marathon 2010 - Part II

Saturday, December 29, 2012

For this edition of New Sounds, listen to some of the 2010 highlights from the annual new music extravaganza, recorded live at the World Financial Center.  We'll hear a work for percussion and 1-bit electronics from New York-based Tristan Perich, who combines math and physics with acoustic and electronic music for elegant and austere results.  That, and more.


New Sounds Live with Shara Worden and yMusic

Friday, December 28, 2012

Held until now, hear some of the music from the New Sounds Live with Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) & yMusic from March of 2011 on tonight's show.  At that concert, Worden wore both her composer and performer hats, treating us to songs that were included o her Fall 2011 release, "All Things Will Unwind." Highlights from the night include live performances of "Be Brave," "There's a Rat," "She Does Not Brave the War," and others, featuring yMusic, percussionist Brian Wolfe, and guest vocals by DM Stith at Merkin Concert Hall's Ecstatic Music Festival.


Beat It

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hear some percussion-centered works on this New Sounds show.  There's the Los Angeles-based Ironworks Percussion Duo playing a work for vibraphone and steel drum by Missy Mazzoli.  We'll also hear music by composer and steel pan virtuoso Andy Akiho, along with something from bagpiper/composer Matthew Welch's band Blarvuster, an outfit that somehow pulls in Balinese/Indonesian gamelan, Celtic influences, & minimalist licks.

Comments [1]

Goat Horns, & More

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An array of traditional world music instruments come together on “Ossicles,” a new record by Norwegian tenor saxophonist, goat horn player, and composer Karl Seglem.  Listen to African thumb piano, or mbira, an array of percussion including steel pans and tabla, the Norwegian traditional folk instrument - the hardanger fiddle- and oh yes, the goat horns as part of selections from "Ossicles" on this New Sounds.


Musical Cross-Pollination

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On this edition of New Sounds, we'll hear from singers who reach across musical traditions, including a new recording of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan piece – “Mustt Mustt” - by Indo-Canadian singer Kiran Ahluwalia, featuring the Tuareg musical rebels from Mali, Tinariwen.  Kiran says of the collaboration - "I knew it would be compelling to have a song from the South Asian Islamic tradition performed with Muslims from Mali."  We'll hear the results on this program.


A Very New Sounds Christmas (Eve)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas, and on New Sounds, John Schaefer has collected music for the season, in the vein of the strange and unusual.  From the inventive Respect Sextet, hear several arrangements of well-chosen and lesser-known tunes from the record, "Respect in Yule."  The selections include a holiday classic by the Band, "Christmas Must Be Tonight," an Ethiopian-inspired arrangement of a Herbert Howells choral piece, "A Spotless Rose," with help from the Ensemble Signal, and an arrangement of Sir John Tavener's "The Lamb," with the JACK Quartet.  Also, hear Tavener's original, "The Lamb," along with twisted songs by The Real Tuesday Weld and Sufjan Stevens. 


A Crimson Grail

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Paris-based musician and composer Rhys Chatham once played a central role in the development of New York’s downtown music scene with a series of works for LOUD electric guitar.  Now he‘s best-known most recently for high profile productions of his rugged noise symphonies written for hundreds of softly played electric guitars (and basses.)


Bang on a Can Marathon 2010 - Part I

Saturday, December 22, 2012

For this New Sounds, we present highlights from the annual new music extravaganza, the Bang on a Can Marathon.  The French bass player, composer and laptop manipulator Florent Ghys writes witty minimalist pop music pieces. We’ll hear some of these, recorded live at the World Financial Center.


Winter Is Coming

Friday, December 21, 2012

From San Francisco-based finger-style guitarist Sean Smith to the minimalist cool of the Geoff Smith Band, listen to songs about winter for this New Sounds program.  There's the rare bit of instrumental music from Meredith Monk along with music for cellist Zach Miskin, written by guitarist Bryce Dessner (the National, Clogs), as well as keyboard music from David Borden.  Also, from New York-based Matt McBane and Build, hear "Imagining Winter."  Listen to Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurðsson's take on winter, as well as Japanese pianist/composer/producer Ryuchi Sakamoto's music, "Ice." That, and more.

Comments [2]

The Australian-American Connection

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Australia's surprising and flexible new music ensemble, Topology, comprised of saxophone, strings and piano, takes center stage on this New Sounds program.  We'll hear chamber works by American and Australian composers, some in the vein of the perpetual motion machines, all performed by Topology.  Plus, other works by Americans living and working in Australia.


Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Composer Max Richter has taken apart Vivaldi's original set of violin concertos, "The Four Seasons," and reconfigured the components while reclaiming the work as a beautiful object.  Richter opened up some of the repeating patterns already present in the work and as he says, “literally wrote myself into Vivaldi’s score.”  For this New Sounds, Max Richter joins us to present some of his "Recomposed: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons.” 

Comments [1]

Where We Live

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

For this New Sounds, listen to music from the band itsnotyouitsme, where Grey McMurray is the guitar-playing half and Caleb Burhans is the violin-playing half.  Hear them as that duo, and separately with some of their other projects.  One of these is a collaborative work between So Percussion and Grey McMurray called “Where (we) Live.” This series of songs is about each members' personal homes, the artistic home when they join forces, and then a questioning of all these homes by purposefully inviting the unknown to “come on over.”


Small Combos

Monday, December 17, 2012

Experience the collaborative strains of a father-son flamenco guitar and cello duo on this New Sounds.  Begun in France, and finished in Brooklyn (with guitarist for The National and creator of Clogs, Bryce Dessner, producing the record), the focus for these works was on improvisation after deciding not to use the demos.


Classical Rock Bands

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Music by Steve Reich on this New Sounds - a piece of classical music for a rock band - his "2 x 5," from a new recording.  There's also music for electric guitar in a chamber music setting by Canadian composer Tim Brady, inspired by Dmitri Shostakovich, "Hocket, Canon, Fugue."  Plus, listen to a work for a hybrid electro-acoustic ensemble by Paola Prestini.


Piano Solos and Ensembles

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hear from Nico Muhly's "I Drink The Air Before Me," on this New Sounds.  There's also music from Jason Moran's "Ten," which features some sampled sounds as well. Plus, Michael Formanek Quartet and the new "23 Neo" along with Donnacha Dennehy's "Reservoir" for solo piano, played by Isabelle O'Connor, and more.


Cross-Cultural Music Tour

Friday, December 14, 2012

For this New Sounds, we’ll listen to some of Charming Hostess/Jewlia Eisenberg’s strange & brilliant “The Bowls Project,” based on inscriptions from earthernware bowls buried under Jewish houses in ancient Babylonia, also called “demon bowls.”  According to Jewlia Eisenberg’s writings on the project, “Demon bowls, or incantation bowls, were inscribed with a householder’s secrets and desires and then buried under the doorway to protect her home.  The requests found in the bowls are particular, yet timeless--calling for protection for children, health after miscarriage, release from gossipy neighbors, a loyal husband, a passionate lover.”


Strings and Drones

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For this New Sounds, listen to a combination of strings and drones from the likes of American composer Ellen Fullman, the South Indian-born double violinist known as Shankar, (formerly L. Shankar, not to be confused with the late Ravi Shankar), along with Maya Beiser and Kayhan Kalhor.  Ellen Fullman is best known for her work with the long-string instrument (LSI), a curious way of using physics and acoustics to make music.  The LSI is an array of bronze wires (maybe 20 meters or more in length) strung near waist height across a performance space and played by rubbing rosined fingertips while walking between banks of strings.  The overtones of the strings as well as the room interact and make the giant instrument. 


A Remembrance of Ravi Shankar

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tonight's show is a remembrance of Ravi Shankar, who died yesterday at the age of 92.  Listen to excerpts from his in-studio appearances and live performances, from his first appearance in our New Sounds studios in the 1980's to when he brought his then 15-year old daughter, Anoushka Shankar in 1996.  Along the way, Ravi explains his instrument, mentions his association with George Harrison and the hippies, and celebrates every audience as a way of keeping his music new.  Also, hear a classic Deutsche Grammophon recording of Raga Gara, and more.

PROGRAM #3407, Ravi Shankar: A Remembrance (First aired on 12/12/2012)                                        





Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin, and Alla Rakha

Live at the United Nations, Dec. 10, 1967

Raga Piloo [14:00]

This performance not commercially available. However, the commercial release of these duets is on Angel Records, “West Meets East: The Historic Shankar Menuhin Collection” and is available at

Ravi Shankar

Tana Mana

Tana Mana [3:42]

Private #2016. Out of print. Available on the 2001 compilation “Bridges: Best of Private Music Recordings.” thru

Ravi & Anoushka Shankar

Live at WNYC, 11/7/1996

Gat in Charukesi (7:00)

This performance not commercially available.

Ravi Shankar

Live at WNYC, 1991
Around New York.

Tilak Shyam [3:10]

This performance not commercially available. 

Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha

Ragas Hameer & Gara

Rag Gara [13:38]

Deutsche Grammophon #2531 216 (LP) Out of print. Try or auction sites. 




Music for Multiple Keyboards

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This New Sounds has music more music for multiple keyboards.  We’ll listen to music by Tim Seddon for 6 pianos, plus something from “Breathing In, Breathing Out” by Anton Batagov for two pianos and timpani.  Also, hear music by David Borden and his Mother Mallard band who layer electronic keyboards, Patrick Grant’s music for microtonal keyboards meant to sync with Indonesian gamelan.  Plus, a work by Canadian Patrick Godfrey, overdubbing all kinds of keyboards and some post-minimalist music from English composer’s Chris Fitkin's "Sextet," originally for marimbas, but arranged for six keyboardists.


Another Side of the Trumpet

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hear new music for trumpet from a collaboration by Volker Goetze & Ablaye Cissoko for trumpet and kora featuring their tribute to “Haiti” on this New Sounds show.  Also, listen to works by Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, and by the American trumpet manipulator Jon Hassell.  Plus, hear one of the stranger works written for trumpet by La Monte Young from a concert recording made by WNYC in 1993, the "Melodic Version of the Second Dream of the High Tension Line Stepdown Transformer from the Four Dreams of China."  That, and more.


New Works for Cello

Sunday, December 09, 2012

This New Sounds brings us something from cellists Zoe Keating, Erik Friedlander, and Brent Arnold.   The San Francisco-based Keating loops layers upon layers of cello to create her own one-woman orchestra.  We'll hear from her latest, "Into the Trees."


Sacred Music from Eastern Europe

Saturday, December 08, 2012

We’ll listen to Estonian composer Arvo Part’s Te Deum, a beautiful work with a tinge of Eastern mysticism on this New Sounds.  There’s also music from Ukranian composer Vladimir Marynov, featuring the Russian group, Opus Posthumous.  Plus, music from Anton Batagov, based on the music of Buddhist chants, specifically the thirty-seven precepts of The Tibetan monk, yogi and philosopher Gyalsey Thogmey Zangpo (1285-1369.)


The Cajun Influence

Friday, December 07, 2012

For this New Sounds, we’ll sample music that shows the influence of traditional Cajun music from the fiddling, the accordion, the triangle and other instruments, in somewhat unusual contexts.  Listen to several excerpts from Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin's score for the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” set in Louisiana, along with music by the late Michael Galasso. Then there’s music by the Penguin Café Orchestra who drew from Cajun fiddling, and the influence comes out on pieces like “Swing the Cat” and “Bean Fields.” 


David Lang's "love fail"

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Pulitzer-Prize winning composer and one of the three founders of Bang on a Can, David Lang, along with the women of vocal quartet Anonymous 4 join us to preview the work Lang has just written for the group, “love fail.” Like his “Little Match Girl Passion,” the new work centers on the sound of four voices and percussion.  But in the piece, “love fail,” these components are the centerpiece of a multi-media extravaganza, including sound design, lighting design, projections and video, along with clothing and sets.  


New Acoustic Music

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Listen to two generations of "New Acoustic Music" - a term "coined" by banjo player Jake Shepps on his Bartok album to describe what he and Chris Thile, Punch Brothers, and the like, do with their mix of old and new music.  Thing is, David Grisman, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, and others were using that exact same term 30 years ago.   We'll hear from all of them on this New Sounds program.


Mostly Wordless Vocal Music

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

This New Sounds program consists of some mostly wordless vocal pieces, from Philip Glass to Roomful of Teeth, and vocalist and tape loop manipulator, Juliana Barwick.  Listen to the Glass score to Koyanisqatsi, and anexcerpt called “Vessels” featuring the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble.  Then Roomful of Teeth sings a work by Judd Greenstein working in Tibetan-style overtone/undertone chanting, yodeling, and hocketing. 


New Music from Saturn

Monday, December 03, 2012

The cosmic composer/bandleader Sun Ra's big band space jazz might have been and still is pretty far out, but even Thelonious Monk agreed that it swings.  For this New Sounds, we'll hear music by Sun Ra, (he who claimed to be of the "Angel Race" and that he was from Saturn, not our planet Earth), done up by other ensembles.  We'll listen to the Heliocentrics & the Respect Sextet, along with Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet.  Plus we'll hear Sun Ra's music as rendered by the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, and many others.


I Mean To Live Here Still

Sunday, December 02, 2012

David Karsten Daniels and Fight the Big Bull perform Daniels' settings of texts by Henry David Thoreau for singer/guitarist and big band, live. This joyous bi-coastal collaboration features the swirling horns and swelling melodies all anchored by Daniels' plaintive vocal lines.


World Music Survey

Saturday, December 01, 2012

For this New Sounds, listen to an hour of world music, beginning in the concert hall with "La Pasion," the world music-tinged setting of the Passion according to St. Mark by Argentinian-American composer Osvaldo Golijov.

Comments [1]