New Sounds : December 2013


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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


Music for Alternative Tunings

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hear works by American composer Mathew Rosenblum influenced in part by a love of Javanese music, the music produced by Sonic Youth, and by the music of LaMonte Young on this New Sounds program.  Listen to Rosenblum's set of two works; Fantasy for Roberta Liss, and Gymnopedie for Art Jarvinen, both of which use a 21-note to the octave scale along with the 12-note equal tempered scale to which Western ears might be more attuned.


Small Combos

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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.


Cross-Cultural Music Tour

Saturday, December 28, 2013

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.”


Tuff Strum

Friday, December 27, 2013

Listen to “Cello Multitracks” on this New Sounds program.  It’s Gabriel Prokofiev's four-part suite scored for nine cellos, as realized by the technologically skilled cellist Peter Gregson, (yep, on all nine parts.) The work is sometimes jarring, sometimes it grooves, then it will even scuttle like dust bunnies, whether plucked or scraped.


Drones, Sometimes Words

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Listen to acoustic drones, electronic drones, overtone singing and sometimes even words for this New Sounds program. From New York-based composer Kitty Brazelton, hear music from her work, "Ecclesiastes: A Modern Oratorio," containing texts from the Book of Ecclesiastes, re-translated from the Hebrew and Latin by Brazelton herself. Also, hear music from the late William Duckworth, both acoustic and from the gargantuan, innovative web-based piece, "Cathedral," incorporating the pitchweb from the turn of the century.


Make the World Shake (Afropop, New & Old)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to the Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili, a group of paraplegic street musicians, who were homeless when they first started performing together and used to rehearse in the half-abandoned city zoo.  The band is now the subject of a feature film, and is also making some of the most exuberant and affirming music coming out of almost anywhere.  Hear music from their most recent record, “Bouger Le Monde” – or “make the world shake.”


A Very New Sounds Christmas (Eve)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the night before Christmas, and all 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. 


Between Two Worlds

Monday, December 23, 2013

Listen to music between two worlds on this New Sounds program, namely works with elements of classical music-be it orchestra, choral, or chamber music- which also embrace elements of pop, rock and electronic music.  Hear the latest from Son Lux (Ryan Lott), who builds lush orchestral sounding pop music, working with contemporary classical musicians like yMusic to create dramatic and catchy slices of music designed to make classification a challenge.  Also, listen to music from Icelandic keyboard player / composer Olafur Arnalds along with something from the Baltimore-based electronic wizard, Dan Deacon.  That, and more.


Music for Multiple Keyboards

Sunday, December 22, 2013

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.


New Acoustic Music

Saturday, December 21, 2013

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.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Pre-empted by A Paul Winter Solstice Concert.

The Winter Solstice Celebration is a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people came together during the longest night of the year to celebrate the return of the sun as the Earth begins its rotational cycle back towards summer. John Schaefer hosts this annual event now in its 33rd year.  Malian singer Abdoulaye Diabate joins The Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, the Drummers of The Fores of Nature, Gospel vocalist Theresa Thomason, and the historic reassembly of the Paul Winter Sextet in the World's Largest Gothic Cathedral -- New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.


Altered Sounds of Acoustic Guitars

Thursday, December 19, 2013

For this New Sounds program, hear music for acoustic guitar that has been altered or augmented in some way, either by splicing tape, via electronic sounds, or computer trickery of some kind.  Listen to a work from the late Michael Hedges, for acoustic guitar and tape, chopped up, layered, and with some parts even spliced in backwards.


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Music for Gamelan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For this New Sounds, hear music that features the gamelan, that large percussion orchestra, (usually metal - \m/), traditionally associated with the royal courts of Indonesia.  Listen to music from the Royal Court Gamelan of Surakarta, from a classic Nonesuch Explorer recording.  Also, hear music for gamelan by the American composer Lou Harrison, who with his partner, Bill Colvig, eventually designed and built their own gamelan ensembles.  Plus, there’s music from the German composer Eberhard Schoener who combined gamelan and electronics, along with something from Gamelan Son of Lion.

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Yodels and Hockets

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to music involving yodeling, (the abrupt change of pitch in a voice during a single note) and hockets.  Hocketing is a rhythmic technique where you take two or more musicians and split up the melody between them so that one note, pitch, (or chord) sounds while the other rests.  Listen to music by Merrill Garbus, aka TuneYards, performed by her and some performed by the vocal octet Roomful of Teeth.  Also, from vocal innovator, conductor, and improviser Bobby McFerrin, hear one of his Circle Songs.

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New & Old Electronic Music

Monday, December 16, 2013

Listen to electronic music both old and new from the now Hawaii-based K. Leimer.  There’s austere & flowing space music from a recent release called "Permissions,” along with music combining the sounds of world music traditions with electronics from his 1980’s film soundtrack to “The Land of Look Behind," a film about Jamaica and Bob Marley.

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Southeastern European Laments

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Listen to Azerbaijani songs featuring the Alim Qasimov ensemble and arranged for the Kronos Quartet on this edition of New Sounds, from the record, “Floodplain.” Then something by PJ Harvey from “Let England Shake" with samples of what sounds like Turkish lamenting and kanun.  Also, listen to Southeastern European lament music from Ingram Marshall for voice and strings, his "Hidden Voices."  Plus, something by Serbian composer Boris Kovac, and more.


"Glory to Women"

Saturday, December 14, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to several groundbreaking female musicians from around the world.  There's music from Malian kora player, Madina N'Diaye, who has opened the way to a new phenomenon in Mali: women’s access to musical instruments traditionally reserved for men. In her song, “Moussow,” the lyrics translate as: “They think that women are incapable of doing all the things they do.  But I, Madina, play the Kora...Glory to women, glory to the women of Mali.”  We'll hear another tune from her album, "Bimogow."


Music From the Dark Side

Friday, December 13, 2013

Listen to music from the dark side for this New Sounds program. Listen to music associated with Tenebrae, the  Christian service held during Holy Week in the spring where candles are extinguished gradually until all that is left is darkness.  There’s a work by Bruce Dessner played by Kronos Quartet and featuring  Sufjan Stevens, “Tenebre,” along with the Irish choir Anúna performing Tenebrae in Gaelic.  Also, listen to nocturnes from the band Rachel’s, and a work by Missy Mazzoli.  Then, hear “Dark Was the Night,” a piece of Phil Kline’s millennial mass “John the Revelator” and a short dark piece from Brian Eno as well.


Score One for Dance

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sample music from unusual dance scores on this New Sounds program.  Listen to music from the New York trio, Spanish Fly - consisting of slide trumpet player/composer Steven Bernstein, slide guitar mastermind Dave Tronzo and tuba genius Marcus Rojas- which draws on famous American folksongs. Some of that trio’s music was used for the production of “Fly by Night” by the San Francisco Ballet.

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Acoustic Music Inspired by Electronica

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Listen to acoustic music inspired by electronica –encompassing everything from danceable grooves and IDM (intelligent dance music) to downtempo or ambient music – but completely performed on acoustic instruments on this New Sounds.  Hear music originally by Aphex Twin, re-imagined and arranged for the acoustic instruments of the 20-piece chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound.  Also, listen to music by Dawn of Midi, who re-create the sounds of electronic music using only acoustic instruments. Plus, hear music from the Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble from Germany along with the classical guitars of the Mobius Trio, pianist Matthew Shipp, and more.


Mashups Gone Wild: An Hour of Music by Duo

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It’s an hour of duo music for this New Sounds with several one-on-one meetings of two musical minds. We’ll hear all sorts of combinations of duos from guitar and percussion to harpist and laptop.


Unusual Jazz

Monday, December 09, 2013

This New Sounds program focuses on tunes that are hard to pin down, and always limn the boundaries between all sorts of jazz.  Listen to the Artichaut Orkestra, who mix klezmer and classical into their freewheeling originals, incorporating furious accordion, a weepy clarinet, and electric guitar.  Then, there’s a jazz trio from Portugal, LAMA, whose double-bassist loops his rhythmic lines, assisted by a pedal box, while the trumpet is digitally processed in real time, all aided by groovy drums.


New Sounds From Tibet

Sunday, December 08, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to music that was inspired by Tibet.  We'll hear "Karma Shadub," for violin and chorus by violinist/composer Paul Giger, based on centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist chant .  Plus, music from Minnesota-based composer/guitarist Steve Tibbetts, along with music from Philip Glass's Tibetan-inspired works as well.


Classical Meets Electronica

Saturday, December 07, 2013

For this New Sounds, there’s music at the juncture of composed music, ambient and modern electronica, including a work by Annie Gosfield, for bits and pieces of metal.  From her “Flying Sparks And Heavy Machinery” release, we’ll hear driving machine samples, layers of ambient noise, crashing metal and electronic blips assembled into a nearly pulsing dance-y musical journey through a working factory.


Nelson Mandela, In Memoriam

Friday, December 06, 2013

In remembrance of Nelson Mandela, we’ll revisit a studio session recorded on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s arrival in New York City in June of 1990, just months after being set free.


Abstract Soundscapes

Thursday, December 05, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to some abstract soundscapes from Poland, from Berlin via an Icelandic composer, and from Brooklyn-based musicians as well.


Two Unconventional Orchestral Works

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Hear music of vast scale and ravishing textures in works by the Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir for this New Sounds program.  It’s music that has been reflected through the nature prism; that of prolonged winters due to volcanic ash, healing waters of hot springs, or frozen glacial shards that shimmer in the sun.  Also, there’s music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt – his “Tabula Rasa,” Latin for “clean slate,” scored for two violin soloists, prepared piano and orchestra.  Pärt’s neo-medieval mystical minimalism in this work deals with the play between music and space, as repeating patterns slowly unfold over time. 


Cultural Collisions

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

For this New Sounds, listen to some cross-cultural things, including piano music based on traditional Indian raga scales, music from a Persian bagpiper and Syrian sax player, Ethiopian music from the Netherlands, and more.  Saeid Shanbehzadeh from Iran plays the neyanban (Persian bagpipe) and saxophone player Basel Rajoub from Syria come together in a collaboration recorded in Lisbon, Portugal.  Also, hear music from Rajoub and his trio, which includes percussion and the traditional Persian zither, the qanun, along with a track from the duo of French guitarist Kevin Seddiki and Persian percussionist Bijan Chemirani. 

See Saeid Shanbehzadeh & Basel Rajoub, at 8PM Saturday night, Dec. 7th, 2013, at the Asia Society as part of "New Sounds from Iran - Sound: The Encounter, New Music from Iran and Syria." Read more. 

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Some Folks Singing

Monday, December 02, 2013

Songs and the singers who sing them from around the world is the focus of this New Sounds. Sample the record by Neneh Cherry and Scandinavian jazz trio, the Thing who named themselves after a Don Cherry composition.  That powerful Nordic three-oh is saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

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"Music" of James Joyce

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Something old, something borrowed – finally with permission – and something new, all in response to James Joyce’s writings.  For this literary edition of New Sounds, we’ll hear the long-awaited, originally intended setting of James Joyce’s text from Molly Bloom’s soliloquy at the end of Ulysses.  Kate Bush's “The Sensual World” re-emerges as "Flower of the Mountain."