It's that time of the month again for the new releases show on New Sounds. John Schaefer carefully sorts through the stacks, bins, and towers of new CDs, records, and Bandcamp sites which have come across his desk or into his email over the past month to present some choice cuts.
For this New Sounds, we'll take a listen to the symphonic suite by Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, "Solaris." The international Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative's music protégé for 2010-2011, Frost, (mentored by none other than Brian Eno) joins us in the studio to present the reimagined soundtrack for the 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky film.
From the New Sounds Live Concert Series, hear some music from the Ecstatic Music Festival 2013 at Merkin Hall. Listen to new works by the indie chamber band Clogs in a trio incarnation with Padma Newsome (vocals, viola), Rachael Elliott (bassoon) and Thomas Kozumplik (percussion). Together with the Orchestra for the Next Century, directed by Gary Schneider, Clogs perform this new material, along with pieces by Newsome, Shara Worden and DM Stith. Plus, music from Causing a Tiger, a song-based improvising trio consisting of Violinist/Vocalist Carla Kihlstedt, Bassist/Guitarist Shahzad Ismaily, and Drummer/Storyteller Matthias Bossi.
For this New Sounds, we’ll hear composed works for duos and small ensembles that veer toward the ambient. We’ll hear from the amplified, processed and looped duo itsnotyouitsme, who are violinist Caleb Burhans and guitarist Grey McMurray, and a piece called “The Ghosts Among Us.” There’s also trio music (keyboards, accordion, sometimes vibes, and a clarinet) by keyboardist and composer Phillip Schroeder whose music might be best described as ambient.
For this New Sounds, listen to music that combines Sufi traditions with Western sounds. We’ll hear Sufi singers Abdul Ghani, Ajah Maideen and Saburmaideen Babha Sabeer from the Nagore Dargah -a sufi shrine- in a town of the same name in South India where a church, this shrine, and a Hindu temple are all next to each other. They are part of a musical collaboration featuring Sufi, Indian, Middle Eastern and Western elements called the Nagore Sessions.
For this New Sounds, mutant trumpter/composer Ben Neill joins John Schaefer in the studio. Lately, he’s been working together with filmmaker Bill Morrison and singer Mimi Goese on a staging of the Persephone myth – Demeter’s daughter taken by Hades to the underworld against her will.
For this New Sounds program, listen to music that is able to combine pattern music with folk music of the British Isles, both England and Ireland. Hear something from the Penguin Cafe, which is Simon Jeffes' son, Arthur and crew, and something by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra as well. Also, there's music from Spiro, a combination of folk-sounding instruments (violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin and accordion) in the service of systems music (a.k.a. minimalism.) Plus, hear music by Daniel Figgis, and something from Dave Flynn and the talented Dublin Guitar Quartet.
This New Sounds is full of new music from Poland. We’ll hear from the klezmer and Balkan-inflected jazz-ish strains of Kroke, along with “hardcore folk” from the Warsaw Village Band, whose driving fiddle and trumpets take wedding songs or Balkan Jazz and layer them with “white voice” singing (a lyrical screaming used by Polish shepherds).
This New Sounds is chock full of works that use percussion atmospherically. Hear the looped hockety rhythms of the Portico Quartet, who create a hypnotic electrified and trancey soundworld on their most recent release. There's also concert music from the wide-ranging New York luminary, Joseph Byrd, as performed by ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), featuring Timo Andres. Plus, pianist Benedikt Jahnel and his trio focus on rhythmic placement to achieve atmospheric wordless songs. Perhaps there will also be music from drummer Allison Miller or a gamelan-laden dance score from composer Mary Ellen Childs. And more.
Listen to a tour of the eastern part of the Mediterranean on this New Sounds. We'll journey through a thousand years of the music that resounded along the mighty Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey (not Constantinople) from the 14th/15th Century Greek chant to Crusader songs, Sufi Ceremonial music, Turkish folk music, Sephardic Jwish songs, and more.
Electric guitarist, composer and Princeton University professor Steven Mackey returns to New Sounds for this program. His enormous and ambitious work, “Dreamhouse,” a collaboration with singer/producer/writer Rinde Eckert and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, for orchestra, electric guitars, and singers was released last year.
Our look at the Four Seasons continues on this New Sounds, with the companion program to last night, geared towards the non-violin centered works that have used the Four Seasons as their launch pad. Again, these are works inspired by the Vivaldi work, including music from an electronic version by Wendy Carlos, a piece by Danish-born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist Rene Mogensen, plus Japanese flute improvisations, and many more.
For this New Sounds, we’ll take a new look at the Four Seasons - not the Vivaldi work, but instead what it has inspired. There are lots of other composers who have riffed off of that theme, say - Thomas Wilbrandt, Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass, and Mark O'Connor, to name a few.
For this New Sounds, listen to works for piano. There's a disquieting nocturne by Christopher Cerrone, called “Hoyt Schermerhorn,” performed by pianist/composer Timo Andres, chased by a work by Timo Andres himself. Also, listen to Takashi Kako’s music and its echoes of Debussy, along with a work for piano and Peter Machajdik, featuring a cameo by a bass clarinet. Then, sample a work by the Greek composer based in Canada, Constantine Caravassilis called "to a Galliform Marionette." That, and more.
In this episode of New Sounds, we’ll look beyond flamenco, experiencing collisions of Indian classical music and flamenco, along with other flamenco blends.
This New Sounds program is full of music inspired by particular cathedrals, like English composer Joby Talbot's work, "Leon," from "Path of Miracles," written for the choir Tenebrae. Its namesake is the León Cathedral, a French-style Gothic cathedral built in the 13th century in northwest Spain along the pilgrim route Camino de Santiago.
On this Mardi Gras day, hear new music for brass, some martial, some big band jazz, and music by David Byrne inspired by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans, and more. Then it's high-spirited music from Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy along with a work by Karlheinz Stockhausen, covered by the Respect Sextet. Plus, music by Charles Mingus, as played by Either/Orchestra out of Cambridge, MA. There's also music from Montreal's Ratchet Orchestra as well as something from the Clubfoot Orchestra, and a work by Carla Bley.
For this New Sounds, listen to a live performance by the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble. It's a group of classical players, six members strong and based in New York, all of whom sing and play a wide range of Arab musical styles on traditional instruments. We'll be treated to Egyptian, Iraqi, and Syrian classical art music from Cairo, Baghdad, and the ancient city of Aleppo.
New music, (and in some cases, organized sound) from Australia makes up this New Sounds program, including music by Peter Sculthorpe, his "Little Nourlangie," a portrait of a rock outcropping in Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. Kakadu is the second largest national park in the world, where generations of Bininj/Mungguy have lived for tens of thousands of years. It is home to 68 mammals, more than 120 reptiles, 26 frogs, more than 2,000 plants and over 10,000 species of insects. We'll also hear a work that consists solely of the natural sounds of Kakadu Park, sampled and altered. And more music from Australian ensembles and composers.
Listen to excerpts from the new opera by Evan Ziporyn, “A House in Bali” on this New Sounds. The work is based on the memoirs of Canadian-American composer Colin McPhee who first brought the sounds of gamelan-influenced music to the west.
Meet composer and conductor Bill Ryan and Billband for this New Sounds program. Ryan is the director of the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) new music group, and the mastermind behind 2007’s “story of the year in new music circles” where his all-student, all-volunteer band recorded Steve Reich’s 1976 masterwork, “Music for 18 Musicians,” to choruses of critical praise. Bill Ryan and the ensemble went on to record Terry Riley’s “In C.” Ryan is also a composer, and has recently released a record of his own compositions, “Towards Daybreak.” Members of Billband - violinist/composer Todd Reynolds, and Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow and cellist Ashley Bathgate- perform Ryan’s works live in the studio.
Billband performs at Le Poisson Rouge this Sunday night, Feb. 10, 2013. More information: "Towards Daybreak" record release show.
There's an hour of Near Eastern Jazz for this New Sounds Program. We'll listen to Iraqi jazz from Amir Elsaffar's Two Rivers Ensemble and Turkish jazz from Okay Temiz & Saffet Gundeger. Plus, Ethiopian jazz from Mulatu Astatqe, and world jazz from Rabih Abou-Khalil (specifically, "Levant jazz" from areas including Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.) All that, and more.
For this New Sounds, we'll hear music made with stuff around the house. There are two works for teapots, one by clarinetist Andy Statman and the other a Beatles' tune. Paul Lansky samples his sons beating pots and pans for "Table's Clear," while Pulitzer Prize-Winning composer David Lang writes music for teacups to be struck by So Percussion. Plus, hear music for onions, and other innovative ways of putting household items in the service of music.
For this New Sounds, hear the concert recording of the world premiere of violinist vocalist Carla Kihlstedt's "At Night We Walk In Circles And Are Consumed by Fire." The work is a collaborative commission with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and inspired by dreams - dreams collected from the band, some of her own, and some solicited through Facebook. Comprised of nine song-parts, the topics range from meeting one's younger self, to having all of your teeth fall out, and a flying dream.
At the junction of art and pop songs lies tonight's New Sounds program. Listen to a song by Clogs, featuring guest vocalists Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden. Also, listen to music from Sarah Kirkland Snider from her gorgeous work, "Penelope," with vocals again by Shara Worden. There's music from How To Destroy Angels, which is Reznor's latest collaboration with Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan, along with his singer wife Mariqueen Maandig. Hear innovative songstress Katie Mullins, as she crafts melodies around the African thumb piano, the mbira. Plus, songs from David Sylvian, Evelyn Glennie featuring Bjork, and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra.
On this New Sounds, hear some unconventional piano works, including some amplified piano in a work by Charles Ives, “Serenity” as played by Jenny Q Chai from a collection of works, “New York Love Songs.” Also from that same record, a work by Taiwanese composer Ashley Wang, involving digital piano. Plus, from a new recording, listen to Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan. The piano has been retuned to “play nicely” with the gamelan tunings in this world premiere recording featuring Gamelan Pacifica and pianist Adrienne Varner. That and more.
For this New Sounds, listen to the found sounds of narration from strange and wonderful recordings in music by the Books. We'll hear from their release, "The Way Out," a playful and surreal effort recorded in the Books' home studios.
Hear music by Afro-Cuban composer/conductor Tania León from a recently composed dance score, "Inura," on this New Sounds program. León was born and raised in Cuba but her ancestry spans Europe, Africa, and Asia as well as the Americas. Her score, “Inura,” is a vibrant and colorful work for voices, strings and percussion created for DanceBrazil, inspired by Candomblé.