It's the most wonderful time of the month - the showcasing of new releases! On this New Sounds program, listen to the pick of the piles, the cream of the crop. We'll separate the wheat from the chaff. On deck we have possible music from clarinetist Jonathan Sage, perhaps some music from the Balkans, courtesy of Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, and maybe something new from guitarist Guy Buttery.
For this New Sounds program, we’ll listen to part two of the New Sounds Live/Ecstatic Music Festival concert with Dan Deacon. Hear Deacon’s “An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes,” as an entire movement of the work is set to a wooden block click track. The performance / classical instrument dance party features the NOW Ensemble, the Calder String Quartet, and Deacon's live processing.
For this New Sounds program, we’ll listen to some more highlights from the New Sounds Live concert series at Merkin Hall, collaborating with the 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival. Hear Dan Deacon’s large-scale work for the NOW Ensemble, the Calder String Quartet, and live processing, “An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes.”
German percussionist and producer Sven Kacirek collected field recordings from his travels along the Kenyan coast and in the hinterland near Lake Victoria. Then, with a bit of studio wizardry, he layered marimba, piano, and various other percussion atop the Kenyan musicians. We’ll listen to this musical journey through Kenya for this New Sounds program.
New Zealand-based Jack Body has written electroacoustic compositions using field recordings from Indonesia (and has also written for the Kronos Quartet.) We’ll hear his collage of street sounds and toys that ends with pigeons taking off, each with different sized whistles attached. Also, there’s music from New Zealand composer Gareth Farr, who incorporates the sounds of Indonesian gamelan music into his writing.
Hear an hour of Black Sabbath arrangements on tonight's New Sounds show. Listen to arrangements of "Iron Man" by heavy-jazzers The Bad Plus, a gamelan-inflected version by Charming Hostess, a folktronica version by Four Tet, and the Columbian cumbia take from Ondatrópica. Then hear Portuguese jazz trio TGB from their record "Evil Things" (Clean Feed) covering "Planet Caravan," along with another attack on "Iron Man" by the Misfit Toys- a banjo, clarinet, drums and electric marimba. Also, hear a giant marching band doing "War Pigs," a Bhangra-dub take on "Heaven and Hell," an intricate jazz guitar duet of "Paranoid," and a Thai version of "Iron Man." Feel free to sound off on why so many from the Ozzy oeuvre vs. just one from the Dio era.
Founding violinist of Kronos Quartet, David Harrington joins John Schaefer to take a retrospective look at 40 years of musical adventure. Harrington recounts stories, including their very first commission (paid to the composer in coffee and donuts), meeting John Zorn at a New York City noodle restaurant, convincing Steve Reich to write for string quartet, and first meeting their frequent composer-collaborator, “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley.
Hear drones from across the world and recent recorded history on this New Sounds. Listen to instrumental melodies over drones, vocal melodies and vocal drones, and sometimes the drone of the Earth. To that end, there's music from guitarist John Abercrombie, something from the band Ergo, and a piece from Norwegian saxophone player Jan Garbarek accompanied by a wind harp. All that and more.
We’ll spend an hour listening to music from lost cities and civilizations on this New Sounds program. Hear music by Turkmenistan-born Iraida Yusupova, with the title “Kitezh” – the invisible city of legend that appears in a Rimsky-Korsakov opera and a kind of Russian Atlantis. It is said to have disappeared under water when Mongols were about to attack, and Yusupova suggests as much with theremin and tape.
Listen to a bevy of electronic-based works for this New Sounds program. Hear music from English keyboardist, composer and electronic musician John Hopkins’ recent record, “Immunity,” which features a door opening and closing as a percussion element. Then listen to a sneak peek of a new album R + 7 to be released in September 2013 from the Brooklyn-based experimental electronic artist Daniel Lopatin, who releases music under the recording name Oneohtrix Point Never. Also, hear a movement by Alvin Curran written specifically for live performance: “Songs of the Magnetic Garden.” Then, music by Laurie Spiegel and a piece by Frances White featuring Japanese flutes entitled “Center Bridge,” which also features the sound of traffic driving over a bridge in New Jersey.
From the Alloy Orchestra's most recent three-night residency at the World Financial Center in February 2011, we'll listen to selections from some of their original film scores including Douglas Fairbanks' "The Black Pirate." The Alloy Orchestra is just an orchestra of three -Terry Donahue, Roger Miller, Ken Winokur- whose instruments include their famous "rack of junk" (scrap metal transformed into percussion) together with electronic synthesizers and more. We'll hear their original scores for the 1920 Buster Keaton film, "One Week" and the 1917 Chaplin film, "Easy Street," and more.
We’ll hear musical tributes aplenty on this New Sounds program, many of them by guitarists heaping their thanks to other artists. We’ll hear notes of appreciation from Michael Hedges to Pierre Bensusan, from Bill Frisell to Boubacar Traoré, from trumpeter Dave Douglas to Bill Frisell, and a little exchange between Stefan Grossman and John Fahey. Plus, tributes to Angelique Kidjo, Leo Kottke, and Philip Glass, and a few others.
Hear new music from accordionist, keyboard player, and composer Ted Reichman, focusing on connections between improvisation and various forms of folk, popular music, and jazz. Also, there's mysterious music from Austrian multi-instrumentalist and composer Werner Pirchner for accordion. Then, hear Kronos Quartet together with accordion adventurer Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling guru Samuli Kosminen. The live strings and electric accordion plus effects and manipulations create a new, multi-dimensional sound world. That, and more.
For this New Sounds, hear music by sean-nos singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, from a brand new recording, “Foxlight.” The producer/guitarist Leo Abrahams is all over this unclassifiable album (Confessional ballad? Minimalist art-folk? Electro-Irish trad?), featuring electro-acoustic accompaniment to Ó Lionáird’s personal songs, sung mostly in Gaelic. With a host of intriguing guest collaborators -composer Jon Hopkins, strings duo Geese, folktronica innovator Leafcutter John and fiddle and hardanger player Caoimhin O Raghallaigh- the violins, viola, cello, fiddle, guitars and keyboards are expertly woven into the epic electro-acoustic compositions.
Listen to some not-quite art songs on this New Sounds program, including new music from the Swedish singer, keyboardist and songwriter Anna von Hausswolff, whose recent "Ceremony" is a bit of dramatic pipe-organ driven art-pop music with underpinnings of the drone metal wizards Sunn O))). Recorded in her hometown of Gothenburg on the church organ of the vast Annedalkyrkan, the music is grave and intense, and at times, sinister.
On this edition of New Sounds, hear politically-inspired music from Mali speaking out against the old government as well as in response to the ongoing situation in the north; the 2012 nationalist uprising, subsequent Islamist takeover and most recent French intervention in January of 2013. With the takeover in the north, the hardline fundamentalists imposed sharia law, banning music (including the annual Festival in the Desert), yet that hasn’t stopped many musicians from singing, playing, and speaking out for peace and freedom.
Listen to music for cello and voice on this edition of New Sounds. We’ll hear a few selections from "The Escape Artist," a new opera by composer, vocalist & cellist Robert Een. He worked with Meredith Monk for fifteen years, culminating the creation of their hour-long music-theater duet, "Facing North," and his writing, including this opera, employs extended techniques for both voice and cello.
On this New Sounds program, we'll hear music from our New Sounds Live collaboration with the Ecstatic Music Festival: the Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert recorded at Merkin Hall. The All-Stars perform Steve Martland's propulsive "Horses of Instruction." Also, listen to the hauntingly subtle “Convex/Concave/Concord” by Danish composer Pelle Gudmunsen-Holmgreen, and the intensely grooving “Believing” by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe. And more.
For this New Sounds, there’s music from Montreal-based musician Colin Stetson on (mostly bass) saxophone without looping or overdubbing. (How DOES he do it?) Stetson’s technique of circular breathing (much like digeridoo players) combined with nearly 20 microphones placed all over a studio- including on Stetson’s throat and on the instruments themselves - created an original palette of sounds, thanks to producer Shahzad Ismaily and engineer Efrim Menuck from Godspeed You! Black Emperor/A Silver Mt Zion. Ben Frost then mixed these tracks into a haunting and riveting record, “New History Warfare Vol. 2 . (Excited note: guest appearances by both Shara Worden and Laurie Anderson.)
This New Sounds offers music from the Christian mystic tradition from the 12th to the 20th centuries. There’s music from Dutch composer and lute player Jozef van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch, from their “Concerning the Entrance into Eternity,” with titles that come from Swedish scientist, philospher, & Christian mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. One of the works also contains poetry by the Spanish language poet and theologian (Saint) John of the Cross.
This New Sounds program takes a new look at the ancient form of ritual music for evening prayer – Vespers. This evening prayer service, also known as “eveningsong,” is found in both Western and Eastern (Byzantine) Catholicism, along with Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, and some Protestant denominations as well. The idea was to have a service at sunset, when the sun’s angle would hit the church and set it aglow with magical light through the stained glass windows.
Hear new guitar-centric music on this New Sounds program including music from the Baird Sisters, and from a new live record by South African guitarist Guy Buttery, who covers a song by Joanna Newsom. Also, listen to guitarist Glenn Jones, who draws from the rich tradition of John Fahey’s “American Primitive” guitar-playing. Then hear music performed by the three classical guitarists of the Mobius Trio that owes a debt to John Fahey and hints at minimalism. Plus there’s small ensemble music written at Glen Deven Ranch in Big Sur, California from guitarist Bill Frisell, and music by John Zorn, as played by Pat Metheny.
Hear the world premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider's latest song-cycle for seven vocalists and chamber orchestra,"Unremembered," featuring vocal performances by DM Stith, Shara Worden and Padma Newsome along with the Orchestra for the Next Century. The work sets poetry by New-York-based poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows, recalling strange and beautiful happenings experienced during a childhood in rural Massachusetts.
From the melodious inflections of phone messages, listen to a number of works sourcing voicemails, most from tape(!) on this New Sounds program. Hear Irish composer Roger Doyle’s “Memento Mori,” composed around intimate verbal time capsules culled from various answering machine messages of Doyle's family, close friends and partners, all of them recorded and preserved in the late 80's.
For this New Sounds, listen to some new music with folk roots, and unexpected folk collaborations. There's music by Howard Skempton, the English minimalist, using "Wild Colonial Boy" in his piece "The Durham Strike." Then listen to Jim Moray doing "Two Sisters," Tom Waits doing "Two Sisters," and Julia Wolfe's "Cruel Sister," based on the same song.
Recorded live at Merkin Hall as part of the New Sounds Live concert series, together with the Ecstatic Music Festival in 2011, listen to premiere works by the 8-piece ensemble Newspeak and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, the 18-piece big band. Mind control experiments and conspiracy theories are the subject matter for these brand-new pieces, and there might be works by Vijay Iyer and Nicole Lizée as well.
On this edition of New Sounds, hear some chamber music by composer Marc Mellits with a populist bent. We’ll sample his work, “Tight Sweater," which contains traces of funk, echoes of rock, and minimalism's rapidly shifting patterns of notes and interlocking rhythms. With the provocative and whimsical titles, ("Exposed Zipper," “Pickle Trousers” and “Mechanically Separated Chicken Parts”) the movements are compact and alarmingly catchy.
We'll hear unusual approaches to songs on this New Sounds program, including something from vocalist/composer/songwriter Julia Holter, whose recent "Ekstasis," both bewitches and confounds with its substantial song-craft and challenging freak-pop. Listen to songs by Julia Holter, along with recent songs from violinist/composer Carla Kihlstedt, and songwriter Lee Feldman. Plus, music from Elizabeth & the Catapult.
Ordinarily, the music one hears on New Sounds has a lot of hyphens in it as one tries to describe it, but for this show, the hyphens have multiplied at least eight-fold. Listen to blends of world music, minimalism, chamber music, jazz, rock and post-rock, big band, Ethio-jazz, folk music from the world over, Celtic, Latin jazz - all coming together in various combinations for the featured pieces. Hear brand new music from the Dutch world-jazz post-rock fusion band the Ex, with guests Brass Unbound. Also, hear from Sweden's Ale Møller and the Bohuslän Big Band, who bring together Celtic, folk, jazz, and medieval music.
On this New Sounds, listen to distinctive takes on the music of Brian Eno. Hear composer/pianist Timo Andres weave at least four different tunes by Brian Eno into his “Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno,” very much in the way that Franz Liszt might have done on themes of favorite operas. There’s music from the English new music band Icebreaker, in collaboration with the great pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, taking on “Apollo,” a score originally written by Brian Eno, Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois for Al Reinert’s documentary on NASA’s Apollo missions. Plus, young pianist and composer Conrad Tao, inspired by Eno, in a work for piano and iPad. Also, the Bang on a Can All-Stars in Evan Ziporyn’s arrangement of Eno’s classic “Music for Airports.”
For this New Sounds, listen to a really impressive roundup of world music. There’s music from a group of Sufi singers, the Bedouin Jerry Can Band, who play abandoned fuel containers and ammunition boxes left behind by the Israeli army. Also, hear music from Brazil by Renata Rosa, in a style that translates as “sea horse,” a fading tradition of street theatre that has to do with Christmas and the three wise men. It’s from a compilation released by the BBC’s “World Routes” program, "On the Road."