For this second program of a two-part mini-series, we'll listen to more unconventional works that draw inspiration from the text of the requiem mass. There's music by Gavin Bryars, the Cadman Requiem, written in honor of Bryars' sound engineer and friend, Bill Cadman, who died in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Also, hear a requiem by Ragnar Grippe from Sweden for soprano and synthesizer, a wordless requiem by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and more.
For this New Sounds program, the first of a two-part series, we'll listen to many works that draw inspiration from the text of the requiem mass, but have come from different parts of the world. For starters, there's Mistico Mediterraneo, a collaboration involving three different artists: Sardinian trumpet player Paolo Fresu, Italian bandoneonist Daniele Di Bonaventura and Corsican all-male choral group A Filetta. We'll hear music from the principal composer of A Filetta, Jean-Claude Acquaviva, with his “Rex tremendae” and “Figliolu d’ella” from a requiem written in 2004. And much more.
It's that time of the month again for the new releases show on New Sounds. John Schaefer carefully separates the wheat from the chaff for this show. He'll sort through the stacks of new CDs, the Soundcloud files, and other digital submissions which have come across his desk and into his inbox over the past month to present some of the finest new releases. He'll skim off the cream. He'll pick the lentils from the ashes. You get it.
Hear music from the Mobius Trio, who make new guitar ensemble music, along with multi-layered 6-string magic from Ben Brody. Then, listen to Dawn of Midi, who make groove music that sounds as though it is electronica, but it's made acoustically. Also, hear the bayan, an accordion-like instrument, as it is used in the Bester Quartet. Plus, music from Philippe Petit which may or may not involve electric cymbalum, triple caterpillar drum guitar, and/or electric psalterion.
Music from pianist/composer Neil Cowley, (otherwise known as Adele's pianist on "21") and the post-jazz/post-rock Neil Cowley Trio is front and center on this New Sounds program. Listen to their recent recording, "The Face Of Mount Molehill," which brings Eno alum guitarist Leo Abrahams, along with string quartet, The Mount Molehill Strings, into the proceedings. Reflective and stabby, lyrical yet rocking, there'll be generous sampling from it.
From the New Sounds Live concerts, we'll hear “The Miners’ Hymns,” a film score from the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The work is a brass-heavy elegy to the coal mining culture in Northeast England, with the brass elements hearkening back to the colliery bands, which used to be the local entertainment.
For this New Sounds, a look at the loner iconoclastic American maverick composers who have set the stage for New Sounds. We'll hear music from composer (and insurance businessman) Charles Ives, and something by John Cage, the sound-experimenter and subscriber to chance. (We won't hear his most notorious piece, 4'33" - it just doesn't work on the radio.)
From the New Sounds Live concert series recorded in 2012, listen to some distinctly oddball works by Jason Treuting (of So Percussion) and Nick Zammuto (ex The Books) on this program. There’s a multi-media work based around an instructional video for autoharp, a work involving a spelling bee, and a bucolic piece revolving around a slideshow of rude gestures.
On this New Sounds, listen to some of the central players of the indie-chamber, or indie-classical "scene." We'll hear from yMusic, a new music group who can move between folk, classical, and indie quite effortlessly. We'll hear music from their latest recording, a demo of Gabriel Kahane's song cycle, “For the Union Dead,” (music by Gabriel Kahane, words by Robert Lowell), along with music from the ACME ensemble, recorded live. Plus, another live recording from the New Sounds Live concert series at Merkin Hall featuring the 8-person strong group, Newspeak.
For this New Sounds, we’ll hear music that incorporates looping and delay devices, first by digging into Todd Reynolds’ new double-CD, “Outerborough.” Reynolds plays a work by Phil Kline, “A Needle Pulling Fred,” and a piece by David T. Little that samples a woman’s voice talking about being in the military and the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Then listen to something new from the one-woman band, guitarist/looper/delay-artist Julia Crowe, from her latest, "Empire of Light."
It’s Turkish and Turikish-inflected music on this New Sounds, with many examples of traditional Turkish rhythms, melodies, and instruments. Listen also to musicians who incorporate Turkish musicians, including a number of outfits from Canada. Hear music from a forthcoming release by Montreal-based Esmerine, a chamber rock band which includes the likes of Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire), members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and a quartet of Turkish musicians.
For this New Sounds, hear some music that has not yet been released on CD by the Russian composer Vladimir Martynov - an epic project called “Children of the Otter.” The work blends the ancient Tuvan sounds of the throat-singing ensemble Huun Huur Tu with a contemporary chamber orchestra and a choir singing poetry of the Russian avant-garde poet Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922.)
Explore the sounds of a piano's insides on this New Sounds program. From the prepared piano to the bowed and/or plucked piano strings inside the body of the beast, there are sure to be unusual sounds galore. Listen to Ergo, an electro-acoustic trio - somehow both slinky and spacey - with trombone, prepared piano, drums, and special guests on guitar.
Listen to contemporary settings of great Latin-American poets on this New Sounds. Hear a combination of choir and electric guitar by built around the poetry of Chilean poet Elias Letelier by Canadian composer/electric guitarist Tim Brady. The work, “Atacama,” is sung in Spanish, with text about metal, circuitry, atoms and not thinking about microphones. There’s also a work by the American composer Eric Whitacre and his setting of a text by Nobel Prize-winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz. In it, the vocal group Polyphony together with a children’s choir simulate a storm by rattling tin for thunder and finger-snapping as rain.
For this New Sounds program some Western musicians look to Japan for inspiration both melodic and instrumental. Hear selections from a recent release by cellist/composer Jordi Savall called "Hispania & Japan - Dialogues," created following the catastrophes in Japan in 2011. It's actually based on a previous project from 2006, "The Route of the Orient," revolving around the Spanish Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier (Francisco Javier).
For this New Sounds, listen to world music from the region that includes Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, along with other parts of Africa. First off, there's traditional Yemenite rhythms and chants, some West African roots, plus blues, jazz and funk all mixed together by Ravid Kahalani, founder of the Yemen Blues project. There's also music from the late Yemenite-Jewish singer Ofra Haza and music from Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. Plus, something from Senegalese singer Baaba Maal and music from Fela Kuti's son, Seun Anikulapo Kuti along with Fela's band, Egypt 80, and more.
For this New Sounds, listen to some "alt-classical" or "indie classical" bands, like Newspeak or the Paul Bailey Ensemble. Newspeak is an eight-piece amplified ensemble working under the direction of composer David T. Little and clarinetist Eileen Mack. Named after the thought-limiting language in George Orwell’s 1984, Newspeak explores the grey area where art and politics mix. We'll hear the group, from their "Sweet Light Crude" release, playing a work by Missy Mazzoli - "In spite of all this."
For this New Sounds, Tibetan devotional singer Yungchen Lhamo and Russian pianist and composer Anton Batagov discuss their recent musical collaboration. Their beautiful and unusual record, "Tayatha" (a Sanskrit word that means literally, “it is like this,”) is a striking and meditative dialogue between Lhamo’s voice and Batagov’s spacious, well-chosen piano melodies. Referencing their shared practice of Buddhism, and their shared belief in music’s power to shift the world, Batagov and Lhamo make post-minimalist music that has a sense of offering. They are part of the day-long Bang on a Can Marathon taking place this Sunday, 6/16 at the Schimmel Center.
Listen to part 2 of the New Sounds Live/Ecstatic Music Festival concert recorded on February 8, 2012 in which the extremely talented and equal-opportunity music genre sextet yMusic performs new works by Richard Reed Parry & Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott.) Hear the remaining parts of works for heart and breath by Richard Reed Parry, involving yMusic wearing and playing to stethoscopes.
Whether it’s piano-driven, horn-driven, or interlocking rhythms of guitar music, listen to music with a steady groove on this edition of New Sounds. Hear the Blue Cranes, who are a keyboard trio and dueling saxophones from Portland with a from a new record, “Swim.” Also, listen to music from keyboardist Marco Benevento with his playful arrangement of an early Pink Floyd song, recorded live at Tonic. Hear a groove-based instrumental piece from the gifted guitarist Kaki King. Plus, music from three-ohs Medeski, Martin & Wood, The Bad Plus, and the Neil Cowley Trio, and more.
For this New Sounds, hear choral music from a new recording of a score by Canadian composer Matthew Patton for the film “Tales From Gimli Hospital,” a film by Guy Maddin. Patton has worked with world-class choreographers (the likes of Paul Taylor for a production called "Speaking in Tongues"), collaborated with with Icelandic musicians (members of múm and amiina) for a 2011 cinema-musical event of the film, and worked with filmmaker Guy Maddin on multiple occasions and in multiple projects.
On a funereal edition of this New Sounds, hear musical moods that one might not expect to be associated with a funeral from the world over, from West African funeral drumming to a jazz march from Norwegian musician Stian Carstensen. Listen to music from Brooklyn Rider by Ljova paying tribute to the violinist from Tarafs de Haidouk, Culai. There’s also Michael Gordon’s setting of Emily Dickinson poetry, as recorded live on Soundcheck, along with a funeral dance by Swedish jazz musician Bengt Berger’s “Bitter Funeral Beer.” Plus, listen to the post-rock ambient duo Stars of the Lid, along with music by Henry Purcell arranged by Wendy Carlos used in “A Clockwork Orange.” And more.
Hear the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's "O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind," performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars from the People's Commissioning Fund Concert at Merkin Hall, recorded as part of New Sounds Live and the Ecstatic Music Festival. Incidentally, Bryce plays with both the vocal-chamber-rock ensemble, Clogs, and the indie rock hometown heroes, the National. Also, we will hear the other world premieres commissioned by the people: Nick Brooke's playful "Menace (Sousa Medley)" and Karsh Kale's world premiere, "Crawl Walk Run Fly."
For this New Sounds, hear a string quartet that is an arrangement of a Jimi Hendrix song, along with an arrangement of the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy," by Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Don Ross. We'll also hear a jazz-ish band, Blue Cranes, taking on the Red House Painters, a sonata for violin and piano that is actually a Brian Wilson song, and music from the Jolly Boys. Plus, there'll be more Jimi Hendrix covers, perhaps by Ben Verdery & Turtle Island Quartet.
Listen to ensemble pieces which incorporate or draw from the folk music of several different parts of the world on this New Sounds program. There’s music by the Alaev Family band from Tajikistan collaborating with Israeli musician Tamir Muskat from the band Balkan Beat Box. Also, hear music that simulates the sound of Norwegian folk fiddling. It’s the work of Princeton University professor Dan Trueman, founder of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra and a Norwegian hardanger fiddle specialist together with So Percussion.
For this New Sounds program, hear Antony & the Johnsons cover Bob Dylan, and the Unthanks cover Antony & the Johnsons. There are other covers of Leonard Cohen songs, along with more Bob more Dylan covers, and the Unthanks take on songs by Robert Wyatt as well.
It’s almost a theme and variations edition of New Sounds, taking John Dowland’s “Flow My Tears” as a starting point and playing on the theme of tears and melancholy. Hear mostly instrumental works based on Dowland’s “Lachrimae” pieces, the best known of which is probably "Flow my Tears," - and it eventually had words. There’s multiple moods and variations on tears from Austrian trombonist Christian Muthspiel and an all-star quartet of musicians who “are at home in the worlds of both composed music as well as improvisation and jazz.”
For this New Sounds listen to ambitious works inspired by East Asian storytelling. There’s music based on one of the classic Chinese epic tales – “Monkey,” as retold and done up by Damon Albarn (of the Brit- pop band Blur, and of the animated rock band, Gorillaz), and Jamie Hewlett with many other participants. “Monkey: Journey to the West” is a mammoth music theatre work/hybrid opera performed in Mandarin and features over 50 Chinese acrobats, martial arts experts and a team of tiny contortionists. It will be part of the Lincoln Center Festival this summer.
From the New Sounds Live concert series recorded last year, the extremely talented genre-blind sextet yMusic performs new works by Richard Reed Parry & Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott.) Hear some new works by Richard Reed Parry, including a piece for stethoscopes & yMusic. Parry is a multi-instrumentalist with the Grammy-winning rock band, Arcade Fire, and the co-founder of the post-rock outfit Bell Orchestre.
For this New Sounds, listen to "Tirtha," a collaboration between the South Indian guitarist Prasanna and pianist/composer Vijay Iyer. Also, the venerable sax titan Charles Lloyd together with MacArthur “genius grant”-winning pianist Jason Moran, from a live performance on Soundcheck. And more.
For this New Sounds Program, we’ll listen to intriguing music about being lost, both physically, and in the sense of just having no direction, and not knowing where you’re headed. From duoJalal, which is violist Kathryn Lockwood and percussionist Yousif Sheronick, hear music by Kenji Bunch, an entire suite called “Lost & Found.”