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Hearing Voices

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Listen to music from composer John McGuire based on the sounds of one soprano voice (his wife) multiplied, refracted and superimposed to create a choral fantasia.  Also, hear music from Christine Baczewska, who explores the voice as instrument, similarly incorporating multi-tracking to create textured, overlapping choruses. Plus, music by Laurel MacDonald and Paul Lansky’s “Idle Chatter,” and more.

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Post-Rock & Soundtracks

Friday, December 05, 2014

Listen to some post-rock music on this New Sounds program.  Hear a collaborative film score by the Austin, TX band, Explosions in the Sky, who, together with David Wingo, have made the soundtrack to the independent film “Prince Avalanche.”  It’s a step back from the dramatic swells of the “Friday Night Lights” era and never builds to those crescendos, yet still works as a piece of aural cinema.

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Ambient Electroacoustic Music

Thursday, December 04, 2014

In this edition of New Sounds, we hear the different ways composers combine acoustic music and electronics to create ambient and almost ambient music. 

As the 2010 Rome Prize winner of Musical Composition, Huck Hodge was commissioned to write Pools of shadow from an older sky to commemorate the first demonstration of Galileo’s telescope. This demonstration took place on the same grounds where the Rome Prize fellows live and work. This piece for live-processed piano, computer-realized sound, and video projection premiered exactly 400 years after the demonstration in the same location.

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Music for Violin Plus

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Hear new music featuring violin on this New Sounds program, including selections from Anna Clyne's remarkable multimedia work, "The Violin" and the centerpiece of Irish fiddler/composer Adrian Hart's record, "Cuisle."  Listen to Hart’s suite for violin and electronics "Cuisle ‘is Tonnta," where minimalist violin riffs make the rounds through Appalachian, Celtic, Cajun and klezmer camps, unleashing angry swells here and seeking solace there. 

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Pianist Composers

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Listen to music by pianist/composers in a nocturnal vein on this New Sounds program.  There’s music from the Berlin-based pianist and piano-builder Davide Martello, who may be best known for showing up with his hand-made grand piano during the protests in Taksim Square to "inspire politicians through music."  Also, listen to music from Italian pianist/composer Ludovico Einaudi along with music by the late Dutch composer Simeon Ten Holt. 

 

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November 2014 New Releases

Monday, December 01, 2014

We gave you an extra day to recover from your Thanksgiving food coma to prepare for John Schaefer's favorite releases from November. We start off with some new music featuring the piano--two contrasting pieces by composer/pianist Tomasz Trzcinski, Philip Glass' Piano Etude #17 performed by Maki Namekawa to celebrate his recently completed 20 etudes, and the "Undine" movement from Anthony Davis' Balinese gamelan inspired "Wayang V," featuring the composer on the piano with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

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Reflections of China

Sunday, November 30, 2014

For this New Sounds, listen to music inspired by the image of the plum blossom, China, or variations on the plum blossom. Hear a surprising acoustic piece by Greek composer Vangelis, also known for scoring "Chariots of Fire," from a 30 year old recording, "China." Also, Grammy Award winning composer, reed virtuoso and jazz master Yusef Lateef takes on the piece with Chinese globular flute.

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Music Based on Earlier Songs

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hear works based on earlier songs for this New Sounds program, including Bernard Hoey's “I Am Petrified,” based on Queen's "We Will Rock You." Also, listen to Don Byron's String Quartet,"Four Thoughts On Marvin Gaye," played by Ethel from their record, "Heavy."    

Music by Don Byron inspired by Marvin Gaye, and played by Ethel. Music by Don Byron inspired by Marvin Gaye, and played by Ethel. Music by Don Byron inspired by Marvin Gaye, and played by Ethel.
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40 Years (and more) of Kronos Quartet

Friday, November 28, 2014

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.

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British Choral Works

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hear choral works by three contemporary English composers on this New Sounds program, all of which invite comparisons between spiritual and mystical realms and that of reality on Earth.  Listen to Tarik O’Regan’s “The Ecstasies Above,” a setting of Edgar Allen Poe’s lyric poem Israfel (after the angel “whose heart-strings are a lute, and who has the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures”), painting quite the vision of heaven versus that of the lowly human condition. Also, O’Regan’s work is unusually scored; for full chorus, string quartet, and 8 vocal soloists [two separate SATB quartets.]

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Hot Brass Band Party

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Listen to as much brass band music as we can handle on this New Sounds program.  From Egypt to Rajastan, from New Orleans to Benin, there's party music aplenty.  Hear music from the soundtrack to the film "Brasslands," documenting the pilgrimage of New York-based Zlatne Uste to the 50th annual trumpet competition in a tiny Serbian village, Guča.  Then, listen to the Gangbé Brass Band from Benin and their unexpected collaboration with the Belgian band Jaune Toujours.

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Orchestral and Electronic Music

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

For this New Sounds, hear electronic-inspired orchestral music from Ted Hearne and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, music that mixes orchestra and electronics from Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, and a work from Brian Eno as well. Listen to “Aeriality” for orchestra by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, which has echoes of her work with electronic sound. Also, from Thorvaldsdottir’s recent release, “Aerial,” hear a work for piano and electronics, “Trajectories.” 

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"Indie Classical" and "Garage Chamber" (Special Podcast)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hear so-called “indie classical” works on this New Sounds - music which is at home in both the contemporary classical music world and the indie rock/pop music halls, basements, and dive bars. Listen to the “NYC garage-chamber septet” The Cellar and Point, who use acoustic instruments and electronics to create a sound that is winningly melodic, thoughtful in its balance, groove-heavy, sometimes glitchy, and delightfully unpredictable as the septet straddles all kinds of genres. Members of the group also currently perform with JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Signal, and Mantra Percussion.  

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With The Touré-Raichel Collective

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Touré-Raichel Collective brings together Malian guitar virtuoso Vieux Farka Touré and Israeli pianist and singer Idan Raichel who met by chance at an airport in Europe. Following a concert in Tel Aviv, these friends got together for an impromptu session, producing a magical and creative acoustic global music which crosses boundaries of country, culture and tradition. Their second collaborative record, “The Paris Session” is just out this past September. For this New Sounds, the Touré-Raichel Collective visits the WNYC studio to perform works from their stunning collaborative sessions. 

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Tangled Web of Fiddling

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has fingered Irish music and its Celtic fiddling of being the connection between American folk music and classical music. In the North Sea region, the influence of the Scandinavian tradition with its Norwegian farmers and Vikings permeated the Celtic culture, more in Scotland than in Ireland.  The roots-web is even more tangled than that once the Italian contribution to the development of the violin is considered  (Antonio Stradivari in Cremona.) For this New Sounds program, listen to the shared musical territory between Celtic, Scandinavian, “early music,” & Appalachian fiddle music.

 

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Global Collaborations

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This New Sounds program highlights some unexpected global collaborations- including but not limited to- Uzbeki bluegrass, musicians based in Italy who meld North African and Bollywood music, and Mardi Gras marching bands coupled with Argentinean tango flair. Listen to a Creole tango from the Boston-based Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, who regularly ride the party train down to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

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Gated Music

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hear music made using noise gates on this New Sounds program.  How does it work?  Basically, when open, a gate allows you to hear the sound behind it, but when closed, you don’t.  (Here’s a handy tutorial about gates.) Listen to music from A. Leroy (Dick Connette) as he takes a recording of a Mardi Gras Indian song and through the use of gating, turns it into a rhythm track.  Also, hear Joshua Fried’s musical shoes, as played with drumsticks in the service of Linda Fisher’s piece, “Big Mouth,” featuring cartoon music and sound effects, from a live performance recorded back in 1990.

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New Sounds Live: Tubular Bells

Thursday, November 20, 2014

From the New Sounds Live Concerts, hear a new arrangement of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells by guitarist and singer Grey Mcmurray, with the Wordless Music Orchestra, as recorded this past October, at Brookfield Place. Oldfield's 1973 proggy, ambitious, almost symphonic set of variations on a theme is perhaps best known for its inclusion in the soundtrack to The Exorcist, which became a global hit for the then just-launched Virgin Records. Mcmurray’s world premiere arrangement of "Tubular Bells" uses an unreleased ending to the piece (narrated by our own host, John Schaefer, impersonating a drunk Vivian Stanshall) and supplements the original orchestration with electric violin and cello.

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Dispatch from the Metal Trenches

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sometimes the New Sounds All-Purpose Assistant stumbles upon really wonderful music and sounds that might not EVER get airplay on New Sounds. Perhaps because they are too easily categorized as metal. We already know that Schaefer is a Black Sabbath fan, but this latest crop of music goes beyond that classic heavy metal sound, drawing from chamber music (smaller than an orchestra, played in a room), and male / female choral writing, in addition to incorporating traditional folk instruments (hammered dulcimer and banjo.) Despite many of the artists below possibly being able to comfortably wear a cloak of black metal, these works could definitely straddle some genre fences, in the way that New Sounds should.

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Black Mountain Songs

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

For this New Sounds, Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner, the co-curators of “Black Mountain Songs,” along with Dianne Berkun-Menaker, the director of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, join John Schaefer in the studio. Richard Reed Parry is a member of the Grammy-winning rock group Arcade Fire, as well as the chamber post-rock band Bell Orchestre. Bryce Dessner is also known as the guitarist for indie-rock band the National, as well as the improvising new music quartet, Clogs.

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