Friday, June 06, 2014
For this New Sounds program, we’ll look back at the music and career of the underrated and often overlooked French-born, New York-based composer and keyboardist Elodie Lauten, who died earlier this week, at the age of 63. Listen to Lauten in many settings: interviews and performances in our studio and onstage from New Sounds Live, and her other commercial and unreleased recordings. Hear some of the first work John Schaefer heard by Lauten in 1983, “Cat Counterpoint” for piano, concrete sounds and synthesizer, along with portions of a 1989 interview. There’s also a performance at our piano from November of 1985, as well as a 1994 electronic performance in our studio, direct to the board with Lauten’s giant Proteus keyboard –– so as to better enable alternate tunings. That work, Elodie Lauten’s “The Gaia Cycle” (1993) was created using universal modes, based on the Earth’s day/night cycle, which are not Western tunings, and avoid equal temperament, but “don’t hit you over the head,” with their alternate tuning.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Hear new music for dulcimers and zithers on this New Sounds program. Listen to music featuring hammer dulcimer and other folk instruments by Julia Wolfe in her work “Steel Hammer,” based on the 19th C. folk legend John Henry. Wolfe takes all of the different versions of the story and assembles them in a setting for the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Trio Mediaeval. There’s also Americana-like strings meeting minimalism in music for hammer dulcimer and harpsichord along with violin and cello in a work called “Percussion and Strings” from the Dan Joseph Ensemble. Plus, music for George Crumb involving the strings on the inside of the piano.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Hear electronic songs on this New Sounds program, involving voice, sometimes layered, with more layers of keyboards & electronics, and other instruments. There’s new music from the Geoff Smith Band (which now includes members of the band Portishead) and their adaptation of “Black is the Color.” It’s a blend of traditional folksong and poetry by Rimbaud. Also, listen to selections from “Songs for Persephone” by Mimi Goese and Ben Neill, built on her voice and electronics along with ethereal music from Jonsi & Alex. Jonsi, the singer for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, and his partner, Alex Somers, have also recorded under the moniker Riceboy Sleeps. Plus, revisit Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman,” and meditate on her voice, keyboards & processing. The song was a surprise hit song on the U.K. pop charts in the early 1980’s. And more.
Monday, June 02, 2014
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.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
There's music recorded in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on this New Sounds program. Composer/vocalist Meredith Monk has just returned from a trip to India and Bhutan where she obtained recordings of young musicians striving - via the talent show, "Bhutan Star,"- to keep the traditional sounds of Bhutanese music alive. The program is an "American Idol"-esque talent show which forces contestants to sing the nation's fading traditional songs.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
For this New Sounds program, hear music that falls in the space between classical and pop, as well as in the small hollow between chamber music and folk. There’s electronic chamber pop music by composer Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) for yMusic, the versatile composer/performer collective, and some post-rock from the Arcade Fire’s multi-instrumentalist, Richard Reed Parry, in the guise of the ensemble, Bell Orchestre. We'll also expand the folk umbrella to include traditional instruments of Korea and Japan making chamber music.
Friday, May 30, 2014
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. There's music from cellist Erik Friedlander, and the Dublin Guitar Quartet, who have arranged the music of Philip Glass. Also, new recordings of music by Meredith Monk, and more.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Hear music that inhabits a twilit world on this New Sounds, featuring a set from the remarkable Irish-American quintet The Gloaming. Comprised of the gifted Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, hardanger innovator Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Irish master singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, together with Chicago guitarist Dennis Cahill, and New York pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), the Gloaming delivers deceptively simple, spellbindingly beautiful tunes, rooted in traditional reels, jigs and ballads, yet somehow evolved – transformed, really. SEE The Gloaming on Friday, June 20 at 7PM in the Jerome L. Greene Space, as part of the New Sounds Live Concerts.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
This New Sounds is another musical melting pot program, but tonight, we’re coming at it from a jazz and blues angle. Listen to the Swedish guitarist Torbjörn Ömalm bringing western jazz, Swedish folk and the Finnish kantele together on his record, “Tih.” The word "Tih" means "stop and listen" in meänkieli, one of the minority languages of Lapland and the Tornevalley. Next, hear the gifted vocalist/composer Kavita Shah, who on her latest, “Visions,” (co-produced by the renowned Benin-born guitarist Lionel Loueke) combines a jazz quintet with Indian tablas and the West African kora.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
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.
Monday, May 26, 2014
For this New Sounds, we’ll listen to songs with a twilight feel – that is, evening songs. We’ll hear songs, both old and new - by Henry Purcell along with songs by Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake- featuring baroque harp, Swedish Nickelharpa, and viola da gamba on a record called “If Grief Could Wait.” The project is a collaboration between baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi and the Swedish singer Susanna Wallumrød.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Listen to some of the musical scores for Bill Morrison's silent films on this New Sounds program. There’s a mix of brass ensemble & electronics in Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score to “The Miners’ Hymns,” a documentary that depicts an ill-fated mining community in England. One "can almost hear the cavernous mineshafts and their ominous heritage in the brutal electronic treatments, and hear the creaking, crumbling landscapes beneath the haunting brass." (Boomkat)
Saturday, May 24, 2014
There’s an hour of music for far-off places on this New Sounds program. Listen to a work written by Princeton professor Paul Lansky, called “Travel Diary.” From a new recording by the Meehan/Perkins Duo, the work is a "kind of meditation on travel particularly for those who don't do it that much." Parts were inspired by an actual cross-country trip taken by the composer and his family, wrong turns and a younger child asking "Are we there yet?"
Friday, May 23, 2014
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.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Listen to two big pieces which might be labeled post-classical or post-rock on this New Sounds program. There’s music from composer Bryce Dessner, featuring a diverse palette of bowed vibraphone, harmonium, electric guitar, and orchestra, in Dessner’s “Raphael” (2007). Also, hear almost orchestral music with a post-rock ambient drone approach in “Virginia,” a large work from the Austin, TX-based duo Stars of the Lid. Plus a work from Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and composer Dustin O’Halloran, as A Winged Victory For the Sullen, and more.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
For this New Sounds, there’s music that falls into the cracks between rock and classical, between popular music and contemporary chamber music. Listen to music by Yann Tiersen, probably best known for the “Amelie” soundtrack. Hear selections from his latest, “∞”(Infinity), which is a collection of songs, stories and instrumentals made mostly in Iceland and incorporating Breton and Icelandic, but also Faroese and English.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
For this New Sounds, we’ll look beyond flamenco, experiencing collisions of Indian classical music and flamenco, along with other flamenco blends. From a record by Indian classical slide guitar player Debashish Bhattacharya, hear what happens when Hindustani and Spanish flamenco music are brought together. Also, listen to music from Anoushka Shankar, daughter of late sitar master Ravi Shankar. Her release, “Traveller” is a musical journey where she travels the world musically, incorporating Indian and flamenco music along the way. Plus, there’s flamenco fusion music from Ketama, featuring the great Malian kora player Toumani Diabate, and more.
Monday, May 19, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to hybrid groups that use jazzy-looking instruments, but throw in traditional folk music, chamber music, and a splash of rock. Listen to jazz-ish music from the Swiss quintet, pommelHORSE, whose clarinets and saxes are up front, but there’s also Fender Rhodes, bass and drums and distortion pedals. Then, listen to music by the London-based trumpeter and bandleader Yazz Ahmed who melds jazz with the sounds of her Arabic heritage on her record “Finding My Way Home.” Also, listen to near-Eastern inflected music from the New York-based Iraqi-American trumpeter Amir Elsaffar. Plus music from the Finnish-Franco-Argentine outfit, IF trio, who mix jazz, real and imaginary traditional music, as well as rock. That, and more.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
For this New Sounds, hear some world music from Congo, in both Staff Benda Bilili and the Congolese-Belgian rapper Baloji. Staff Benda Bilili are a 8-piece group of street musicians who used to live & play around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa. They'll serve up some rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals and tin-can guitar solos.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
This New Sounds program samples a world of ambient works, with music from composers based in Iceland, Germany, Scotland, Poland, Sweden, and a work from a Brooklyn-based metal guitarist. Listen to pulsing percussive ambient music by Berlin-based Nils Frahm, along with some stasis music featuring harpsichord by the Polish composer Jacaszek. Then, from Iceland, there's a score from composer, producer (and former metalhead) Olafur Arnalds, "Another Happy Day," with electro-acoustic soundscapes formed around piano and strings.