Recent Episodes and Articles
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
by Caryn Havlik —
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.
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.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
For this New Sounds show, listen to music redolent of the near East, with echoes of Turkey, Israel, Armenia, Persia and Egypt. Hear music from the French-born Klezmer clarinetist Yom, and his record “Silence of the Exodus.” The music tells the story of the departure of the Jews from Egypt by way of the sounds of Iranian percussion, the double bass and the clarinet, and modal cellos.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Thematically, this New Sounds program goes for works by women. Listen to Juliana Barwick's recent record, “Nepenthe,” featuring countless fragments of her voice electronically layered to create soaring choral music. Then, listen to selections from a song cycle by Leah Kardos based on themes of technology, loneliness and the human condition. All of the texts have been taken from a few years of collected spam emails.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
For this New Sounds, hear music from the duo Moon Ate the Dark, which is Anna Rose Carter (piano) and Christopher Brett Bailey (treatments.) Carter provides soft peals of piano and Bailey weaves them together with dark washes of reverb, and other subtle electronic processing. There's also glitchy ambient music from Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto along with music from the Hilary Hahn & Hauschka release, "Silfra." And more.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Hear the Ghanaian-rooted Afrofunk band KonKoma, (now based in the U.K.), along with recent releases and/or reissues of music from South, East, and West Africa. Sample selections from Zambian miners and minstrels, music from street musicians in Malawi, and some gorgeous acoustic Afropop from Mali.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Listen to music for duos on this New Sounds show, including stunning and inviting works from harpist Mary Lattimore & synth/guitarist/producer Jeff Zeigler from their recent collaboration, "Slant of Light." Also, hear music from Xylouris White, comprised of Cretan singer and lute player George Xylouris and drummer/percussionist Jim White (The Dirty Three, Cat Power, others), recorded and engineered by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi, Rites of Spring). Then, hear music by Paola Prestini from a new record by cellist Jeffrey Zeigler (formerly of Kronos Quartet), which features percussionist/composer Jason Treuting (So Percussion). Prestini's Listen, Quiet is a conversation between cello passages and drums, blocks, marimba, and what sounds like glockenspiel all layered over cuts of chattering groups of female voices. Plus, music from the recent record by Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal, and more.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
From the New Sounds Live Concert Series, listen to new music from a collaboration between guitarist/composer Bryce Dessner and the flexible NY-based orchestral collective, The Knights. Dessner is best known as one of the twin guitarists in the rock band The National, and when he composes, he draws on Baroque and Folk music, late Romanticism and Modernism, Minimalism and the Blues, winding these elements together with the urgency and directness of a guy in a top-notch rock band. Hear a new arrangement of Tenebrae, a piece originally composed for Kronos Quartet with vocals from singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens (appearing here via tape.)
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to music inspired by El Camino, the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, thought to be the final resting place of the Saint James. There’s music from the late Canadian violinist Oliver Schroer, who took the journey to “Finis Terra” (the end of the earth) on foot. He wrote pieces about it and took field recordings.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Hear new blues on tonight's New Sounds, including music from the likes of Bobby McFerrin and the recent record "Spirityouall." McFerrin takes two lines from Psalm 25, "'You know my eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare," and turns them into a deeply bluesy spiritual. Also, listen to arrangements of Skip James and Charlie Patton blues by Chris Thomas King and the Soldier String Quartet.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Listen to music that brings together sounds of the Mediterranean, Southern Italy, and India, with Morocco, and the sounds of Balkans and Scandinavia. There’s music from the NYC-based band Dálava and their arrangements of folk songs, folksongs meticulously transcribed over 100 years ago by biologist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Vladimir Úlehla from one village in the Slovácko region of the Moravian countryside. Dalava is led by vocalist Julia Ulehla (Vladimír’s American great granddaughter) and guitarist Aram Bajakian, and features violins and the Moroccan gimbri.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Hear some sax players leading the way on this edition of New Sounds, including new music from sax player Tamar Osborn and her London-based Afro-Eastern-space-jazz band, Collocutor. Listen to their dreamy Turkish & Middle Eastern percussion meets Sun Ra jazz with electronics. Then, there's lyrical and swinging new music from sax & clarinet wizard/composer Ken Thomson and his outfit Slow/Fast.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Hear music from the duo, White Canvas, whose world of sound moves between song, avant-garde and improvisation, with vocal lines over guitar-based soundscapes. The title of their record is taken from texts by the Sufi mystic and poet, Jalaluddin Rumi - “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Also, Jocelyn Montgomery (Miranda Sex Garden) and David Lynch arrange music by the 12th-century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Listen to Montgomery’s sublime renditions from a recording called Lux Vivens. And more.
Saturday, November 08, 2014
This New Sounds program stirs some more mixtures into the global music melting pot with traditional Macedonian folksong performed by Polish band with African name – Dikanda, and some Balkan brass band music from Boban Markovic. There’s also something from Hanggai, a Chinese band that combines traditional Mongolian overtone singing with Western rock and jazz.
Friday, November 07, 2014
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.
Thursday, November 06, 2014
If you missed the New Sounds Live concert of Julia Wolfe's "Steel Hammer," hear it tonight. Recorded live from October 14, 2014 at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, the Bang On A Can All-Stars and vocalists Emily Eagan, Katie Geissinger, and Molly Quinn take on Wolfe's piece based on the legend of John Henry and the many contradictory versions of his tale. Wolfe based her text on over 200 versions of the John Henry ballad. The score calls for wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, jaw harp, harmonica, and banjo which are essential to the Appalachian and folk sound of the work.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Listen to songs and poems from Europe, including Polish and Albanian poetry set to post-jazz and neo-folk music and songs from the Swiss-Albanian singer Elina Duni. There's Slavic-tinged folk-pop-jazz from singer and classically-trained pianist Anna Maria Jopek based on old Polish poem. Then listen to Polish post-jazz from Odo Walicki based on Albanian and Polish poems, and songs from Hungarian folk vocalist Marta Sebestyen. Plus, hear music from Savina Yannatou singing songs from Moldova and Armenia, and more.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Monday, November 03, 2014
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 music by 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.
Sunday, November 02, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to some of the remarkable and unexpected collaboration between concert violinist and improviser Hilary Hahn & the German composer and keyboard player, Hauschka. They perform for us works for violin and prepared piano, based on their record, "Silfra," which was named for the crack in Iceland between the American and Eurasian continents where the continental plates meet and drift apart about 2cm per year. Interestingly, these live performances are different from the ones on "Silfra," because all of the pieces are improvised.