Recent Episodes and Articles
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Listen to music for multiple stringed instruments on this New Sounds. Hear a work from “Recursions,” the solo record by violist Nicholas Cords, who is both a member of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Cords’ five-part suite, “Five Migrations,” builds looped melodies that range from the thoughtful to the propulsive, with stops at the Penguin Café and along the Silk Road. There’s also music for multiple violins with music from Todd Reynolds, for multiple cellos by Zoe Keating, and perhaps music performed by double-bass player Robert Black of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
Monday, August 18, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to orchestral and chamber music songs that don’t fit comfortably into the “indie” rock world, like music from My Brightest Diamond, Kaizers Orchestra, or Beirut.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
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.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Listen to music for chorus, "gamelan-style" on this New Sounds. Japanese drummer and composer Yoshimi is the mastermind behind OOIOO, an improvisation-based project whose latest effort, “Gamel” revolves around voices and gamelan instruments, (with a bit of electric guitar and weird effects.) Yoshimi also drums for the Boredoms, helped curate the epic gatherings of drummers/percussionists between the two bridges in in 2007, “77 Boadrum” and “88 Boadrum” (on 8/8/2008), and is involved in many other musical ventures. [Yes, she is the enigma for whom the Flaming Lips album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" was named.] Listen to the gamelan-based wonder that is “Don Ah," from “Gamel,” the seventh record from OOIOO, which is all sorts of curious, and full of freewheeling manic energy.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to some non-classical music from classically-trained musicians, including an acoustic music quartet that is neither classical nor jazz - The 442s, comprised of members of the St. Louis Symphony, and jazz musicians. There’s also new music from Shara Worden, who records as My Brightest Diamond, from her brand-new EP, "None More Than You" scored for vocals, brass and percussion – something that can be performed with say – a marching band! Then, hear music by Andrew McKenna Lee with members of the Knells, some very cinematic work by the French-born London-based Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, and more music from the L.A.-based collective, wild Up. Plus, something from electronic musician/ sound designer/ producer/ programmer Michael Hammond, aka No Lands, as well as a tune from cellist Erik Friedlander. And more.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
This New Sounds is all about party music from the Balkans, Near East, and Central Asia. From the frantic and sweaty pop that provides the soundtrack for celebrations in Egypt, to Punjabi wedding music, it’s all here. Listen to music from the Albanian horn band Fanfara Tirana, along with a Bjork tune arranged by Syrian pop legend Omar Souleyman. Then there’s music from Egyptian DJs of the Cairo Liberation Front, and music from Brooklyn-based Punjabi sweaty-making party band, Red Baraat. Plus, listen to the highly danceable Syrian electronic dabke music, also heard at weddings and parties. And more.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
For this New Sounds, hear a blend of western music & musicians with singers and instrumentalists from the Indian subcontinent; North and South India and/or Pakistan. Most unexpectedly, there’s a recently issued record, recorded in the late 1990’s, by guitarist Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran, Frank Zappa and Missing Persons fame together with the late Hindustani classical singer and sarangi (Indian box cello) player Ustad Sultan Khan. Then, listen to music from the late, great Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in collaboration with Canadian Michael Brook. Also, hear music from the South-Indian born American-based double-necked 10 string electric violinist and composer, L. Shankar.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
There’s music for female voices, very often one voice layered atop itself on this New Sounds program. Hear the New York- and Sendai, Japan-based composer Aya Nishina’s work, “Flora”, a layered vocal offering of several singers, dedicated to the memory of March 11, 2011 (also called the Great Sendai Earthquake or Great Tōhoku Earthquake.) "Flora" features the voices of composer/bandleader Becca Stevens, composer Monika Heidemann, vocalist/composer/bandleader Sara Serpa, and jazz singer Gretchen Parlato.
Monday, August 11, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to musicians from Belgium, Switzerland, the U.K., and Italy working together with musicians living in Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. Hear the late American slide guitarist Bob Brozman working together with Guinean kora player Djeli Moussa Diawara from a record called “Ocean Blues.” Then there’s music from another American guitarist Ry Cooder, collaborating with the late great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure, along with some Saharan desert blues from Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 09, 2014
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.
Friday, August 08, 2014
For this New Sounds show, listen to post-minimalist works that are somewhat keyboard-centric. Hear music by Daniel Wohl, from the musicians of TRANSIT, and featuring vocals by Julia Holter. There’s also music from French composer Sylvain Chaveau, from a collection of works for cinema, along with another piece used in film by Clint Mansell, his “Welcome to Lunar Industries.” Plus, the Irish composer Simon O’Connor reworks J.S. Bach for the Ergodos Musicians, and a multi-part work by Nico Muhly from his “Drones” release.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to music that tells stories with works like "Casino" by composer and politician Phillip Bimstein. There's also music by Laurie Anderson from her "The Ugly One with the Jewels and Other Stories," which is a recording of a live performance of readings from her book Stories From the Nerve Bible, over sounds from birds, guitars, and electronic beeps. That, and more.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Hear electronic music informed by the sounds of choral music and the mirror image, blurring the boundaries between both. There’s choral music for a Norwegian video installation from percussionist/composer Qasim Naqvi of the band Dawn of Midi. This music is informed by electronics, although the voices are unprocessed. Naqvi taught the singers how to embody the sonic characteristics of a monophonic synthesizer with their voices, hence the unusual vocal quality to the work.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
On this New Sounds, we remember composer, professor, instrument inventor, and multi-instrumentalist, Dean Drummond. Drummond, who passed away on Saturday, was the founder and conductor of Newband, which played the famous Harry Partch Instrumentarium - the 43-note-to-the-octave instruments that Partch invented in the middle of the 20th century. Dean was the curator of this unique collection for many years, and was also an instrument inventor himself and a composer. From a February 1995 New Sounds Live concert, hear his arrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" for Partch instruments, Partch's own "Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales," and Drummond's major piece, "The Day the Sun Stood Still." Drummond also explains how he came to meet and play with Harry Partch, develop his own instruments, and more.
Monday, August 04, 2014
For this New Sounds, listen to the latest from Zion80, a horn-driven Jewish Afrobeat party band led by guitarist Jon Madof. The name is a nod to the band Africa 70, which was the great Afro-pop band put together by Fela Kuti in Nigeria. On their latest release, Zion80 take on more Jewish-themed music - in this case, Madof’s creative arrangements of 8 tunes from John Zorn’s “Book of Angels” from Masada Book II.
Sunday, August 03, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 02, 2014
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.
Friday, August 01, 2014
Hear an hour of Sufi devotional music, mostly Pakastani and usually sung by men, known as Qawwali for this New Sounds program. Listen to this ecstatic prayer music performed live by the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party in the WNYC studio, from a November 1993 appearance. Then there’s an arrangement of Nusrat’s “Allah Hoo” by the Brooklyn Qawwali Party, using jazz band instrumentation, recorded live from the 2009 Globalfest.