#3762: Chamber Music with Strange Instruments

Email a Friend
Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Hear strange & unusual instruments in chamber music, including a work for the Partch instrumentarium, Icelandic metallic percussion called klakabond, music for Tibetan singing bowls, and chamber music with Japanese koto, Chinese sheng, and Korean daegum.

Listen to music by instrument builder and innovator Harry Partch – his “A Ring around the Moon” slung together in four “phases.”   Born of a rejected instrumental piece called Sonata Dementia of music in 43-tones to the octave, the vocalist gets to intone many different incoherent- yet grandiose countings and rhyming phrases (“razzle dazzle,” “dilly dally” and [spoiler alert] the incoherent ending nonsequitur of  “Lookout, he’s got a gun.” 

See the Partch Instrumentarium:

Also, listen to music for the International Contemporary Ensemble by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir – her tetralogy of works, “In the Light of Air” written for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion & electronics. The movement we’ll hear, “Remembrance,” uses an installation of metallic ornaments designed by the composer called klakabond in Icelandic (“a bind of ice”) for a solo percussion section. Then hear a bit of a work by Peter Michael Hamel, played by the Asian Art Ensmemble for Daegŭm (large bamboo transverse flute used in traditional Korean music), Sheng (Chinese free reed wind instrument consisting of 17 bamboo pipes set in a small wind-chest into which a musician blows through a mouthpiece), 13- and 21-string Koto (Japanese zither with moveable bridges), Changgu (Korean traditional hourglass-shaped drum )and String Trio. 

Plus, new music for ancient instruments by Raphael Mostel and the Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble. 

What is a singing bowl?

PROGRAM #3762 Chamber Music With Strange Instruments (First Aired 8-12-2015)





International Contemporary Ensemble ICE

In the Light of Air

Anna Thorvaldsdottir In the Light of Air: Remembrance, excerpt [1:30]

Sono Luminus
Due out August 28, 2015


Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances

Harry Partch: In the Ring of the Moon (A Dance Fantasm for Here and Now) [9:17]

Bridge Records 9439

International Contemporary Ensemble ICE

In the Light of Air

Anna Thorvaldsdottir In the Light of Air: Remembrance [16:06]

Sono Luminus
Due out August 28, 2015

Raphael Mostel & Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble

New Sounds Live at Merkin Hall, 1989

Raphael Mostel: Jacob’s Ladder, excerpt [15:30]

This performance not  commercially available,  but the work appears on “Nightsongs,” digital fossils CD 10008-2 See  mostel.com for info.

Asian Art Ensemble


Peter Michael Hamel: YU, Die Begeisterung, 2 [5:03]

Celestial Harmonies 14319