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Author Archive

New From Cuneiform Records

Cuneiform Records

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LARS HOLLMER WITH FLOURY HAND (sketches)CD+DVD
RUNE 340/341

“Lars Hollmer was a Swedish composer, accordionist and keyboardist. He was a founding member of the influential “Rock in Opposition (R.I.O.)” movement. His band Samla Mammas Manna, were a huge and hugely popular force on the Swedish progressive rock / avant rock scene for about 15 years in the 70s and into the 80s. After Samla/Zamla/Von Zamla ended in the mid 80s, he founded and performed in a number of other bands. With one or another of his bands he toured throughout Europe, the Americas and beyond.

Starting in the 1980s and concurrent with his band work, he had a solo career where he emphasized his compositions and his accordion playing and he wrote and introduced many beautiful and exciting pieces into the modern accordion repertoire, including a piece that is a modern-day standard in Sweden, “Boeves Psalm”.

“Towards the end of working on Viandra, (Lars) talked about wanting to make a new album that would be full of weird ideas and weird songs. He intended the new album to be a contrast to the melancholy and, at times, dark Viandra that he worked so hard with for several years. He said that he dug deep into his archive and found several hours of unreleased stuff, sketches, demos, and even finished songs, ranging from the early 1980s to 2008. He asked me to listen through the material and suggest a sample. That however did not happen as, in May 2008, my father was diagnosed with severe lung cancer and all plans were put on hold…. This is not With Floury Hand as my father might have imagined it and it is not a finished album. It is my selection from the more than four hours of music my father himself collected for his album. It is a mix of more or less unfinished songs and sketches that I love. It is full of wild and crazy ideas and antics, pieces of utter frivolity, but equally places full of delicate beauty. This is music straight from the heart. Just like how my father was.”-Gabriel Strand Hollmer

With Floury Hand is the final release by Lars Hollmer. In addition to the CD that contains the best recordings of what he was working on before he died and which is a treat in itself, also included is a professionally filmed DVD from 2005 of a performance at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal. The beautiful 45′ performance here has six solo pieces, four duet pieces with his long-time friend and musical associate, bassoonist Michel Berckmans (of Univers Zero and Von Zamla), and one track with Miriodor, with all of them performing “Talrika”, the piece Lars specifically wrote for them, plus DVD extras.

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JANEL & ANTHONY WHERE IS HOME
RUNE 338

Janel Leppin
Anthony Pirog

“Both musicians, together and separately, have long been an important and active part of Washington D.C.’s new-music scene. Anthony Pirog, an omnivorous, multi-faceted guitarist who studied jazz at Berklee and has performed country, fingerstyle, rock and surf music and Janel Leppin, a conservatory trained cellist steeped in North Indian and Persian classical music, who also plays electric bass in rock bands, have created a lavishly detailed musical journey, by turns ravishing and harrowing. Janel and Anthony alternately charm and challenge, with music that draws from classical, experimental, jazz, rock and electronic traditions but that ultimately is simply theirs.

Self-recording and releasing their 1st album in 2006 and selling thousands of copies at their hundreds of shows, they spent over 3 years conceiving and recording Where Is Home in a professional, analog studio, giving the album a thoughtful, comfortable and lived in feel. Alternating compositions with brief improvisations and soundscapes, Where Is Home captures the dynamic ebb and flow of their live shows where they artfully employ live looping, an array of effects and prepared backing. Simple musical lines grow into complex blocks of echoing sound which eventually are spun and turned into elegiac melodies. The music is both experimental and elegant and smokily psychedelic in a completely modern way.”

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PIXEL REMINDER
RUNE 342

Ellen Andrea Wang
Harald Lassen
Jonas Kilmork Vemøy
Jon Audun Baar

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“Pixel, the powerhouse indie-jazz ensemble from Norway, makes an indelible first impression with Reminder. Led by bassist, vocalist and composer Ellen Andrea Wang, the band also features drummer Jon Audun Baar, saxist Harald Lassen and trumpeter Jonas Vemøy. Combining indie-rock energy with the improvisational flexibility of jazz, Pixel are earthy and ethereal, wistful and agressive, sensuous and pummeling.

Pixel features the same classic, piano-less, ‘modern jazz’ quartet lineup of sax, trumpet, bass and drums as the epochal jazz quartets led by Ornette Coleman and Gerry Mulligan. Like these antecedents, the band takes full advantage of the harmonic freedom given by the lack of a chordal instrument, but Pixel is more interested in painting scenes than in setting up extended solos. With sharply etched compositions, Pixel has attained preternatural cohesion after two years together, moving seamlessly from composed passages to group improvisation marked by conversational interplay. A radical democracy, no one instrument stays in the foreground for long. With every track but one clocking well under five minutes, Pixel makes every note count, never wasting a moment or letting a tune wear out its welcome.

All four Pixels are ubiquitous on the fiercely creative Scandinavian jazz scene, which has embraced the quartet as an exemplar of Norway’s populist cutting edge. Slated for a series of major festivals and showcases across the region and the UK in conjunction with the release of Reminder, Pixel is poised to take the jazz world by storm. Like similarly forward thinking groups such as The Bad Plus and Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground, this is definitely jazz, but it’s jazz that rock audiences can relate to.

Reminder is the debut release by the most exciting band to come out of the insanely active Norwegian jazz scene in recent memory. In a country where jazz talent seems to seep out through the tap water, that’s saying a lot!”

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POSITIVE CATASTROPHE DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO…
RUNE 336

Taylor Ho Bynum
Abraham Gomez-Delgado
Jen Shyu
Kamala Sankaram
Mark Taylor
Reut Regev
Matt Bauder
Micheal Attias
Pete Fitzpatrick
Alvaro Benavides
Keith Witty
Tomas Fujiwara

Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo… is Positive Catastrophe’s second album. Here, the group combines salsa-derived groove with the intensity of modern jazz for a mix that is both artistic (dibujo = drawing) and magical (brujo = sorcerer). It features new music by both Bynum and Gomez-Delgado, including an extended suite by each.

Throughout the recording, all of the performers in the ensemble receive ample room to feature their musical voices and there are exciting scored passages that roll into rollicking solos; this is new music that knows how to swing and shake!”

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WADADA LEO SMITH TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS
RUNE 350/351/352/353

Wadada Leo Smith • Pheeroan AkLaff • Nels Cline • Michael Gregory • Vijay Iyer • Shannon Jackson • Okkyung Lee • John Lindberg • Don Moye • Brandon Ross • Lamar Smith • Skulli Sverrisson • Suie Ibarra • Josh Gerowitz • Angelica Sanchez • Stephanie Smith • Casey Anderson • Casey Butler • Mark Trayle • Charlie Burgin • Southwest Chamber Music

“Trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers is the work of a lifetime by one of jazz’s true visionaries, a kaleidoscopic, spiritually charged opus inspired by the struggle for African-American freedom and equality before the law. Triumphant and mournful, visceral and philosophical, searching, scathing and relentlessly humane, Smith’s music embraces the turbulent era’s milestones while celebrating the civil rights movement’s heroes and martyrs. This four-disc set documents a stunning, career-capping accomplishment by a jazz giant in the midst of an astonishing creative surge.

An orchestral collaboration with the acclaimed eight-piece ensemble Southwest Chamber Music (harp, clarinet, 2 violins, cello, flute, viola, bass, percussion) conducted by Grammy Award-winner Jeff von der Schmidt, Ten Freedom Summers is built upon Smith’s celebrated Golden Quartet featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Susie Ibarra and/or drummer Pheeroan akLaaf (who often expands the ensemble to a quintet). As a child of the Deep South who was raised in the red-hot crucible of the civil rights movement, Smith traces the project’s origins back to 1977, when he wrote “Medgar Evers,” an expansive evocation of the NAACP activist gunned down in Mississippi 14 years earlier.

Working in fits and starts, Smith completed the 19-piece project 34 years later in October of 2011 with a portentous, elegiac piece for Southwest Chamber Music. In designing the huge, multi-movement work, he focused on the transformative decade framed by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“I was born in 1941 and grew up in segregated Mississippi and experienced the conditions which made it imperative for an activist movement for equality,” says Smith says, who marked his 70th birthday with a presentation of this, perhaps his most ambitious undertaking. “I saw that stuff happening. Those are the moments that triggered this. It was in that same environment that I had my first dreams of becoming a composer and performer.”

After decades of being revered by his peers and colleagues, Smith is attaining his rightful place at the forefront of American music. Ten Freedom Summers is an important work that combines unique, fully scored rigorous passages and great improvisational skills into one huge and cohesive work. It is a thrilling, emotionally charged and satisfying work from a master.”


From ECM: New Jazz Releases

New from ECM

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Steve Kuhn Trio Wisteria
ECM 2257

Steve Kuhn piano
Steve Swallow bass
Joey Baron drums

“Wisdom and wistfulness are intertwined in Wisteria, whose title track, written by Art Farmer, takes us back to the early 60s, when both Steve Kuhn and Steve Swallow sang softly of the blues in the trumpeter-flugelhornist’s band. They’ve shared a lot of history since then. Swallow played on Kuhn’s classic Trance; Kuhn played on Swallow’s Home and So There. Drummer Joey Baron has been heard with Kuhn on ECM discs including Remembering Tomorrow and the dazzling tribute disc Mostly Coltrane. This new album takes a fresh look at several pieces heard in Kuhn’s orchestral Promises Kept collection, but alongside the aching balladry there is also some driving hard bop (on A Likely Story) , a brace of Swallow tunes (Dark Glasses), Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged Permanent Wave and the Brazilian Romance by Dori Caymmi… In all, a varied programme that the trio seems to sail through effortlessly, master musicians beyond the need to prove anything, creating the agreeable illusion that this demanding music is playing itself.”

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, All Our Reasons is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”

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Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

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Andy Sheppard,Michel Benita,Sebastian Rochford Trio Libero
ECM 2252

Andy Sheppard tenor and soprano saxophones
Michel Benita double-bass
Sebastian Rochford drums

“UK saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s second ECM album introduces his freely lyrical new trio with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford. All three players share a sense of stylistic open-mindedness. Drummer Rochford is one of the young players changing perceptions of British jazz with bands Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland. Algiers-born French bassist Benita, who cites Charlie Haden and Scott LaFaro as influences, has played with Archie Shepp, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and in the ELB trio with Nguyên Lê and Peter Erskine. Repertoire here includes originals by Sheppard, Benita and Rochford, plus group improvisations and the standard I’m Always Chasing Rainbows. In all contexts, interaction is highly creative, as Benita and Rochford respond perceptively to Sheppard’s melodically and rhythmically inventive lines. Recorded July 2011 at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano.”

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Anders Jormin Ad Lucem
ECM 2232

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält. “

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries at WPRB: “SACRED BRIDGES” IV

“The fourth annual program: SACRED BRIDGES Wednesday April 4, 2012
presented during the time of important Jewish and Christian holidays, but focus is on music from multiple religious traditions rather than just two.


Dr Marvin Rosen

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On this program of spiritual music you will hear Four Biblical Tableau by the Russian/American Composer, Aaron Avshalomov (1894-1964), Requiem and Resurrection by the American Composer, Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), Vous vous invitons a la Pere, Op. 58 by the Indian/English Composer, Hidayat Inyat Khan (1917- ), Miserere (2009) by Scottish Composer, James MacMillan (1959- ), Da Lamentatione Jeremiae by English Composer John Mundy (c. 1555-1630), Gurdjieff: Violin Concerto No. 2 by Australian Composer, Larry Sitsky (1934- ), Requiem by English Composer, Sir John Tavener (1944- ) plus music by Hermann Berlinski, Isabella Leonarda, Meira Warshauer and many others.

The program will also include a number of selections by the Greek/Armenian traveller, Mystic and Composer Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877-1949)”

G.I. Gurdjieff
G.I. Gurdjieff

Listen in the Central New Jersey area at 103.3FM, or at wprb.com


From Hammered! at Q2: “Lisa Moore Hosts Hammered!”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

Our second pianists-in-residence curating weeklong programs of piano music for American Mavericks

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“This month on Hammered! we invite three pianists to curate episodes focused on the diverse body of keyboard music generated by some of the twentieth and twenty-first century’s most revolutionary musicians. Listen in 11 am and pm all this week for episodes hosted by the innovative Lisa Moore.

By Lisa Moore

‘I’m thrilled to be curating a week of American Maverick episodes for Q2 Music’s Hammered!. My programs celebrate ‘maverick’ piano music – often with roots in song, ragtime, blues and jazz. Examples are sourced from historic live recordings, hot-off-the-press takes and composers’ private collections. There’s the straight-up 88 keys, player-pianos, prepared pianos, multiple pianos, a harpsichord, an accordion, organs and also marimbas. There’s detuned, well-tuned, and perhaps a little out of tune…(can’t blame us).

Daily from Monday to Thursday Hammered! explores a mix of 20th century examples – from early to late. There’s some Eubie Blake, Scott Joplin, Henry Cowell, George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Cage, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Philip Glass, John Adams, Ingram Marshall, Martin Bresnick, William Albright, Jerome Kitzke, Julia Wolfe, Annie Gosfield, Don Byron and more.

On Friday March 23rd I wrap things up with the next new (somewhat younger) 21st century generation of voices – composer such as Daniel Wohl, Paul Kerekes, Hannah Lash and Missy Mazzoli. Alas, it was impossible to include all the beautiful and worthy examples in just 5 hours so my apologies to those not included (next time!).

See the full article here.

This week Hammered! is hosted by Lisa Moore
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From ECM – New Releases in March 2012

New from ECM

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Billy Hart All Our Reasons
ECM 2248

Mark Turner tenor saxophone
Ben Street double bass
Ethan Iverson piano
Billy Hart drums

“First ECM recording of a quartet formed in 2003. Originally billed as the Ethan Iverson-Mark Turner Quartet, it soon became the Billy Hart Quartet, and under this name has played shows to packed houses each year in New York City. The group’s first album for hard-bop label High Note in 2005 figured on many critics’ best-of-the year list. Since then, the ensemble’s music has gotten more free and spacious, a sensibility that aligns perfectly with ECM. While drummer Hart’s swinging beat and delicate cymbal tracery have previously been heard on the label behind Charles Lloyd and Bennie Maupin, and tenorist Mark Turner has appeared on acclaimed recording with the Fly Trio and Enrico Rava, “All Our Reasons” is a label debut for Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Hart, Iverson and Turner all contribute material, which includes modern blues, a Coltrane tribute and an Iverson-penned homage to Paul Bley, the wonderfully-titled Nostalgia for the Impossible.”


Masabumi Kikuchi Trio Sunrise
ECM 2096

Masabumi Kikuchi piano
Thomas Morgan double bass
Paul Motian drums

“An ECM debut from Masabumi Kikuchi and a last session from the great Paul Motian. Motian and Kikuchi were friends for many years and Paul understood the idiosyncracies and the wayward charm of the Japanese pianist’s highly personal style perhaps better than anyone. The trio – completed by Zen bassist Thomas Morgan – makes new art out of the interactive free rubato ballad. A strangely beautiful album.”

ij
Anders Jormin Ad Lucem

Mariam Wallentin voice
Erika Angell voice
Fredrik Ljungkvist clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Anders Jormin double-bass
Jon Fält drums

“Bassist Anders Jormin steps out with one of his projects, with an ensemble formed for the Swedish Jazz Celebration 2010. Anders sets his own lyrics – written in ancient Latin – and poetry of Denmark’s Pia Tafdrup for singers Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. Anders: ‘Latin seems to carry an almost magic ability to embrace and express whatever humanity has needed to communicate. The sense of eternity and mystery of this ancient language joined with the instantaneous presence and creativity of true improvisers became the inspiring framework in which the distinctive compositions came alive.’ Improvisers on hand are the great Swedish free sax player Fredrik Ljungkvist and Jormin’s highly expressive partner from the Bobo Stenson Trio, drummer Jon Fält.”

ECM might just be the finest recording company in the world.


From Q2 Music: “Listen Live: Mountain Goats and Anonymous 4″

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Live from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival 2012

“On Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 pm, ET, Q2 Music presents a live audio Webcast of the sold-out Ecstatic Music Festival concert of influential, indie pioneers Mountain Goats and the acclaimed early vocal music ensemble Anonymous 4.

The show centers around a performance of Transcendental Youth, a new song cycle by songwriter John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats presented here in an imaginative arrangement by violinist-composer Owen Pallett for voices, piano and guitar. Pallett, aside from releasing numerous albums under his own name (and previously as Final Fantasy), has worked extensively with such indie-rock icons as Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear.”

See the full article here.


From Q2 Music: “Listen Live: Dan Deacon, NOW Ensemble and Calder Quartet”

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Live from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival 2012

On Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 pm ET, Q2 Music and New Sounds Live present a live audio webcast of composer and indie heavyweight Dan Deacon from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival. Following on last year’s collaboration with So Percussion, Dan Deacon now teams up with NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet to present a series of world premiere works for chamber ensembles.”


From Hammered! at Q2: “Kathleen Supové Hosts Hammered!”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

“This month on Hammered! we invite three pianists to curate episodes focused on the diverse body of keyboard music generated by some of the twentieth and twenty-first century’s most revolutionary musicians. Listen in 11 am and pm all this week for episodes hosted by the fearless Kathleen Supové.

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By Kathleen Supové

‘…When one thinks of American Mavericks, several names immediately come to mind: John Cage, Lou Harrison, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams, and a few others. In my series, I tried to focus on artists other than these, some of whom are underplayed, some young and not yet well known and some I believe to be Mavericks in ways that perhaps you don’t expect…..'”

Read all about it here.

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From Q2 Music – “American Mavericks Festival: What’s Ahead”

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

March Madness: Q2 Music Undergoes a Maverick Makeover

“Q2 Music celebrates America’s great iconoclastic composers this March, when San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas brings his American Mavericks tour to New York. For three full weeks (March 8–30), Q2 Music presents a wide range of special programming — from a trinity of new-music hosts to live concerts to composer profiles to treasures from the WQXR and WNYC archive— with a crowning live event American Mavericks: Music and Conversation with Michael Tilson Thomas on March 26 at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

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Maverick John Cage


“MTT”

The festival also includes Tilson Thomas hosting a weekday show, contemporary music icons such as David Byrne and Zoe Keating sharing their own “American Mavericks” playlists, and select American Mavericks concerts – including Alarm Will Sound and JACK Quartet – recorded for on-demand listening.

    AMERICAN MAVERICK HOSTS

MTT AT THE TURNTABLES
Weekdays at 10am and 5pm ET

Each weekday, Michael Tilson Thomas will host twice daily at 10am and 5pm ET. Focusing on the San Francisco Symphony’s featured line-up of 17 game-changing composers including Charles Ives, Lou Harrison, Aaron Copland, Morton Feldman, John Cage, and John Adams, Tilson Thomas’s hosted hours present the pioneering conductor’s own insights alongside exclusive archival recordings from the San Francisco Symphony’s storied history of promoting adventurous, cutting-edge American composers. Also included will be freshly-minted live concert recordings from this year’s American Mavericks tour.

PHIL KLINE
Weekdays from 8-10am (repeats 6-8pm)

MARY ROWELL
Weekdays from 12-2pm (repeats 9-11pm)

FRED SHERRY
Weekdays from 3-5pm (repeats midnight-2am)

I have just hit the high spots. Please visit the complete web page here to know (almost) everything that is going to happen


From Hammered at Q2: “Also Sprach A Living Composer!”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

Living, breathing composers introduce their piano music this week on Hammered!

“A counterpoint of instructive voices host this week on Hammered! as we pass the mic among a collection of composers who will introduce their own works for piano. Hear their musical secrets all week at 11 am and pm.

Really, who better to talk about a new piece than its composer? All week we’ll hear composers like Ingram Marshall, Judd Greenstein, Christopher Cerrone and Lowell Liebermann (and that’s just Monday!) talk about their music before hearing some of the most striking works being written today. Later in the week you’ll be joined by Steve Reich, Missy Mazzoli, Jacob Cooper and Paola Prestini.

These composer introductions are a feature unique to Q2 Music and invaluable in providing a context for the great music you hear on this program. But we’re still growing our composer intro library, so, if you could hear anyone introduce their own music, who would it be?

Also, stay tuned later in the week for information about how you can pledge support in our Winter Fund Drive, and lastly keep your eyes peeled for details on — not joking at all — a festival of American Maverick music that is absolutely not to be missed … all right here at Q2 Music.”

Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick


From Cued Up at Q2: “Millennial Mavericks”

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Cued Up On Q2 streams Sundays at 2PM on Q2; encores Tuesdays at 8PM and Thursdays at 4PM on Q2

Live performances by NOW Ensemble, Victoire, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and More

“As Q2 Music prepares to go all-American Mavericks all the time next month, we’ve been doing a lot of listening to Varèse, Copland, Harrison, Cage, Monk and more. But while we’ve been excited to see the return of a concert series given in 2000 by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, we can’t help but think of the new mavericks.

So taking as a springboard the styles of our 20th-century Mavericks, we’re looking today at in-concert recordings from composers who in this century challenge and redefine the way music is created and consumed.

There are nods to the greats of the past (such as Sergei Prokofiev’s grandson, Gabriel Prokofiev), but the present has a mightily different face. We’ll hear from Missy Mazzoli’s rockstar quintet Victoire live at Chelesea’s Look and Listen Festival, blending the lines between rock and classical (we’ll hear more to that end with music from Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood). And we’ll hit up the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a trio by juggernaut composer Kevin Puts.

There will also be hints of social consciousness in by the NOW Ensemble of Judd Greenstein’s Change and Ensemble 212 of Tahrir by Mohammed Fairouz, and selections from concert series like the Ecstatic Music Festival and SONiC. All told, various threads of the contemporary zeitgeist will weave together in two hours of musical bliss.”

This edition of Cued Up is hosted by Olivia Giovetti

Olivia Giovetti

I wish to again remind readers that rthey can still access, enjoy and learn from the original American Public Media radio project American Mavericks.

While Minnesota Public Radio has taken down most of the audio, you can still access the text materials.


From The New Canon at Q2: “Maverick Roll with Jennifer Koh “

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The New Canon streams Fridays at 1PM on Q2 Music; encore presentations Wednesdays at 10AM and Sundays at 8PM on Q2.

Bringing the “M” Word Back to Music

“On The New Canon this week, we gear up for American Mavericks with the festival’s featured violinist Jennifer Koh, asking: What makes a maverick?

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Jennifer Koh

Twelve years ago, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony presented twelve concerts honoring American composers who pushed the boundaries of classical music in the 20th Century, redefining the parameters of American sound and our contribution to a European-born genre. Twelve years later, as the SFS celebrates its own centennial, American Mavericks is back with a vivacious vengeance starting in the Bay Area before docking at Carnegie Hall.

We welcome to The New Canon Maverick violinist Jennifer Koh, who has no small relationship to some of the featured composers (from Adams to Cage), indulging in a sonic star-spangled banner of daring musicians that have forged our national sonic identity. As we listen to some of these composers in action, we invite you to join us in asking Koh, What makes a maverick? And who are our 21st-century mavericks?”

See the full article here, complete with some interactive utilities.

Q2 did not mention the American Public Media project inspired by MTT’s SFS and also named American Mavericks, a 13 week radio project guided by MTT and hosted by Suzanne Vega. While some of the audio features are no longer available, there is a vast treasure trove of material still available. Pease visit the site to learn more.The thirteen essays by Kyle Gann give quite a history of all of American music.

The New Canon on Q2 is hosted by Olivia Giovetti

Olivia Giovetti


From Hammered! at Q2: “Loops, Ladders and Wind-Up Birds”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

Exploring Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Francis‘s box of musical toys

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Ryan Anthony Francis

“Among diverse cast of characters informing Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Anthony Francis’s musical language are author Haruki Murakami, artist M.C. Escher and poet Wilhelm Muller. Hear what they’ve told him this week at 11 am and pm on Hammered!.

You can hear Escher in the interlocking motivic infinities in Francis’s Etude Jacob’s Ladder, Murakami’s polished elegance in the Wind-Up Bird Preludes, and Muller’s prophetic solemnity in Consolations.

This is to say nothing of the musical personalities sitting on his other shoulder, a lineup of composers beginning with Frederic Chopin and filing through Henri Dutilleux and Richard D. James of Aphex Twin. Each of these voices are considered, adapted and synthesized by Francis into an aggressively original musical language that uses nuance, precision and stylistic-variance to create music that is at once lush, probing and inventive.

Accompanying Hammered!’s week-long survey of his piano music are works that interact with Francis’s language in especially intriguing ways. You’ll hear songs by Franz Schubert, movements from Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks, a recent work from Arlene Sierra and, to balance Francis’s mammoth Moonlight Fantasy, a remarkable performance from pianist Sergei Babayan of Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.

See the full article here.

Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick


From Cued Up at Q2: “Acoustic Music That Sounds Like Electronic Music”

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Cued Up On Q2 streams Sundays at 2PM on Q2; encores Tuesdays at 8PM and Thursdays at 4PM on Q2

Works by Tristan Perich, Michael Gordon, Ingram Marshall, and more.

“It’s the 21st Century and it’s pretty safe to say that there’s no shortage of composers today who have been inspired by the sounds of electronic music, whether through the tape collages of Stockhausen and Xenakis, the electroacoustic manipulations of Pauline Oliveros, or the beat-driven textural experiments of lap-top sample-ists like Flying Lotus and DJ Shadow.

This week on Cued Up, we’ll be exploring live performances of acoustic and electroacoustic music that take on the sonic quality of electronic music. We’ll hear works by Tristan Perich and Todd Reynolds that pair live strings with electronics, and Ingram Marshall’s seminal Fog Tropes II. Alarm Will Sound offers a startlingly fresh take on The Beatles’ Revolution #9 and the Young People’s Chorus of New York and Kronos Quartet accent the other-worldly textures of Michael Gordon’s Exalted.

The program will also feature two brand-new live recordings that blur the lines between acoustic and electronic from So Percussion’s Jason Treuting (taken from a live show at The Greene Space in February 2012) and composer/Slow Six bandmember Christopher Tignor, recorded at this year’s Ecstatic Music Festival.

This week Cued Up is hosted by Olivia Giovetti

Olivia Giovetti


This Week From Hearts of Space: PGM 972 ‘SUPERNATURAL’

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About this program from Hearts of Space Stephen Hill tells us:
“The worlds of fantasy and imagination have a cherished history in popular fiction, with legions of dedicated fans around the world. Inspired by mythology and folklore extending back to the earliest human cultures, fantasy fiction emerged as a genre in the mid-19th century and came to prominence in the 20th with medievalist classics like Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia,” and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.

While born in literature and later extended to popular films and computer games, musicians have also been exploring this rich field of imagery to create ambitious concept albums. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, imaginary worlds, spectral and ethereal sounds, and fantastic themes — on a program called SUPERNATURAL. Music is by PRISCILLA HERNANDEZ, PSICODREAMICS, KLAUS SCHULZE, STEVE BRAND, BUILDING THE CATHEDRAL, BETWEEN INTERVAL, THIERRY DAVID and PAUL AVGERINOS.”

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Stephen Hill

From the program:
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The weekly program is FREE on Sundays

Enjoy Hearts of Space in a variety of ways on your iPhone and many phones in the ANDROID system


From Q2 Music: Composer Portals

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Ever-Expanding Access into the Minds of Your Favorite Composers

Q2 tells us, “We here at Q2 Music will always strive to bring you the best and brightest in new-music. But now we are beginning to explore the spaces between the music. You will now be able to hear the voices of the composers themselves as they provide exclusive, concise introductions to subsequent music.

Q2 Music affirms its commitment to enshrining the insights and wisdom of today’s composers. We will archive these introductions online and continue to add more composers to the mix both in-stream and online. Check back as we look to add more of your favorite composers to this page!

| Derek Bermel | Sebastian Currier | Osvaldo Golijov | Michael Gordon | Judd Greenstein | Aaron Jay Kernis | Paul Moravec | Nico Muhly | Angélica Negrón | Paola Prestini | Steve Reich | “

Please visit this Composer Portals page, where you will find all of the composers above in hot links to access their comments and hear their music.


From Cantaloupe Music: “Big Beautiful Dark and Scarey” Releases February 28, 2012

Cantaloupe Music is the recording arm of Bang On a Can, the original New Music DIY organization.

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Bang On A Can All-Stars Big Beautiful Dark and Scarey
Cantaloupe CA21074 releases 02/28/12

The Bang on a Can All-Stars have recorded their first studio album in five years and is the first to include the All-Stars’ current line-up: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, electric guitar; and Evan Ziporyn, clarinets. With Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, the Bang on a Can All-Stars show off their blazing speed, polyrhythmic virtuosity and all-world versatility in a return to the core Bang on a Can sound – an uncategorizable supermix of classical and electric instruments that is part classical ensemble, part rock band.

The album is the first in a decade that features the All-Stars exclusively, rather than as part of a collaborative project. Each of the pieces on the double-CD calls upon a different kind of virtuosity, demonstrating the range of musical abilities and experiences arguably unique to this ensemble. Recorded in New York City, all of the music on Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (including the arrangements of the works by Conlon Nancarrow) were written for and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.”


From Q2 Music: “Nick Zammuto & Jason Treuting: Live at Merkin Hall”

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

On Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 pm ET, Q2 Music and WNYC’s New Sounds present a live audio Webcast from Merkin Concert Hall of musical cross-pollination and experimentation from composer-performers Nick Zammuto (The Books) and Jason Treuting (So Percussion). The concert is hosted by John Schaefer.

Composer, vocalist and cellist Nick Zammuto is a founding member of the eclectic electro-acoustic duo The Books and, more recently, the four-piece indie rock band Zammuto. A member of So Percussion, Jason Treuting has been a mainstay of New York’s new-music scene for over a decade, and has worked with artists such as David Lang, Paul Lansky and the electronic duo Matmos.

The two composers are joined on-stage by guitarist Grey McMurray of the ambient “classical” group itsnotyouitsme, new-music flute/viola/harp trio janus, and vocalist Daisy Press.

See the full article here.


From Hammered at Q2: “Piano Plus”

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Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

A survey of modern piano concertos from Ravel to Rakowski

“Talk about a genre with a lot of baggage! How does a composer even think to write a piano concerto today when the masterpieces of Mozart, Brahms and Ravel are your compositional context? This week on Hammered! we hear some of the magnificent creations of this historical dare.

We recently offered one such concerto as our Album Of The Week, Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto With Piano Song performed by the exquisite pianist and Ensemble InterContemporain member, Hideki Nagano.

In this wonderful new concerto Harvey accepts the historical baggage of the genre, in this specific case the piano and orchestra music of Olivier Messiaen, and reinvents it. This extraordinarily inventive concerto incorporates digitized bird song, recorded by the composer in California, and completely rethinks the pianist’s roll in this avian consort. Rounding out Monday’s hour of bird concertos are works by — duh — Messiaen and a “concerto” for piano and electronics by Ezequiel Vinao.

Throughout the week we’ll insert a few modern classics, including the “Left Hand” Concerto by Maurice Ravel and the Piano Concerto of Aaron Copland, certainly one of his masterworks.

Also on the docket is music from David Rakowski (in a stupendous performance by Marilyn Nonken), John Adams (both his Riverrun and Century Rolls), Poul Ruders (introduced by the composer!) and one of the singular creations of the genre in the last century (in history?), the Piano Concerto of Gyorgy Ligeti.”

See the full article here.

Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick


This Week From Hearts Of Space: PGM 971 ‘WINTER HARMONIES’

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About this program from Hearts of Space Stephen Hill tells us:
“It seems the farther north you go, the warmer the music. It’s a generalization to be sure, but whether the genre is North Country folk music, classical, jazz, electronics, or some creative hybrid — northern musicians have a history of chasing away the chill with melodies and harmonies that please the ear, warm the heart, and nourish the soul. More often than not those harmonies are consonant, derived from the great European romantic tradition, and extended with love and care.

On this transmission of Hearts of Space…a midwinter collection of instrumentals that bring us that sought-after feeling of warmth and space…on a program called WINTER HARMONIES. Music is by BILL DOUGLAS, SECRET GARDEN, WILLIAM ZEITLER, JEFF PEARCE, KETIL BJORNSTAD & DAVID DARLING, FRANCOIS COUTURIER, THE TYTINGVAG ENSEMBLE, and introducing M.K.SOL.’

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Stephen Hill

From the program:
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The weekly program is FREE on Sundays

Enjoy Hearts of Space in a variety of ways on your iPhone and many phones in the ANDROID system


Coming From Innova: David Crowell “Eucalyptus”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

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David Crowell Eucalyptus
Innova #336 Apr 3, 2012 Digital Only

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David Crowell

“Conceptually unifying Eucalyptus, the new album by composer David Crowell, is its focus on music for multiples of the same instrument. Textural similarity coincides with the ideal of egoless composition, no voice more or less important than another, all combining to form a greater whole. Yet each piece on this record has its own character and personal significance.”

Innova is the recording arm of American Composers Forum, St Paul Mn.


Coming From Innova: “Wild Songs”,

Innova is the home for New Music in America

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Polly Butler Cornelius Wild Songs
Innova #825 Apr 24, 2012

Composers: Steve Heitzeg, Lori Laitman
Performers: Polly Butler Cornelius, Victoria Fischer Faw, Heather Barringer, Patti Cudd

“Contemporary art song is alive and well in the hands of soprano Polly Butler Cornelius and the team she has gathered for Wild Songs; a song recital as suitable for an environmental consciousness-raising event as for the salon. Drawing on impassioned pleas and the enigmatic nature-centered poetry of Emily Dickinson these powerful, lyrical songs charm and chasten.”

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Polly Butler Cornelius

Innova is the recording arm of American Composers Forum, St Paul Mn.


From Q2 Music: “New Music in the Kaplan Penthouse”

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Q2 is the 24/7 New Music Stream from New York Public Radio

Music of Harbison, Schnittke, Kurtág, and Penderecki

“Join us Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm for an eclectic live program of works by 20th Century composers John Harbison, Alfred Schnittke, György Kurtág, and Krzysztof Penderecki as presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center last fall.

Recorded November 10, 2011 at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in NYC, New Music in the Kaplan Penthouse was presented as part of the Chamber Music Society’s ongoing New Music series, which showcases the music of contemporary composers. Hosted by composer Bruce Adolphe, the concert was bookended by two works by American composer John Harbison: Six American Painters and Songs America Loves to Sing.

The program also included Alfred Schnittke’s Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, Kurtág’s Hommage à Robert Schumann and Penderecki’s Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello.

The performance featured pianist Gilles Vonsattel, violinist Bella Hristova, violist Mark Holloway, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and clarinettist Jose Franch-Ballester.

You can hear this performance Thursday at 7 pm and again Saturday at 10 am.”

See the full post here.


Bang on a Can @ 25, Lincoln Center Celebration

Bang On a Can is the original DIY New Music Organization

“On April 28, Bang on a Can is celebrating its 25th birthday in an extraordinary triple-bill in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall! The festivities open with MIT’s Gamelan Galak Tika performing its signature piece, Evan Ziporyn’s Tire Fire, then continues with Bang on a Can’s electrifying mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra giving the New York premiere of new work by Tatsuya Yoshida. The evening culminates with the Bang on a Can All-Star’s performance of the U.S. premiere of Field Recordings, a major new nine-composer multimedia project that uses film, found sound, and archival audio and video (enhanced by conceptual set designer Jim Findlay) featuring works by Tyondai Braxton, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, Mira Calix, Christian Marclay, and Nick Zammuto.”


Asphalt Orchestra


Bang On A Can All-Stars

Beginning February 16, tickets will be on sale for $25 for 25 days, celebrating this milestone season! Visit the Bang On A Can web site for ticket purchasing information.


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