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Posts tagged “Innova

Coming From Innova: David Crowell “Eucalyptus”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

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

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

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.”

Polly Butler Cornelius

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

New From Innova

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Jeremy Haladyna Mayan Time Mayan Tales
Innova #818 Feb 28, 2012

Composers: Jeremy Haladyna
Performers: Jeremy Haladyna, Anthony Paul Garcia, Marjan Riazi, Allison Bernal, Michele Forrest

“The best way to really LISTEN to the end of the Mayan Great Cycle is with this new Innova release by Jeremy Haladyna: Mayan Time/Mayan Tales. On more than a third of this disk, sound bears direct witness to the Maya and their calendars—Mayan notions of time reborn as scales. And atop the scales, tales: of a crystal skull, a fearsome temptress, a still-living bird that saw Creation, and a princess who gave her soul to marimba music. Microtonalism comes to archaeology.”

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia
Higdon, Clearfield, Primosch: Metamorphosis
Innova #806 Feb 28, 2012

Composers: Jennifer Higdon, Andrea Clearfield, James Primosch
Performers: Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Sanford Sylvan, Alan Harler

“Three original works by contemporary American composers, Andrea Clearfield, Jennifer Higdon and James Primosch, all based in Philadelphia, are featured on the new CD recording of performances by Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. All three works were commissioned by Mendelssohn Club and premiered in concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia over the past five years.”

Philip Blackburn Ghostly Psalms
Innova #246 Feb 28, 2012

Philip Blackburn
Performers: The Choir of Clare College Cambridge, Citizens of Duluth, Philip Blackburn, Ellen Fullman
Theresa Wong, Andy Lo, Wild Music Chorus, Maria Jette, Donald Engstrom
Carrie Henneman Shaw, Gary Verkade, Lars Sjostedt

“Some say that an artist’s output is necessarily autobiographical. This set of three substantial works by UK-Minnesotan Philip Blackburn does nothing to disprove that; they have his visionary DNA all over them. They show his deep concern for space, people, and ideas discovering each other through sounding and listening in the moment of performance. And what performances they are! From a city-wide organized industrial soundscape to a virtuoso Cambridge choir, from a brainwave-generated laptop solo to Ellen Fullman’s 80-foot long string instrument with cloistered nuns blowing on organ pipes, these live events are as audacious as they are unrepeatable: Community-based experimental music at its most raw and refined, fun and profound.”

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

Coming Soon From Innova – New Recordings

Innova #820 Apr 24, 2012

Don Byron, John Halle, Julia Wolfe, John King, Raz Mesinai, David Lang, Kenji Bunch, Marcelo Zarvos

ETHEL String Quartet
Cornelius Dufallo
Mary Rowell
Ralph Farris
Dorothy Lawson
Kenji Bunch

Erdem Helvacioglu Eleven Short Stories
Innova #245 Mar 27, 2012

“Turkish music and the prepared piano are not as far apart as one might think (Mozart tried out some Turkish drum effects with paper on the piano strings back in the day). But now Istanbul-based composer/pianist Erdem Helvacioglu has made the connection even more dramatic and sensuous. “Eleven Short Stories” is a set of nearly a dozen atmospheric vignettes for prepared piano, paying homage to some of his favorite film directors: Kim Ki-Duk, David Lynch, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Theodoros Angelopoulos, Jane Campion, Anthony Minghella, Ang Lee, Atom Egoyan, Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Steven Soderberg.

The pieces are not aligned with a director but rather suggest particular scenes through titles such as Shattered Snow Globe, Mist on the Windowpane, or Bench at the Park. The music runs the full gamut and shades of emotions you might expect from imaginative art-film. There’s stark, pensive observation, wariness of impending jeopardy, rooting around in a Samuel Beckett-like Unknowable; all with the potential for horror and the need for hope. The notes from the piano – gamelan-like – plop gently like summer raindrops coloring the pavement, or slashing the jugular vein, as needs be. Close your eyes and it all makes sense.

Just as a movie proposes its own cinematic reality, each individual piece has preparations unique to its story and soundworld. The piano strings were strewn and inserted with pencils, erasers, paper, plastic and metal spoons, knives, forks, drumsticks, guitar plectrums and slides, e-bows, metal plates, clapsticks, ear plugs, and paperclips attached to the strings within. Not forgetting a toy train and a 60s fashion magazine.

Erdem Helvacioglu (b. 1975) is one of the most renowned contemporary composers of his generation in Turkey. His music has been called “revolutionary,” “groundbreaking,” “emotionally evocative soundscapes with remarkable beauty,” “uncommonly deep, intelligent, and beautiful cinematic compositions”, “luscious and unique,” and “completely arresting and disarmingly beautiful.” Erdem has received awards from the Luigi Russolo, MUSICA NOVA, Insulae Electronicae Electroacoustic Music Competitions. He has been commissioned by numerous entities, from the 2006 World Soccer Championship to the Bang on a Can-All Stars. He is also actively involved in composing for films, multimedia productions, contemporary dance and theatre. He won the “Best Original Soundtrack” award in the 2006 Mostramundo Film Festival, and his film scores have been heard at Cannes, Sarajevo, Locarno, Seoul, Sao Paulo, and Sydney film festivals.

New Releases From Innova Recordings

Innova is the home for New Music in America

First, the big news, Innova has a wonderful new web site. Be sure to visit. I will be featuring their new releases. But, you need not wait for me, you can visit the site any time. Look near the top of the opening page for Featured Releases.

Guy Klucevsek The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour
Innova #819

Guy Klucevsek,Alex Meixner, Brandon Seabrook, Marcus Rojas, Kenny Wollesen, Pete Donovan, John Hollenbeck, Jo Lawry, Theo Bleckmann,
Peter Eldridge, Steve Elson, Dave Douglas, Brave Combo, Jeffrey Barnes, Carl Finch, Little Jack Melody, Alan Emert

“If there’s one adverb-adjective combo that can describe composer/accordionist Guy Klucevsek, it’s unabashedly eclectic. Over the course of twenty-one releases, his music has combined the heart-pounding rhythms of eastern Europe with teeming contrapuntal passages, gorgeous melodies, and Klucevsek’s own ‘trailblazing virtuosity’ [Wall Street Journal]. But his twenty-second release, The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour, might be his most ambitious yet.

It’s a global tour, a worldwide tribute to the composers and musicians who have shaped him as a creative artist. From France to Bulgaria to Spain, he pays homage to Erik Satie and the Swingle Singers, Ivan Milev, and Basque trikitixa maestro, Kepa Junkera. On “The C&M Waltz” and “Moja Baba Je Pijana,” Klucevsek harks back to the Slovenian-American polkas and waltzes of his childhood, while Martin Denny’s exotica gets a nod on “O’O.” Middle Eastern pop even creeps in in the form of “Pink Elephant.”

But he couldn’t have done it alone. The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour is very much a group effort, made possible by a generous United States Artists Collins Fellowship. Carl Finch co-produced six of the tracks, and performed on them with his group, Brave Combo, winners of two Grammy awards for Best Polka Album. Featured on these tracks are two accordion prodigies, Alex Meixner (whose Polka Freak Out was nominated for a Grammy) and exciting young Texas Swing specialist Ginny Mac.

In addition to these special guests, the album features Klucevsek’s longtime Charms of the Night Sky bandleader, trumpeter Dave Douglas and an all-star cast of New York City’s finest musicians: singers Jo Lawry (currently on tour with Sting), fellow innova artist Theo Bleckmann and Peter Eldridge; drummers John Hollenbeck and Kenny Wollesen; Marcus Rojas on tuba; Pete Donovan on bass; Steve Elson on clarinet and saxes; and Brandon Seabrook on tenor banjo and acoustic guitar.

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Accordion Tribe, Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Alan Bern, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, John Williams, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn. He has also appeared on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

Zack Browning Secret Pulse
Innova #817

Ensemble Unity
Cadillac Moon Ensemble
JACK Quartet
University of Central Florida Percussion Ensemble

“Imagine multiple collisions of musical worlds where sparks fly and mediations flow through secret pulses dictated by a magic square. This is the world of Secret Pulse where composer Zack Browning presents a dramatic music of rhythmically-charged pop-inspired riffs battling transcendental melodies. Each composition can be compared to a spider’s web; musically spinning out events whose design is based on a secret pulse derived from the birth dates of the performers using the Lo Shu Square and feng shui.

The special connection between the virtuosic performers on this CD and the music is captured in their powerful performances. Ensemble Unity of Taiwan rocks on the Hakka folksong “Cutting Flowers” in Hakka Fusion. The Cadillac Moon Ensemble becomes speed devils in Secret Pulse and then makes it funky in Moon Thrust and its use of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”. The JACK Quartet both mesmerizes and marvels in their interpretation of the String Quartet, moving effortlessly from soft chorales to loud funk. In Flying Tones, the UCF Percussion Ensemble grooves and grinds then provides a personal and moving rendition of the UCF Alma Mater. The four ensembles consist of musical all stars whose performances on this CD are extraordinary.

The music of Zack Browning is described as ‘way-cool in attitude’ and ‘speed-demon music’ (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and ‘propulsive, giddy, rocking…, a rush of cyclic riffs and fractured meters’ (The New York Times). The Irish Times has proclaimed he is ‘bringing together the procedures of high musical art with the taste of popular culture’. Browning’s composition awards have included two Illinois Arts Council Composer Fellowships, a Chamber Music America Commission, and two Arnold O. Beckman Awards and two FAA Fellowships from the University of Illinois. Performances include the Bonk Festival of New Music (Tampa), the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival (Miami), International Computer Music Conference (New Orleans), Spark Festival (Minneapolis), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam), Composers Choice Festival (Dublin), Sonorities Festival (Belfast) , Skinneskatteberg Festival (Sweden), Asian Contemporary Music Festival (Seoul), and National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center (Taipei). “

Marc Rossi Group Mantra Revealed
Innova #816

Marc Rossi, Lance Van Lenten, Bill Urmson, Mauricio Zottarelli, Geetha Ramanathan Bennett, Prasanna, Bruce Arnold

“Since it began, jazz has been—like America itself—a place where disparate and diverse streams have met as they flow towards the ocean. Consider Boston-based pianist/composer Marc Rossi and the members of the Marc Rossi Group as ambassadors from an exotic locale where the dizzying modal runs of South and North Indian music swirl and blend with jazz and Afro-Latin forms. These deep, rich waters have nourished musicians before; think of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Impressions of Eurasia or Ellington’s Far East Suite. Think of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration Sketches of Spain or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. John McLaughlin himself, the grand master of eastern jazz fusion, commenting on Rossi’s composition and performance calls the work “very nice indeed!”

With Mantra Revealed, Rossi continues the work he began on Hidden Mandala: bearing the standard for pan-Indian jazz fusion into the present tense and beyond.

As a student of both Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music and a professor of piano and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music, Rossi has been a vital part of the Boston music scene for the past two decades, and he’s assembled an all-star cast for Mantra Revealed. Lance Van Lenten (saxophone and flute), Bill Urmson (electric bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums), and Rossi himself make up the core Marc Rossi Group, supplemented by Prassana’s adventurous, Indian-inflected guitar on opener “Jazz Impressions of a Kriti,” the sumptuous voice of Geetha Ramanathan Bennett, and the furious fret work of Bruce Arnold.

The album’s rich panoply of colors and textures comes from the interplay of Rossi’s own distinctive compositions and the players’ absorbing improvisational skills. It’s become commonplace to refer to an album as a “journey” these days, but few navigate a path as wide-ranging, engaging and multi-hued as Mantra Revealed.”

Anna Thorvaldsdottir Rhizoma
Innova #810

Caput Ensemble
Justin DeHart
Iceland Symphony Orchestra

“The works on Rhízōma, the debut album by prominent Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, rise from the earth, born from ghostly roots. Deep sustained tones evoke subterranean caverns; fractured cascades mimic the intricate crystalline structure of giant glaciers. A fleeting rustle of percussion here, the stony scrape of a prepared piano there—a living landscape listened to and learned from. Against these textures skate lines of melody that evoke an enigmatic lyricism. The works throughout the collection display a keen and unique perception of the world through music, despite the variety of settings, perhaps flavored by the composer dividing her time between La Jolla and Reykjavik, between the sunny California coast and Iceland’s volcanic vistas. Rhízōma consists of three larger pieces for orchestra and chamber orchestra, punctuated by five smaller movements from a solo percussed piano work. The larger works are given life by two ensembles who couldn’t be better suited to the task: the Grammy-nominated Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Bjarnson perform the cinematic Dreaming, while the award-winning Icelandic CAPUT Ensemble conducted by Snorri Sigfus Birgisson perform Streaming Arhythmia and the opening Hrím, which was awarded Composition of the Year for 2010 at this year’s Icelandic Music Awards. Between these larger works lie five movements from the work Hidden, performed on prepared piano by percussionist Justin DeHart. Although her compositions have appeared on a number of albums, Rhízōma is the first full album to consist only of her works and heralds the arrival of a vital new voice in classical music. Anna is a composer whose work is frequently performed by both ensembles and soloists throughout the US and Europe and has been nominated, and won awards, including for the Prix Europa and the International Rostrum of Composers. The Icelandic CAPUT Ensemble specializes in the performance of contemporary music. Established in 1987, CAPUT has premiered countless works, ranging from solo pieces to large chamber orchestra works. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1950 and is one of the leading Nordic orchestras, recording regularly for BIS, Chandos, and Naxos. Percussionist Justin DeHart received his DMA from UCSD in 2010. Although he specializes in contemporary music, he works in a variety of genres.”

Mimi Stillman / Charles Abramovic Odyssey
Innova #814

Mimi Stillman
Charles Abramovic

Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano is the latest release from flute superstar Mimi Stillman. This 2-CD collection, with pianist Charles Abramovic, is a breathtaking tour de force that brings together nearly a dozen works – mostly written for Ms. Stillman – highlighting the richness and diversity of the American contemporary music scene.

Odyssey takes its title from the work by Gerald Levinson, and more broadly, it is the adventurous journey representing the recording as a whole. There is stunning breadth and variety of musical styles from eleven composers of different compositional languages and approaches. Mason Bates’s Elements is a virtuosic essay from a composer who is as comfortable in electronica as he is as composer-in-residence for Chicago Symphony. Benjamin C.S. Boyle’s Sonata-Cantilena showcases the vocal nature of the flute in lushly sensuous writing.

Gerald Levinson’s eponymous Odyssey is a 15½ -minute monster of a piece for solo flute, a test of stamina and control. David Ludwig’s Sonata features two outer movements which are fast rides with inexorable momentum propelling flute and piano, surrounding a lyrical, introspective inner movement. Odyssey draws on music of diverse world cultures – David Ludwig was inspired by traditional Argentinean music, Katherine Hoover by Hungarian, American Indian, and Chinese music, Michael Djupstrom by a Balkan folk song. Zhou Tian references his own heritage of Chinese music. David Bennett Thomas cites jazz as an influence on his Whim for Solo Flute, along with elements of Messiaen. In her Mountain and Mesa, Katherine Hoover quotes a Hopi lullaby recorded by an ethnomusicologist. Grammy Award winner Richard Danielpour’s A Quality Love, Stillman and Abramovic’s arrangement of an aria from his opera Margaret Garner, is a poignantly simple song of love in a folk-like vein.

Hailed by The Washington Post as ‘a magically gifted flutist, a breath of fresh air’ and described by Broad Street Review as ‘lyricism combined with introspection, fire and energy,’ Yamaha Performing Artist Mimi Stillman dazzles audiences with her virtuosity, passion, dynamism, and ‘full-toned charisma’ (The Philadelphia Inquirer). The New York Times praised her as ‘technically agile and imaginative in her use of color.’ Philadelphia City Paper marveled at her ‘rock-solid chops and affecting conviction.’ She has performed as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Orquesta Sinfónica Carlos Chávez, and other orchestras and as recitalist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Verbier Festival, and other major international venues. Mimi Stillman is a Renaissance woman – consummate artist, entrepreneuse, historian, writer, and educator. A child prodigy, Mimi was at age 12 the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, and at 17 she became the youngest wind player ever to win the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Equally at home with the classical canon, contemporary music, and Latin and Sephardic world music, she has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, recorded a film score for Kevin Bacon, and was given a long standing ovation for her brilliant performance with Charles Abramovic of the complete flute chamber works of Bach. She is Artistic and Executive Director of Dolce Suono Ensemble, which she founded in 2005, a highly regarded pioneering force in the music world that has produced 23 world premieres in seven seasons.”

So, that is the current crop of the new and adventurous artists at Innova. But, please visit the web site. Especially check out the Links pages, where you can still find Philip Blackburn’s wonderful interview series, Alive and Composing and Measure for Measure.

Innova Recordings is truly a treasure.

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

From Innova Recordings at American Composers Forum – Two Great Archives of Composer/Musician Interviews

Always Midwestern modest

A bit less modest, must be the NYC influence of programming The Stone

Innova Recordings has at its web site, two great series of interviews of composer and musicians. One is Alive and Composing, the other is Measure For Measure. Both of these series were done as podcasts. Visit the sites from Innova’s home page. If you use Firefox, you can load them from their main links. They will become bookmarks on your Bookmarks Tool Bar. If you use IE, you will have a choice to load them in your chosen RSS feed reader. I cannot recommend my other browser, SeaMonkey, because I only use the browser in the SeaMonkey Suite. When I tried it out for this post, SeaMonkey wanted me to use its Mail and News Group utility which I do not use. I cannot speak about Chrome or Safari browsers.

But, what I can tell you is that Philip Blackburn is the consummate knowledgeable interviewer. He gets to the root of each individual’s musical passions.

I have recorded all of these interviews and put them on my Zune .mp3 player for airline trips, waiting in the mall for someone, and, of course, trips to the dentist.

Please visit the sites. Take a look at some of the names, listen to Philip do his thing. What was that old commerical “Try it, you’ll like it”.

New From Innova: Robert Moran – Trinity Requiem

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Robert Moran Trinity Requiem
Innova 244 (Sept 2011)

Robert Moran has many strings to his compositional bow, from cheeky Fluxus to post-Minimal lushness. Justly accused of occasionally being “shamelessly Romantic” his music on this collection of his choral music is never short of sublime.

Moran was commissioned by Trinity Wall Street (the ‘Ground Zero’ church) to write a Requiem for their youth chorus to commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. The result is a heartfelt and heavenly work for angelic voices with organ, harps and cellos. Its simplicity and direct appeal rival that of Faure himself and it is sure to become a standard repertory work. While many of the singers were barely born at the time of the attacks in New York, the composer found inspiration in the all-too common grief found in war zones around the world (such as Kosovo and London) when children suddenly lose their families to violence.

Listeners will note the synchronicity recorded on tape during the Offertory; a siren passed by during the best vocal take and could not be edited out. It becomes a touching reminder of the context of this work and the personal authenticity of these fine musicians.

Seven Sounds Unseen for 20 solo voices, was commissioned by the BMG label in 1992 to major acclaim but has long been out of print. It uses fragments of letters from John Cage to the composer and sets them in rich, timeless, monumental choral textures. The remaining works on the album keep the philosophical edge and vocal purity: Notturno in Weiss [Nocturne in White], a Surrealistic poem by Christian Morgenstern, and Requiem for a Requiem, a collage by Philip Blackburn of several Moran recorded works on innova.

All performances are stellar: Trinity Youth Chorus (with some adult voices) led by Robert Ridgell, Seattle’s The Esoterics led by Eric Banks, and Richard Westenburg’s Musica Sacra.

Philadelphia-based Moran currently has several major works being premiered: Alice, with the Scottish Ballet, Buddha Goes to Bayreuth for Germany’s Ruhr Tiennale, and The Lottery for Ballet West. This is his fourth release on innova: Open Veins, Mantra, and Cabinet of Curiosities.”

See the Innova “One Sheet” here.

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

From Innova: Katie Bull “Freak Miracle”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Katie Bull Freak Miracle
Innova 802 (June 2011)

“With little regard for the bright lines that have long separated experimentation from tradition—and even vocal from instrumental—in jazz, vocalist/composer/band leader Katie Bull harnesses the accidental, the inspired, the carefully composed and the spontaneous into a challenging, seductive whole on her Innova Recordings debut, Freak Miracle. Her flexible, powerful, soulful ensemble is granted remarkable freedom by Bull and the resulting record is a wild ride that takes what you know about jazz vocals through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole.


‘ My group project musicians play in and out with equal strength,’ says Bull. ‘ And bold passion—I might add—which is why I chose them. The chart is just a blueprint to be transformed. We take the ride.’ At the front of that freewheeling caravan is Bull herself, straddling swing, bop, bossa, and completely abstract forms, drawing on everything from the poetry of human conversation to fragments of melodies and snatches of lyrics from dreams. Bull’s “envelope pushing experimentation on a grand scale” (Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes) has earned her critical respect over the course of five independent releases. Freak Miracle is her most ambitious record yet, spanning a wild yet cohesive musical landscape of eleven new original works and three vital re-imaginings of jazz standards (I Thought About You, How Insensitive, and Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off).

This ability to stay grounded in tradition while leaping boldly into the future was instilled in Bull by her mentors—her “jazz mothers”—Sheila Jordan (for whom she wrote “Back to Square One”) and Jay Clayton (to whom she dedicates I Thought About You). Hailing from New York’s Greenwich Village, Bull grew up in a house of jazz with her pianist father (a student of Lennie Tristano) taking her to gigs and jam sessions across the city. Family friends like Borah Bergman, Elliott Sharp, Jane Ira Bloom, Lou Grassi and Meredith Monk circulated through her world, steeping in her not only in the world of jazz but of experimentation and exploration.

It is with that spirit that she formed her Group Project, an ensemble capable of a seamless blending of improvisation and structure, a total confluence of impulse and collaboration where the lion of edgy dissonance lies down with the lamb of comforting forms and structures. Bull herself is not afraid of being straightforward when it’s called for, nor is she timid when it comes to cracking it open and going crazy. Freak Miracle is much more than a simple collection of songs—it’s a manifesto, a declaration that the destination means nothing without the glorious winding ride it takes to get there.”

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

New Jazz From Innova: Talking Drums “Some Days Catch Some Days Down”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Talking Drums Some Days Catch Some Days Down
Innova 803 (7.26.11)

About this album Innova tells us,

“The music of Talking Drums moves fluently between jazz and African genres, bending and stretching categories, crafting and elaborating new spaces beyond them. Originally released in 1987, Some Day Catch Some Day Down enables us to hear a rare and unrepeatable moment of collective musical interaction. This moment arose from a fresh mix of new compositions by ensemble members and traditional music from Ghana, infused with a strong dose of West African highlife sensibility. An early review in Cadence enthused that such music ‘ is usually so joyous and infectious that it’s hard not to be drawn into it. So it is with this LP.’ Embracing the record’s double attraction, the reviewer concluded: ‘It’s very much dance music, but it’s also very good to listen to.’ Other writers dug into some of the reasons why:

Talking Drums…adds some modern instrumentation and faster rhythms to the highlife recipe, though some numbers here have a rootsier, almost reggae flavor…. The real breakthrough comes with “Ye’Pemso” and its fascinating mix of African influences and jazz improvisations. —The Chicago Tribune

…progressive basslines and guitar and sax solos blaze on top of Ewe and Twi rhythms, with textured percussion and chanted vocals creating not only feel-good dance music but an album of highly listenable songs. From the delicate guitar riffs and thickly woven instrumentation of “Tu Tu Gbovi” to the post-bop saxophone and furious rhythmic structure of “Ye’Pemso” (We Are All Struggling) and the redemptive title track, the album offers a high-spirited exploration of expansive multi-ethnic delights. —The Beat

Master drummer Abraham Kobena Adzenyah has led varied incarnations of Talking Drums from the 1970s to the present. Active during much of the 1980s, the ensemble on Some Day Catch Some Day Down was an especially exciting collaboration by Ghanaian and American musicians. Talking Drums produced the record as an independent LP album shortly before the late master musician and dancer Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, a key member of this version of the group, passed away. Donkor’s poignant voice remains with us on many tracks.

Reissued in 1989 and reviewed as ‘a rich and individual mix’ and “outstanding stuff” (All Music Guide), the LP still fell quickly out of print. This Innova release is the first digital version of its contents. Newly restored and remastered from the original analog master tapes, Some Day Catch Some Day Down is finally accessible to listeners who never could hear it until now. High-resolution remastering presents this richly intercultural music in more depth and detail than ever before.

Along with its eight actual CD tracks representing the complete Some Day Catch Some Day Down album, this Innova release is an Enhanced CD. It also gives you over 45 minutes of bonus MP3 files from a 1985 Talking Drums session. Rough around the edges but full of fresh, exploratory energy, this key earlier material had been available only on a long-rare cassette. Made by a version of the group featuring most of the same musicians who would record Some Day Catch Some Day Down two years later, the nine free bonus tracks document an equally unrepeatable moment of musical collaboration. These tracks, too, were specially remastered.

Some Day Catch Some Day Down will appeal to people who enjoy creative convergences of genres and traditions, especially jazz and African music, and to those focused on either one. All told, this Talking Drums reissue gives you not only the original LP’s complete eight tracks, but a total of no fewer than seventeen long-scarce recordings: more than 95 minutes of music that sounds as excitingly vital and culturally deep as it did on the days it was recorded. This all is now yours to have and to hear to full advantage in expertly remastered form.

TALKING DRUMS (1987 line-up): Abraham Kobena Adzenyah: David Bindman, Wes Brown, Peter Chipello, Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, royal hartigan, Robert Lancefield, Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng. With guest artists: Agnes Adjetey, Leticia Ahima, Rick Alfonso, Ophelia Tetteh

Bonus Tracks on Enhanced CD:
MP3:1. Nnamfo Papa (5:47)
Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield
MP3:2. Tie Me Sufrɛ (8:42)
Composed by David Bindman; lyrics by Maxwell Amoh; arranged, with traditional Adowa music, by Talking Drums
MP3:3. Mwanamugi (2:19)
Traditional; arranged by J. H. Nketia
MP3:4. Self-Determination (5:00)
Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield
MP3:5. Kpanlogo (5:30)
Traditional; arranged by Abraham Adzenyah
MP3:6. Drummers Talk (first version) (4:50)
Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield
MP3:7. Gadzo (4:23)
Traditional; arranged by Freeman Kwadzo Donkor
MP3:8. Devitukui (2:59)
Traditional; arranged by Kwasi Aduonum
MP3:9. Ade Asa (6:17)
Composed by Maxwell Amoh and Freeman Kwadzo Donkor; arranged by Talking Drums

Composers of each work:

Odo Bra:
Abraham Adzenyah
David Bindman
Wes Brown

Tu Tu Gbovi:
Traditional, arr.: Wes Brown
Freeman Kwadzo Donkor

Enfa Me Ho:
Peter Chipello
Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng (lyrics)

Abraham Adzenyah
David Bindman
Wes Brown
Peter Chipello
Freeman Kwadzo Donkor
royal hartigan
Robert Lancefield
Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng

Drummers Talk:
Robert Lancefield

Ye’Ara Yeni:
Abraham Adzenyah
David Bindman

Mele Alo Dom:
Traditional, arr.: Freeman Kwadzo Donkor

Some Day Catch Some Day Down:
Robert Lancefield “

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

New From Innova: Phillip Schroeder “Passage Through A Dream”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Phillip Schroeder Passage Through a Dream
Innova 781 (7.26.2011)

About this album, Innova says:

Passage Through a Dream offers five premiere recordings of new music by composer Phillip Schroeder—remarkably beautiful and vibrant tracks that feature lyric melodies and lush, intricate textures.

Phillip Schroeder

Passage Through a Dream expands and develops musical ideas found in Schroeder’s critically acclaimed 2006 CD Move in the Changing Light (Innova 655), about which Ron Shepper wrote in textura, ‘Schroeder generates dense masses of sparkling trills and cascades….The sound that results verges on the paradisaical … Schroeder’s glistening pieces are full of elegant nuances,’ and Frank J. Oteri wrote in the American Music Center’s NewMusicBox, ‘ You’ll keep hitting repeat on your CD player.’

Passage’s performers include Schroeder on piano and electric bass, soprano Erin Bridgeman, the multi-talented Rick Dimond on accordion and vibraphone, clarinetist/composer Michael Henson, harpist Jane Grothe, flutist Jennifer Amox, and new music clarinetist Marty Walker.

Born in 1956 in Rancho Cordova, California, Phillip Schroeder’s musical life began early and paralleled the diversity of his surroundings—living in twelve states—playing trumpet in concert bands and electric bass in rock and jazz bands, singing in choirs, conducting orchestral and chamber groups, improvising with a variety of ensembles, and concertizing as a pianist. His music for soloists, chamber ensembles, live electronics, orchestra, and choir, has been described by critics as ‘wonderfully evocative,’ ‘ethereal,’ and ‘rich in subtle detail.’ “

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

New From Innova: Jeremy Beck “IonSound Project”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Jeremy Beck IonSound Project
Innova 797

IonSound Project, the engaging new music sextet based in Pittsburgh, reveals music by composer Jeremy Beck that inspires dancing, dreaming, and – like the City of Bridges itself – communicates a gritty energy of hope and promise.

IonSound Project

Jeremy Beck

Comprising flutist Peggy Yoo, clarinetist Kathleen Costello, violinist Laura Motchalov, cellist Elisa Kohanski, pianist Rob Frankenberry and percussionist Eliseo Rael, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has praised IonSound Project for performances that ‘generate[ ] sparks.’ Committed to the music of our time, this bold ensemble presents innovative concerts, commissions works of new music, collaborates with artists in a variety of disciplines, and explores the boundaries between concert and popular music. Since giving its first concert in 2004, IonSound Project has presented more than 80 works by 20th- and 21st-century composers, demonstrating its ongoing dedication to presenting the work of established and emerging composers from across the country.

One such composer whose work the group has championed is Jeremy Beck. The critic Mark Sebastian Jordan has described Beck as an ‘original voice celebrating music,’ who ‘[w]ithout self-consciousness, without paralyzing abstraction, … reminds us that music is movement, physically and emotionally.’

IonSound Project takes the listener here on just such a physical and emotional journey through music composed by Beck for various combinations of the ensemble’s instruments. For example, Beck’s September Music for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano lyrically unfolds in a thoughtful and at times wistful atmosphere of intricate counterpoint and rich, tonal harmonies, while the jazz-inflected vigor of the opening track, In Flight Until Mysterious Night (scored for the full ensemble with marimba), gets the listener’s pulse beating a little faster with its tapestry of lively, syncopated rhythms.

This is the fourth Innova recording which is completely devoted to Beck’s own compositions. Continuing the artistic path Beck has carved out for himself, his music here is direct and communicative, presenting itself in an American tonal and rhythmic idiom. Experienced through the heart, this is music of tenacious beauty, performed with the passionate conviction of those who wish to share that beauty with the world. “

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

New From Innova: Lukas Ligeti “Pattern Time”

Innova is the home for New Music in America

Lukas Ligeti Pattern Time
Innova 732 (2011)

Lukas Ligeti,percussion
Benoit Delbecq, piano
Gianni Gebbia, saxophone
Aly Keita, balafon
Michael Manring, bass

Lukas Ligeti

“With Pattern Time, Lukas Ligeti and his group introduce a style of music that is hard to categorize for the best of reasons: it is something the likes of which have not been heard before. Is it a new direction in jazz, perhaps more specifically in African jazz? Is it a new idiom in the otherwise unidiomatic realm of creative improvised music? Ultimately, such questions may be impossible to answer. This, however, is for sure: it is a fresh approach to both sound and rhythm, a musical conversation that uses a new syntax that comes across as immediately striking; an abstract language the listener can instantly understand — with enough motion to keep a restless octopus happy.

Invited by the Vienna Musik-Galerie festival in Austria to put together a group consisting of some of his favorite musicians, New York-based Ligeti assembled a quintet of kindred spirits united by their interest in new rhythmic possibilities in improvised music. Their communication was immediate, their interaction both playful and profound. Like in African music, patterns form the foundation of this music; like in jazz, the patterns are often implied rather than obvious. But here, both the musicians’ usual roles and the ways in which the patterns interrelate are blurred, resulting in a form of interplay that indicates directions heretofore unexplored. Time is treated topologically; it is expanded, contracted, twisted and turned to provide fresh and new ways of experiencing the beat. And often, there is no clear beat, though a sense of groove is never lost. This music takes the African approach to polymeters, which renders the rhythm both firmly grounded and ambiguous, to the world of experimental improvisation; it swings while eschewing all clichés.

Lukas Ligeti’s compositional input – mainly in the form of ideas, shapes, and patterns – provides the conceptual foundation upon which the ensemble builds its conversation, combining their individual, highly evolved musical vocabularies. The African influence is a cornerstone throughout. Ligeti has developed a choreographic, polyrhythmic drumming style based on the music of East Africa’s Kingdom of Buganda; his connection to the continent was deepened through numerous trips and collaborations with African musicians. In Côte d’Ivoire, he met Aly Keïta, one of today’s leading virtuosos of the balafon, the West African marimba, who has boldly introduced his instrument and traditions into a jazz environment. Parisian pianist Benoît Delbecq, in turn, has developed a completely original approach to jazz piano, preparing his instrument with wood and basing his rhythmic vocabulary on the chants of Ba’aka pygmies. His playing leaves an indelible mark on any music to which he contributes. Hailing from Sicily, saxophonist Gianni Gebbia has similarly crossed the bridge between traditional and experimental music, conjuring up the launedda, the ancient Sardinian bagpipe, and propelling it into the new millennium. And Michael Manring, one of the world’s most recognized electric bass players, built a new world of expression upon the foundations passed on to him by his teacher, Jaco Pastorius. It is a rare and welcome treat to hear him in a context where he is so unbound and free to experiment.

Together, these singular musicians create an architecture that is greater than the sum of its parts, and points to new paths, spaces, and structures to be explored. Like his father György before him, in his own way Lukas is revealing a new musical universe strikingly his own.

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

New From Innova: Four Albums

Innova is one of the finest producing companies in New Music.

Innova 745

“A brilliant little overture, To the Point by 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon opens this varied and intriguing new release by Philadelphia’s award-winning ensemble, Orchestra 2001. Included also are recent works by the indefatigable and incredibly versatile Gunther Schuller (Concerto da Camera with the composer conducting), violin concertos by Philadelphians Jay Reise (with soloist Maria Bachmann) and Andrew Rudin (with soloist Diane Monroe), and Romeo Cascarino’s haunting paraphrase of Carl Sandburg’s poem “Grass.” Artistic Director James Freeman conducts all but the Schuller.

Orchestra 2001 is one of America’s most important champions of new music. Through its concert series in Philadelphia and at Swarthmore College (where it is ensemble in residence), its previous recordings (for CRI, Albany, and Bridge Records), and its tours abroad (Russia, England, Denmark, Slovenia, and, most recently, the Salzburg Festival), Orchestra 2001 has brought new American music to countless fresh audiences. Its name pointed to the future when the ensemble was founded in 1988. With 22 years of landmark performances and recordings now behind it, the orchestra continues to provide a major focus for the best new music of our time. We think this disc – Orchestra 2001’s first with Innova Recordings – is one to be treasured, studied, and savored.”

Innova 243

Harley Gaber does “harrowing yet peaceful” like no one else. His richly sonorous spectral drones sweep the soul along on its darkest night towards a dawn forever just beyond reach. His latest voyage, In Memoriam 2010, is a postscript or coda to the end of the world. Beginning with an apocalyptic tempest and (re)building from there, the album reveals shards of culture and humanity and finds a healing balm in enduring memory. It is an altogether fitting commemoration to the end of the world.

For Gaber, 2010 was a tumultuous year, and this album in memory of it traces his attempts to come to terms with it. The record feels at once like a grand exhalation and an indefatigable inhalation. As much as certain sections’ titles point towards an end (Cataclysm and Threnody, Threnody and Prayer) others point towards a re-creation of order after death (In-Formation, Coalescin). Commissioned by Dan Epstein of the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation in memory of his mother, Nancy Epstein, In Memoriam 2010 explores the flux between knowing and not-knowing that resolves itself into peace and tranquility.

Drawing on his 20 years of work as a visual artist in diverse mediums, Gaber constructs In Memoriam 2010 using collage techniques, drawing on fragments from composers including himself, Philip Blackburn, Kenneth Gaburo, Verdi, Beethoven, Werner Durand, Paul Paccione, and Morton Feldman. His ability to fuse these musical elements without diluting them speaks to his organic outlook on sound and musical discourse. Like his previous Innova release, I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji, In Memoriam 2010 is both harrowing and peaceful. A sense of loss may permeate these works, but it never obscures the overall sense of redemption and love.”

in memoriam 2010 (63:53):
1. cataclysm and threnody (16:01)
2. threnody and prayer (10:29)
3. ground of the great sympathy: aftermath (6:30)
4. in-formation (12:58)
5. coalescing (9:01)
6. …with completion (8:41)

Innova 800

DEDICATION features music composed in celebration of the PRISM Quartet’s 20th anniversary by a slew of today’s top composers with a knack for the sax. PRISM has expanded the world of the sax quartet through their commissions and performances since 1984. Their dedication has paid off with this virtuosic showcase of instrumental acrobatics.

PRISM musicians have wielded their instruments in a variety of styles and contexts, and they’ve done it with a gleeful disregard for the various “-isms” of the day. The saxophone is a versatile family of instruments, capable of great subtlety and emotion, but also perfectly good at producing a wailing wall of noise. And while PRISM has done yeoman work in reminding people that old Adolphe Sax intended his inventions to be classical instruments first, the quartet also has the good taste and the tasty chops needed to reflect the sax’s great tradition in jazz and popular music.

This collection brings together almost two-dozen works written or arranged to mark PRISM’s anniversary, back in 2004. The composers come from near (Philly-based Matthew Levy, founding member of PRISM) and far (Donnacha Dennehy, a central figure on the Irish new music scene). They range from some of our most highly visible, award-winning figures (William Bolcom, Chen Yi, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen) to emerging voices (Roshanne Etezady and Dennis DeSantis were both beginning their careers in 2004). And of course, there are friends of the ensemble like sax player Greg Osby, who adds his alto to the mix, and one-time PRISM member Tim Ries, who left the quartet some years ago to go on tour with a rock band. (Only time will tell if that band, apparently called “The Rolling Stones,” will have the staying power of the PRISM Quartet.)

From the frantic, florid playing required by Gregory Wanamaker’s speed metal organum blues to the melancholy of Renée Favand-See’s isolation, this set of birthday dedications offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of one of the essential contemporary music groups of our time.”

Roshanne Etezady: Inkling
Zack Browning: Howler Back
Tim Ries: Lu
Gregory Wanamaker: speed metal organum blues
Renee Favand-See: isolation
Libby Larsen: Wait a Minute
Nick Didkovsky: Talea, Stink Up! (PolyPrism 1 and 2)
Greg Osby: Prism #1
Donnacha Dennehy: Mild, Medium-Lasting, Artificial Happiness
Ken Ueno: July 23
Adam B. Silverman: Just a Minute, Chopin
William Bolcom: Scherzino
Matthew Levy: Three Miniatures
Jennifer Higdon: Bop
Dennis DeSantis: Hive Mind
Robert Capanna: Moment of Refraction
Keith Moore: OneTwenty
Jason Eckhardt: A Fractured Silence
Frank J. Oteri: Fair and Balanced?
Perry Goldstein: Out of Bounds
Tim Berne: Brokelyn
Chen Yi: Happy Birthday to PRISM
James Primosch: Straight Up

Timothy McAllister, Zachary Shemon, Matthew Levy, Taimur Sullivan, with Greg Osby

Innova 242

Devotion, the opening track of Grant Cutler’s 2012, approaches you from what seems like a great distance, moving slowly across snowy Midwestern plains. It’s a fitting introduction to an album of cold, geologic beauty, a record not only inspired by the setting of its creation, but quite literally fashioned from artifacts unearthed from attics and closets and basements. Often, artists seek a universality in their work, but Cutler has crafted the timelessness at the heart of 2012 by documenting a moment, the first snowbound week of 2008 in Minneapolis.

He’d been reading about Zen meditation practice. He was learning about binaural beats. He’d just gotten a Roland JX-3P, a synthesizer from 1983. And so he spread his synths about the floor of the back room of his house and set about making drone tapes on his grandfather’s tape deck. The deck itself was rescued from his sister’s basement, and the no-name recorder didn’t even work properly half the time. It would eat the cassettes whole, and so every successful recording was a victory. Even then, playing the tape back to transfer it onto his computer would sometimes destroy the tape. Each of the performances here, then, is unique and unduplicatable.

The fragility of the process is in perfect harmony with the fragility of the music, which plumbs the beauty of the synthesizers’ sounds, pulling out tones that link 2012 to Tangerine Dream, to Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol 2, to Boards of Canada, and to Autechre. It’s a love letter to the soft, otherworldly fuzziness and cool, austere alienness of the analog synth. Its airiness and space let you follow tones and looping sequences through subtle shifts and changes, the sound coloring whatever space the listener is in, just as Cutler’s wonky tape deck colors the sound of the whole record. It’s the kind of album you want to curl up and take a nap inside of.

A warm blanket, a love letter, a document, a sonic painting of winter in Minnesota: 2012 is all of these things and also something more. It’s a mirror, a work that reveals the listener to him or herself, reflecting back on us ourselves in moments of peace, of focus, of solitude, of contemplation.”

From the New York Times: Innova at the Stone

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes:

Violinists, Plugged in, Bow, Pluck and Twang

Published: May 27, 2011

“For the final two weeks of May the programming at the Stone has been in the hands of Philip Blackburn, the director of the enterprising, polyglot record label Innova. Mr. Blackburn’s idea was to present 24 one-hour concerts by musicians who record for Innova, and on Wednesday evening he offered, as hours 13 and 14, what he called “the fiddler’s hoedown from hell”: back-to-back recitals by Ana Milosavljevic and Todd Reynolds, violinists for whom amplification and sound processing are integral to music-making. “

Ana Milosavljevic

Todd Reynolds

The Innova showcase continues through Tuesday at the Stone, East Second Street at Avenue C, East Village

See the full article here.

Please visit the Innova web site and explore this incredible production company.

Don’t miss Philip’s two interview series, Measure for Measure and Alive and Composing.

From All About Jazz: “Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Returns to NYC”

Boston’s Acclaimed Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Returns to New York City Bringing their Avant Second Line New Orleans Funk Back For the First Time in Two Years


Dressed a la Mardi Gras in feathered masks and multi-colored, sequined costumes, playing music that riotously combines the rhythms of New Orleans brass bands with improvisation and heaping undercurrents of funk, the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble inhabits that rare musical planet on which Sun Ra, James Brown, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and a myriad of New Orleans marching bands jointly reside.

They return to New York with a special line-up including trombonist Josh Roseman and drummer Kenny Wollesen with shows on May 20 at Barbes and May 22 at The Stone. The shows will be recorded so come out and be part of the celebration.


Ken Field/alto sax
Alex Smith/electric bass
Blake Newman/acoustic bass
Joey Lefitz/drums
Kenny Wollesen/drums
Alex Asher/trombone
Josh Roseman/trombone
Daniel Heath/trombone
Jerry Sabatini/trumpet

Their first CD, Year of the Snake, on Innova Recordings was released in 2003. It included music by Field as well as Sun Ra, John Scofield, James Brown, and others, with liner notes written by two-time Grammy-winning New Orleans music producer Scott Billington.”

Innova 599 (2003)

The CD is available from Innova or Amazon, the .mp3 album is available at Amazon.

see the ful AAJ article here.

More from Innova:Fred Ho, Andy Akiho, Paul Elwood

Three morfe new offerings from Innova.

Fred Ho Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon
Innova 778

Before the old Fred Ho died on August 4, 2006 of advanced colo-rectal cancer, he had created an amazing body of radical, “popular avant garde” operas and music/theater works, which he interchangeably called “manga music/theater or opera” or “martial arts opera” or “living comic books.”

Innova is proud and honored to release the first-ever “jazz” and “new music” manga-CD project of two of these works joined as one.

DEADLY SHE-WOLF ASSASSIN AT ARMAGEDDON! was the last completed full-stage production of a Fred Ho manga-opera, written by Ho and Ruth Margraff in homage to the 1970s “yellow exploitation” manga-movie series, Lone Wolf and Cub. This soundtrack recording to the show features Ho’s foray into the use of the 20-string bass koto (performed by Yumi Kurosawa) and Japanese shakuhachi and fue flutes (by Masaru Koga). This fully illustrated play-story features illustrations by East Village icon, Mac McGill.

MOMMA’S SONG is a dark-as-night epic cosmo/choreo-poem written by native American poet Christine Stark of a horrific and brutal tale of genocide, ecocide and matricide visited upon Turtle Island, and created as a tribute to Archie Shepp, whose classic signature work of the Black Arts Movement, Blasé, had a profound impact upon the old Fred Ho. This recording is dedicated to Mr. Shepp. Illustrations by Mac McGill convey Fred Ho’s musical manga imagination.

FRED HO THE COMPOSER uniquely and incredibly traverses across genres with both ease and innovation, his compositions having been commissioned by and featured at some of the most prestigious artistic institutions of the U.S., including the American Composers Orchestra (When the Real Dragons Fly! at Carnegie Hall), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (for Josephine Baker’s Angels from the Rainbow for the Imani Winds), the Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival (for Journey Beyond the West: The New Adventures of Monkey and Voice of the Dragon: Once Upon a Time in Chinese America…), and most recently, Fanfare to Stop the Creeping Meatball! by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the 2011 Tanglewood Music Festival.

His works personify the cross-cultural hybridity of American New Music and Jazz. His six-octave range and fluency with extended and esoteric techniques on the baritone saxophone equals his prodigious abilities as a composer and creator of operas and other large-scale, epic works (including genres he has originated such as “Manga Music/Theater” and “Martial Arts Ballets” and “Living Comic Book Performance”).

Ho’s distinguished awards include two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (in Jazz Composition and Opera/Musical-Theater), three New York Foundation for the Arts Music Composition fellowships, six Rockefeller Foundation awards, the Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harvard Arts Medal, and the American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction.

FRED HO THE BARITONE SAXOPHONIST in this recording demonstrates his virtuosity with a six-octave range on the low-A baritone saxophone and an indelible and unique sound and approach to that horn that establishes him as one of its greatest innovators and performers.

Andy Akiho No One to Know One
Innova 801

Composer and steel pan virtuoso Andy Akiho, whose work has been called “mold-breaking” by the New York Times, presents NO ONE TO KNOW ONE, his first disc of seductive, tuneful, and genre-bending compositions. Akiho’s music has been featured in a wide variety of venues such as le Poisson Rouge, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Mass MOCA, The Tank, John Zorn’s The Stone, and the St. James Theater in Port of Spain, Trinidad. In addition, he has presented his compositions in festivals ranging from the Bang on a Can Marathon, to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, to the world’s premier steel pan event, Panorama. Indeed, Akiho has been touted in the New Haven Register as, “the composer/performer who drives pan music to new dimensions.” Drawing inspiration from his father’s Japanese heritage, his childhood in South Carolina, his intensive steel pan studies in Trinidad, his graduate studies at Yale, and his deep involvement in the New York new music scene, Akiho is not easy to pigeonhole.

In NO ONE TO KNOW ONE, it is clear that Akiho and his multi-faceted ensemble are serious about crashing through stylistic barriers in the service of cutting-edge art. Willie Ruff, the Director of the Duke Ellington Fellowship at Yale, and no stranger to landmark recordings (his performing credits include Miles Ahead and Songs of Leonard Cohen), has said, ‘These young musicians are creating some of the most exciting and original music I’ve heard in a long time. I think we’re seeing history being made by these composer-performers.’

That much is apparent from the outset of this disc, as the offbeat groove of Hadairo launches the set with ominous harmonies and fresh timbres, highlighted by the kaleidoscopic violin improvisations of Domenic Salerni. For the funky waltz tune Kiiro, Akiho expands his ensemble of steel pan, strings, harp, and drums to include woodwinds, piano, and keyboard percussion, creating a massive sound that is as enrapturing as it is unique. Akiho scales back the group on the next few tracks, allowing the revelatory sound of his steel pan to take center stage.

Murasaki is a wistful reggae-influenced ballad that features Maura Valenti on harp, while the ferocious cello playing of Mariel Roberts and the rhythm section of Sam Adams on bass and Kenneth Salters come to the fore on the driving Aka. Karakurenai explores the timbral possibilities of a prepared steel pan, while Daidai Iro contains perhaps the sunniest melody on a disc full of great tunes.

At this point, NO ONE TO KNOW ONE takes a turn into much darker territory. to wALk Or ruN in wEst harlem evokes the suspense of a harrowing personal experience Akiho had walking home late one night. One can literally hear the footsteps falling faster as the piece rolls on. the rAy’s end makes use of an unexpected ensemble—trumpet, violin, and steel pan—to virtuosic effect. The title track NO one To kNOW one was described by the Denver Post as ‘immediately appealing’ and ‘action-packed,’ filled with ‘alluring, exotic sound colors, which were in turn complemented and energized by layers of insistent, percussive rhythms.’ Here, singer Fay Wang gives the text (by Akiho himself) a reading that is both sultry and otherworldly. Finally, in 21, Akiho duets with Mariel Roberts in a work that beguiles and confounds as it wends its way through myriad textures and sonic worlds.

Performers include: Andy Akiho, Samuel Adams, Kenneth Salters, Mariel Roberts, Domenic Salerni, Maura Valenti, Nicole Camacho, Alexandra Detyniecki, Inhyung Hwang, Sarah Kuchta, Ian Rosenbaum, John Corkill, Tiffany Kuo, Suresh Singaratnam, Raul Garcia, Ruby Chen, Fay Wang, Candy Chiu.

Paul Elwood Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home
Innova 786

” ‘It started as a dream. And frankly that’s as good an explanation as any for this unlikely amalgam of avant-bluegrass and classical chamber composition. Paul Elwood, star of the five-string banjo (he won the Kansas State Banjo Championship, has played live on MTV Europe, and is routinely heard alongside musicians of all stripes) is also a composer with top new-music credentials. The two worlds contaminate each other in ingenious and spooky ways in this new innova release, uniting the foot and the head, barn and the concert hall.

‘ A number of years ago I dreamed that I was hiking in the mountains above Brevard, North Carolina. I crested the ridge of a valley on a warm summer morning, and saw a dilapidated cabin with a collapsed roof. ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘that’s Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home’ — Kubrick, of course, being the iconic American film director. I was instantly inspired to write a chamber composition structured on a Kubrick film that would utilize folk music of the Appalachians. After watching all of his films, I selected 2001: a Space Odyssey for the structure of the piece, timing scenes and dividing them proportionally to fit within the context of a 25-minute composition,’ writes Paul Elwood.

This release pairs interpretations of classic folk tunes (Cluck Old Hen, Old Joe Clark, and The Cuckoo’s Nest) with elaborate reworkings for banjo and chamber ensemble (here, the intrepid Callithumpian Consort under Stephen Drury). The album brings together legendary fiddler/banjoist/songwriter John Hartford (you may recall him from the Smothers Brothers Show and the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour); pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen; cellist Hank Roberts (from the Bill Frisell Band); bluegrass fiddler Matthew Combs; and soprano Ilana Davidson (Grammy winner for her recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience [William Blake!!!]). It is hard to think of a more unlikely set of individuals inhabiting such an original universe. Perhaps they were all guests at Kubrick’s imaginary hotel (not far from which — in Greeley, Colorado — Paul Elwood teaches) or were sent on a long space voyage to establish good music on distant planets.

Whether you are looking for the thinking person’s stomp or an eerie-movie-lover’s shindig, this album is for black tie denim wearers everywhere.

All three of these albums are available at Amazon and iTunes.

From Innova: Lukas Ligeti “Pattern Time”

Lukas Ligeti Pattern Time
Innova 732

Lukas Ligeti, percussion
Benoit Delbecq, piano
Gianni Gebbia, saxophone
Aly Keita, balafon
Michael Manring, electric bass


Innova says:

“With “Pattern Time”, Lukas Ligeti and his group introduce a style of music that is hard to categorize for the best of reasons: it is something the likes of which have not been heard before. Is it a new direction in jazz, perhaps more specifically in African jazz? Is it a new idiom in the otherwise unidiomatic realm of creative improvised music? Ultimately, such questions may be impossible to answer. This, however, is for sure: it is a fresh approach to both sound and rhythm, a musical conversation that uses a new syntax that comes across as immediately striking; an abstract language the listener can instantly understand — with enough motion to keep a restless octopus happy.

Invited by the Vienna Musik-Galerie festival in Austria to put together a group consisting of some of his favorite musicians, New York-based Ligeti assembled a quintet of kindred spirits united by their interest in new rhythmic possibilities in improvised music. Their communication was immediate, their interaction both playful and profound. Like in African music, patterns form the foundation of this music; like in jazz, the patterns are often implied rather than obvious. But here, both the musicians’ usual roles and the ways in which the patterns interrelate are blurred, resulting in a form of interplay that indicates directions heretofore unexplored. Time is treated topologically; it is expanded, contracted, twisted and turned to provide fresh and new ways of experiencing the beat. And often, there is no clear beat, though a sense of groove is never lost. This music takes the African approach to polymeters, which renders the rhythm both firmly grounded and ambiguous, to the world of experimental improvisation; it swings while eschewing all clichés.

Lukas Ligeti’s compositional input – mainly in the form of ideas, shapes, and patterns – provides the conceptual foundation upon which the ensemble builds its conversation, combining their individual, highly evolved musical vocabularies. The African influence is a cornerstone throughout. Ligeti has developed a choreographic, polyrhythmic drumming style based on the music of East Africa’s Kingdom of Buganda; his connection to the continent was deepened through numerous trips and collaborations with African musicians. In Côte d’Ivoire, he met Aly Keïta, one of today’s leading virtuosos of the balafon, the West African marimba, who has boldly introduced his instrument and traditions into a jazz environment. Parisian pianist Benoît Delbecq, in turn, has developed a completely original approach to jazz piano, preparing his instrument with wood and basing his rhythmic vocabulary on the chants of Ba’aka pygmies. His playing leaves an indelible mark on any music to which he contributes. Hailing from Sicily, saxophonist Gianni Gebbia has similarly crossed the bridge between traditional and experimental music, conjuring up the launedda, the ancient Sardinian bagpipe, and propelling it into the new millennium. And Michael Manring, one of the world’s most recognized electric bass players, built a new world of expression upon the foundations passed on to him by his teacher, Jaco Pastorius. It is a rare and welcome treat to hear him in a context where he is so unbound and free to experiment.

Together, these singular musicians create an architecture that is greater than the sum of its parts, and points to new paths, spaces, and structures to be explored. Like his father György before him, in his own way Lukas is revealing a new musical universe strikingly his own. “

Out today.

My Music Sources

These are my sources for music and information. If you have any suggestions for me, I would appreciate seeing them in Comments.

All About Jazz – For all of the news of the Jazz world

American Mavericks – A history of serious music in America from Minnesota Public Radio

American Composers Forum – Fostering artistic and professional development

Bang On A Can – At the heart of the Downtown New York New Music scene

Blue Note Records – an iconic Jazz label still putting out great recordings

Cantaloupe Music – the recording arm of Bang On a Can

Classical Discoveries – Marvin Rosen’s Wednesday survey of great new music and the avantgarde on WPRB, Princeton, NJ

Cuneiform Records – great taste in new music

ECM – possibly the finest recording company in the world

The GreeneSpace, the live presentation space of New York Public Radio with programming from WNYC, WQXR, and Q2

Hearts of Space – Stephen Hill’s great weekly mix of music for relaxation, contemplation, mediation, and…
This is a paid service.

Innova – creating an environment for new compostion and musical maturation.
The recording arm of American Composers Forum

Live365 – niche audio streaming – any genre or sub-genre you want. This is a paid service.

New Amsterdam Records – “…a non-profit-model record label and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work grows from the fertile ground between genres….”

NPR/music – Jazz, Classical, interviews, news, concerts, “first listens”, artist profiles

Q2 on the internet, “for the new music we crave” the home of New Music

WBGO bringing Jazz from Newark, NJ to the world

WNYC – the home of John Schaefer’s Soundcheck and New Sounds programs

WPRB, Community Radio, Princeton, NJ
For the most serious presentation of Classical music and the most erudite presentations of Jazz

From The Wall Street Journal:”Preserving an Upstate Jazz Incubator” and Innova in the Mix

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of riffs.

APRIL 14, 2011

” ‘ This is where it all happened,’ Karl Berger said with a waved hand and a wistful look. Before him stretched a West Hurley, N.Y., soccer field where, 30 years ago, he’d organized two world-music festivals, before that term was common. Next to it stood a main house and several smaller buildings where, from 1976 through 1984, some of jazz’s most influential and freest-thinking musicians—and players representing diverse countries and disciplines—taught, learned, rehearsed, performed and lived, on and off.

This 45-acre estate, once a Catskills resort and now a dance-and-theater academy, was the third and final home of Creative Music Studio, founded in 1971 by Mr. Berger; his wife, Ingrid Sertso; and saxophonist Ornette Coleman. CMS was no jazz institute, although it anticipated such organizations. Nor was it a school in the strict sense, yet it changed the way improvisation is taught.

Perhaps the most tangible evidence that something special happened at CMS is some 400 hours of recordings, now being restored and remastered by Ted Orr, a musician who studied at CMS, and intended for an archive at Columbia University, provided full funding is secured. (The project will cost about $120,000, Mr. Berger said; one-quarter of the digital remastering is complete.)

Nowhere is the studio’s influence more evident than in New York City, especially right now. On Friday, Mr. Berger will celebrate the 40th anniversary of CMS’s founding with a performance at the Stone, the East Village music space run by Mr. Zorn. On Saturday, Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies will host a daylong symposium, gathering distinguished CMS alumni. On Sunday evening at Columbia’s Miller Theater, Mr. Berger will conduct students from the university’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program, where he is artist-in-residence. And on Monday, Mr. Berger will return to the Stone, inaugurating a weekly workshop series to help fund the archive.

Mr. Berger in 2010

At Mr. Berger’s studio recently, Mr. Orr played a riveting 1978 recording of saxophonists Jimmy Giuffre and Lee Konitz, then one of Mr. Cherry. A three-CD set on Innova Records drawn from this material is planned for the fall, with the Columbia archive the ultimate goal. The musicians will receive the digitized recordings to use as they wish. “They created the music, so they own it,” Mr. Berger said. ‘We only created the environment.’ “

See the full article here.

Innova at the Stone in NYC

Innova Recordings announces 24-artist series at The Stone in NYC from May 17 – 31.
Saint Paul-based Innova Recordings, the label of the American Composers Forum, is excited to announce the details of a two-week-plus
residency at the John Zorn-founded non-profit venue The Stone in New York City. 24 different artists from New York, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota and beyond will be taking the stage and showcasing Innova’s diverse roster in genres from avant garde classical to jazz to world to electronic and all points in between. Each night will feature a pair of sets from two different but complementary artists at 8 and 10 p.m.

Label director Philip Blackburn invited artists with releases in the past two years to perform, and then built the two-set nights around themes, including “Demented But Mellow Jazz,” “Man-Machine Meld” and “Jazz Beyond This World.” For example, the sets on Thursday, May 19 will highlight “Drums Galore” with Blood Drum Spirit (a quartet featuring David Bindman on saxophones, Wes Brown on bass, Art Hirahira on piano and Royal Hartigan on drums) exploring the world’s rhythmic traditions through a jazz lens at 8 p.m. and drummer Sean Noonan’s Boxing Dreams String Quartet (Tom Swafford and Patti Kilroy on violin, Leanne Darling on viola, David West on cello, and Noonan on percussion and stories) bringing the story of Noonan’s “Night Music, Book 1” to life.

The sets on May 25 explore “Fiddles and Those Who Love Them” with ANA Milosavljevic at 8 p.m. and Todd Reynolds at 10 p.m. ANA, a multi- talented Serbian native and Manhattan-based composer and violinist, has brought her music everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Cornelia Street Café, with Lucid Culture calling a recent performance at Lincoln Center “absolutely devastating.” And Reynolds will be
performing works from his freshly minted innova CD Outerborough, which String magazine called “[p]layful like Milhaud, but hard-edged like Hendrix.”

Other highlights include George Lewis & Marina Rosenfeld on May 20, Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble on May 22, and Prester Johnon May 24, all at 8 p.m. Lewis and Rosenfeld plumbed the possibilities of spontaneous composition and fusion on their groundbreaking Innova vinyl release Sour Mash, encouraging listeners to mix and match their works on multiple turntables to generate new possibilities. Saxophonist and composer Ken Field will be bringing his avant second line funk band from Boston for their first performance in the boroughs in two years. And Prester John, comprised of guitarist Shawn Persinger and mandolinist David Miller, will be performing worksfrom their Innova release Desire for a Straight Line, which the Village Voice called “an eclectic assortment of slipstream compositions touching on prog-tinged jazz, classical, manouche, andnewgrass idioms.”

The residency will close out on May 31 with two sets by what Blackburn terms “Long-Lived Foursomes from Far Away.” Saint Paul’s Zeitgeist celebrated their 30th anniversary this year with the release of Here and Now on Innova and will kick off the night at 8 p.m. while sax all- stars PRISM Quartet will close out the night performing work fromtheir own Dedication, which celebrates their 20th anniversary. The range of composers represented in this pairing is truly dizzying,including Ivo Medek, Tim Berne, Andrew Rindfleisch, William Bolcom,Eleanor Hovda, Zack Browning, and many, many more.

Audio samples of all 24 artists are available on innova’s Soundcloud page at: and program descriptions and personnel appear below.

Publicity photos available:

The Stone
Avenue C and East 2nd Street
New York, NY 10009

From Innova: Anne LeBaron “1,2,4,3″

From Innova and I missed it.

Anne LeBaron 1,2,4,3
Innova 236 (September 28, 2010)

“Anne LeBaron’s harp is not your grandmother’s harp. Probably.



‘ In the early 1970′s I began improvising with my first harp, a Wurlitzer with ivory pegs, rescued and restored from its fate as an unstrung object languishing in the corner of an elderly couple’s living room. Many of these explorations took place during regular Sunday night sessions in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the home of LaDonna Smith and Davey Williams. Here, a group of musicians gathered to embark on musical odysseys into uncharted territories. Our models ranged from surrealist concepts and philosophies, to the purism of Derek Bailey, to the gritty blues of Johnny Shines. My exploration of the harp — finding ways to prepare it, to bow the steel-wound wires, and gut and nylon strings, and to slither vertically on the strings, discovering endless microtonal worlds – was stimulated by this proto-environment. Later, living and performing in Europe in the 80′s, I made music with ‘first-generation’ improvising musicians, some of whom are represented on this 2CD set of solos, duets, quartets, and trios: 1,2,4,3.’

The recordings span eight years, four generations of musicians, hailing from seven countries. Most of the tracks are from live performances capturing the spontaneous moments between consummate improvisers getting to know one another and co-composing a time together. All feature LeBaron’s sonorous harp playing in myriad guises.

Anne LeBaron, composer and performer, writes music embracing an exotic array of subjects that encompass vast reaches of space and time, ranging from the mysterious Singing Dune of Kazakhstan, to investigations into physical and cultural forms of extinction, to legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, and the American Housewife. Widely recognized for her work in instrumental, electronic, and performance realms, she has earned numerous awards and prizes, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts, a Fulbright Full Fellowship, an award from the Rockefeller MAP Fund for her opera, Sucktion, and a 2009-2010 Cultural Exchange International Grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for The Silent Steppe Cantata. She teaches composition and related subjects at CalArts.

This release is part of innova’s NEA-funded NYFA Series that celebrates the work of New York Foundation for the Arts Music Composition Fellows.

Anne LeBaron

Anne LeBaron
Chris Heenan
Earl Howard
Georg Graewe
John Lindberg
Kanoko Nishi
Kiku Day
Kristin Haraldsdottir
Leroy Jenkins
Nathan Smith
Paul Rutherford
Ronit Kirchman
Torsten Mueller
Wolfgang Fuchs

At Amazon the CD or the .mp3 album $13.76

From Innova: Zeitgeist “Here and Now”

Zeitgeist Here and Now
Innova #799

Celebrating Thirty Years of Zeitgeist

“In 2008, Zeitgeist new music ensemble asked thirty Minnesota composers (one for each year of Zeitgeist’s existence) to write 150-second long pieces (one second for each year of Minnesota’s existence as a state) as a kind of double celebration event.


The results—a long-exposure picture of Minnesota’s longlively compositional scene in the first decade of the new millennium, or simply perhaps thirty love letters to Zeitgeist—transcend the occasion. These are miniatures that refuse to be confined by the label. Ranging from neoclassic to unclassifiable, they make one thing plain: Zeitgeist has no house style. Intrepid midwives of the new, these omnicompetent musicians have embraced the untrammeled polystylism of our day. This ardent openness has much to do, perhaps everything to do, with the group’s longevity, keeping Zeitgeist in tune with the zeitgeist.

The groups of works flow from modernistical, to improvisatory, ethnically-flavored, plugged-in, cheekily theatrical, and neo-classicalish. Listeners will find Libby Larsen, Steve Heitzeg and Randall Davidson cheek by jowl with Mary Ellen Childs, Janika Vandervelde and Douglas Ewart. Like any good midwestern smorgasbord, this one has something for every taste.

Lauded for providing “a once-in-a-lifetime experience for adventurous concertgoers,” Zeitgeist is a new music chamber ensemble comprised of two percussion, piano and woodwinds. Always eager to explore new artistic frontiers, Zeitgeist collaborates with composers of all types to create imaginative new work that challenges the boundaries of traditional chamber music.

The members of Zeitgeist are:
Heather Barringer, percussion
Patti Cudd, percussion
Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds
Shannon Wettstein, piano.

Composers / works are:

Disc One
1. Ann Millikan: Kuiper Belt Wamfle 2:43
2. Douglas Geers: Tight Tie Size Try 2:11
3. Phil Fried: Itty Bitty Symphony 2:31
4. Chris Gable: Beat That Clock 2:46
5. Kathy Jackanich: But do the cranes know 4:14
6. Justin Henry Rubin: Il momento lussureggiante per tre musicisti 3:04
7. Gao Hong: Celebration of 150/30 Year 3:12
8. Dick Hensold: Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune 2:21
9. Steve Heitzeg: American Indian Movement (No Reservations) 3:46
10. Chris Granias: Z-Bekiko 3:37
11. Carei Thomas: Three Sides of the Issue: Cartoon XVIa 1:55
12. David Means: Thirty for Four 1:51
13. Douglas Ewart: Spells 2:41
14. Erik Fratzke: Ruggles on Main 2:07
Total Time: 38:56

Disc Two
1. Scott Miller: And Thirty More II 2:39
2. Mark Eden: Some Kind of Virus 2:26
3. Brian Heller: Playing Back/Listening Forward 2:44
4. Matthew Smith: They’re In There Somewhere 2:26
5. Philip Blackburn: Stück 2:34
6. David Evan Thomas: Quiptych 1:34
7. Carol Barnett: Z=30; Schumann’s Excellent Extension 2:36
8. Brent Michael Davids: Something Pearl 3:07
9. Randall Davidson: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity 1:50
10. Libby Larsen: Ricochet 1:59
11. Janika Vandervelde: Getting Your Z’s (Or Not) 2:54
12. Marc Jensen: Snowfall 4:21
13. Mary Ellen Childs: Faint Object Camera 3:14
14. Jeffrey Brooks: Still Life with Compressed Air 2:25
15. David Wolff: Mutagenesis 3:05
16. Mike Olson: Ineffable 2:29

Total Time: 42:23 “

At Amazon in CD or .mp3 $13.76

From Innova:Robert Moran “Cabinet of Curiosities”

Robert Moran Cabinet of Curiosities
Innova #792

Robert Moran

Christine Augspurger
Dan Moore
Iowa Percussion
Lucas Bernier
Meghan Aube

“Following the critical success of their contribution to Robert Moran’s second Innova CD, Mantra, Dan Moore and Iowa Percussion took on this ambitious new recording, Cabinet of Curiosities.

About Mantra, Sequenza 21 declared: ‘ The three percussion ensemble pieces exude happy and peaceful energies. Of particular note is the work Stirling: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. This piece, for a gargantuan setup of percussion, does for the rain what Messiaen did for bird calls.’ ‘Iowa Percussion does an absolutely phenomenal job with their three pieces. I hope we hear more from this ensemble in the future.’ They got their wish with Cabinet of Curiosities: The Graphic Percussion Scores of Robert Moran.

This historically important compendium of Moran’s graphic percussion scores from 1962 to 2010, plumbs the depths of this highly creative form of composition — from purely atmospheric sound explorations to studies of rhythm, melody, harmony, and musical interaction. The scores are visual artworks in themselves but come to life in performance where the players use their creative imaginations to interpret the non-standard shapes, signs and instructions.

Created with the audiophile listener in mind, the recording is intimate and transparent, taking the listener on a very personal “elegant journey” through the beautiful and intoxicating world of graphic composition.

The longest work on the disc is Salagrama, for percussion and organ, created for Graz cathedral employing pitches tuned to Kepler’s Harmony of the Spheres.

Percussionist Dan Moore’s expertise ranges from new music to fringe jazz, folk music of the world, and many points in between. Musician, composer, and educator, he travels the world performing his own distinctive brand of music that explores the expressive capabilities of percussion. In 2006, it was pure serendipity when through an unexpected collaboration with choreographer Armando Duarte, the love affair amongst Robert Moran, Dan Moore, and Iowa Percussion began. But Moore had become a Moran aficionado long before their first meeting: “I performed some of his pieces while still a student. I have great admiration for the creativity, beauty, rhythm, and humor of his music.”

Moran, arriving for the first time in Iowa City for that collaboration, found a “dazzling” array of percussion instruments at his disposal, and performers willing to throw themselves headlong into his music. He quickly became an admirer of Iowa Percussion: “I went to Iowa City for this percussion premiere and heard one of the finest performances of any of my scores in my entire career. It was my great fortune to write for this splendid ensemble.”

Philly-based Robert Moran studied with Apostel, Berio, and Milhaud long ago but never aligned himself with any musical ‘-isms.’ His works range from Fluxus type community events to post-Minimal textures, and ‘shamefully Romantic’ languages.”

At Amazon, the CD $13.34; the .mp3 album $8.99

From WQXR About “The New Cannon” on Q2

First news of new programming at Q2 comes from INNOVA on Facebook.

Thanks, Philip, Chris and Steve.

The New Cannon will commence on Q2 March 28, 2011.

Here is what WQXR tells us:

Opening Salvos
Launching The New Canon with host Olivia Giovetti
Monday, March 28, 2011

If you ask me, classical music doesn’t need saving. In New York, feisty young ensembles offer more performances than any one person can absorb over the course of a week. Several labels have popped up specifically to churn out music by living composers. From Carnegie Hall and New York City Opera to (Le) Poisson Rouge and The Tank, new works are constantly receiving first listens. Peace out, Pachelbel, there’s a whole new canon.

Also new is Q2′s New Canon: a weekly show bringing you the newest of the new in New Music, including free downloads and live online chats during the show with featured artists. Today [Monday March 28] we fire off the first shots of The New Canon with friend of Q2, Todd Reynolds. A classical pioneer in both performance and composition, Todd’s new album, Outerborough, drops March 29 on Innova Records. Starting Monday, we’ll offer here a limited-time free download of Outerborough’s Transamerica, composed by Reynolds.

It’s a fantastic ride, as one could only expect from one of the foxiest hybrid-chamber musicians on the market today. We also get to hear some of Reynolds’s own compositions in addition to works by Paul de Jong, David Lang, Michael Gordon and more. Reynolds is also our guest for a live online conversation, discussing his work on the album and the other works featured today. I encourage you to follow along in the chat window below or join in the conversation with your own questions.

In a nod to WQXR’s chamber music celebration Trout Week, we also feature works by Janus and Build, plus the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s Suite from Bent, played by the always-inventive and always-satisfying Brooklyn Rider.


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