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Posts tagged “New Amsterdam

New From New Amsterdam This Month – “Drawn Only Once” and “Requiem”

New Amsterdam Records is at the heart of the New Music environment

Due East Drawn Only Once
New Amsterdam

Erin Lesser, flute
Greg Beyer, percussion

drawn only once represents the NewAm debut for accomplished duo Due East (Erin Lesser, flute; Greg Beyer, percussion) and innovative new music composer John Supko. The album contains two pieces, Littoral, written for the duo, and This window makes me feel, both coupled with cutting-edge videography by Kristine Marx and Don Sheehy, respectively. The pieces explore, among other things, Supko’s interest in field recordings, and computer-generated randomness of harmonies and melodic material. The multimedia pieces are presented in both CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD formats.

Littoral melds the lustrous timbres of flute, electronics, and an impressive array of percussion with texts by contemporary Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom and 16th Century English writer Richard Hakluyt. Supko calls Littoral ‘music of shifting terrains, each with its distinct sense of time and color and space… more alluring than any destination plotted on a timetable.’ These impressions are realized by flute, alto flute, piccolo, an array of unorthodox percussion instruments, and synthesized field recordings of the sea, Supko’s voice, and the voice of a poet. Marx’s entrancing video accompanies the piece with rapidly changing geometric forms superimposed over transient oceanic landscapes. This window makes me feel is based on Robert Fitterman’s brilliant poem of the same title, which makes use of completions of the poem’s title based on hundreds of Google searches, chronicling a vast range of humane poetic sensibilities. The work includes pre-recorded mezzo-soprano (Hai-Ting Chinn), keyboards (David Broome), and other electronics. Sheehy’s video accompaniment captures the hysteria of the congested cityscape with short clips clandestinely captured on the streets of New York that visually amplifies the pre-recorded poetic whispers of Fitterman’s poem.

The album will be released November 15th, followed by a record-release performance of Littoral at Galapagos Art Space on November 21st, alongside a piece by composer Gregory Spears.”

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes | eMusic

Gregory Spears Requiem
New Amsterdam

“Gregory Spears is a composer of refined and ‘astonishingly beautiful’ (New York Times) instrumental and vocal works. His recording debut is marked by Requiem, an otherworldly album-length composition scored for six voices, baroque viola, harp, troubadour harp, recorders, and electric organ, containing vastly eclectic influences. While the piece’s title and instrumentation suggest a characteristically baroque structure, these indices are juxtaposed with Feldmanesque harmony, Reichian repetition, and motet-like vocal stylings, liberating the piece from a particular musical era. The music is wedded to an array of time- and place-exclusive languages, including Latin, Middle French, and Breton, allowing for further multi-referentiality and conceptual intricacy.

The piece premiered in in June 2010 as an opera an opera/dance collaboration with choreographer for Christopher Williams for his dance production Hen’s Teeth. The performance enhanced the collage-esque sonic references with the disparate imagery of 19th century Breton fairy tales, Greek mythology, and middle age relics. The interdisciplinary realization was called ‘splendid…’ and ‘the jangling together of singing voices, violin, harp, recorder, chimes, and electric organ is magical, like feathers stroking the back of your neck’ (Village Voice). The New York Times called Spears’ score ‘the most distinguished component of the evening,’ the instrumentation evoking a ‘shimmering medieval aura,’ and New Yorker critic Alex Ross described it as ‘cooly entrancing.’

The album will be released November 15th, followed by a performance at Galapagos Art Space on November 21st, alongside a piece by composer John Supko performed by the dynamic duo Due East.”

News From New Amsterdam Records

New Amsterdam Records is at the heart of the New Music environment

First, the New Am web site has been re-designed and it is really spiffy.

Second, there is a new site, New Amsterdam Presents, about which we are told, “…For up-to-date information about the New Amsterdam community, including our recording artists as well as our ever-expanding list of concerts and other events, please visit

And, oh yes, some music!!

Jody Redhageof minutiae and memory

“As the recipient of the 2005 Hertz Grant, Jody began developing her “singing cellist” project–writing and also commissioning a repertoire for her voice and cello from some of New York’s most talented emerging composers. All Summer in a Day, the CD culmination of this commissioning/recording project, was originally released in 2007 on New Amsterdam Records and has been called “a freewheeling, slightly edgy and altogether ‘different’ kind of musical experience…highly rewarding and worthwhile” (Dave Lewis, All Music Guide). Jody spent 2009 going in and out of the studio, recording more pieces for her voice, cello, and electronics. The updated album, of minutiae and memory (featuring a few tracks from the original 2007 release and many new compositions) is the compelling result.


The album includes eight immersive, nuanced premiere recordings of compositions from some of today’s most talented young “indie classical” composers: Missy Mazzoli, Ryan Brown, Anna Clyne, Stefan Weisman, Paula Matthusen, Wil Smith, Derek Muro, and Joshua Penman. The tracks have been carefully curated by Redhage to flow effortlessly from piece to piece, and the album’s extremely high production value lends an alluring sheen to each track.”

itsnotyouitsmeeverybody’s pain is magnificent

itsnotyouitsme consists of two prolific, highly regarded New York musicians: violinist/composer Caleb Burhans and guitarist Grey McMurray, each of whom has an extensive musical output in a variety of ensembles and musical idioms. They formed the ensemble itsnotyouitsme in 2003, fusing and distilling their eclectic mutual inspirations, including the likes of J.S. Bach, Brian Eno, and Pink Floyd. Since its inception, the duo has carved out a unique niche at the intersection of chamber music, jazz, and post-rock musical scenes with their breathtaking, genre-defying instrumental soundscapes.


Following itsnotyouitsme’s first two critically acclaimed albums is everybody’s pain is magnificent, an 88 minute double-disc album that serves as a mature and well-honed artistic statement. Like the duo’s first two albums — walled gardens and fallen monuments — which were lauded by critics for their idiosyncratic ambient sound worlds generated by copious melodic looping, everybody’s pain is magnificent enraptures the listener with its dense textural landscapes. The emphasis on slowly shifting harmonies and polished timbres represents a marked departure away from the group’s earlier Philip Glass-inspired additive process minimalism and toward a more abstracted soundworld of flowing textures.”

yMusicBeautiful Mechanical

yMusic is a group of young performers who are actively engaged and equally comfortable in the overlapping classical and pop music worlds (Alex Sopp, Hideaki Aomori, CJ Camerieri, Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, and Clarice Jensen). Its unique instrumentation includes a traditional string trio as well as the distinctive combination of flute, clarinet and trumpet. This exciting composite of sounds has sparked a burgeoning repertoire of commissions from some of today’s most important artists.

Beautiful Mechanical, the group’s focused and stunning debut album, features compositions by indie- classical all-stars Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Ryan Lott (Son Lux), Gabriel Kahane, and New Amsterdam Records co-founders Sarah Kirkland Snider and Judd Greenstein. The compositions are assured and fervent yet tender and humane, the performances delicate yet fiercely virtuosic, making for a cohesive album that stands as a manifesto of what music-making in the 21st century can – and should – be.”

Please give yourself a lift by visiting the new web sites.

From Cued Up at Q2: “Look & Listen Festival: Part III”

Toy Pianos, accordion, electronics and bandsembles take over the L&L Festival.
Sunday, August 21, 2011

“Cease the last full month of Summer with the Look & Listen Festival running through August here on Cued Up. For the fest’s third concert of four, enjoy two world premieres by the delightfully unclassifiable drummer/composer John Hollenbeck and his group The Claudia Quintet with Theo Bleckmann, a world premiere by past Q2 composer-portrait Angélica Negrón and works by toy piano wiz Phyllis Chen and textural magician Zibuokle Martinaityte.

You can enjoy the first two concerts here (Part I) and here (Part II) for more exciting new works from this year’s L&L Festival, but tune in this Sunday to marvel at Part III’s fireworks: The Claudia Quintet reconciles sputters of pointillist post-jazz with heartfelt lyricism via Bleckmann’s crooning and Hollenbeck’s writing; Chen plays a mélange of housewares, mixing bowls, and toy piano to produce a one-woman orchestra that winks at Gamelan music; Ms. Martinaityte teases at Eastern-Euro modality, while conjuring up some breathtaking swells that sound more like a synthesizer than the sax/bass trombone/accordion trio.

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

This edition of Cued Up is hosted by Terrance McKnight.
Terrance McKnight

From New Amsterdam Records: Jody Redhage’s of minutiae and memory

New Amsterdam Records is at the heart of the New Music environment.


“New Amsterdam is proud to announce the August 30th release of Jody Redhage‘s new recording project, of minutiae and memory. Praised for her “exceptional technical command,” (Steve Smith, Night After Night), Redhage’s album demonstrates her evolution as both cellist and vocalist, building upon what was represented in her first NewAm CD, All Summer In A Day. That disc, which first brought New Amsterdam Records to public attention, was the culmination of her original commissioning/recording project, heralded as “a freewheeling, slightly edgy and altogether ‘different’ kind of musical experience…highly rewarding and worthwhile” (Dave Lewis, All Music Guide).

Jody Redhage
Redhage’s new album includes eight immersive, nuanced premiere recordings of compositions from some of today’s most talented young composers: Missy Mazzoli, Anna Clyne, Stefan Weisman, Paula Matthusen, Wil Smith, Joshua Penman, and Derek Muro. The tracks have been carefully curated by Redhage to flow effortlessly from piece to piece, and the album’s extremely high production value lends an alluring sheen to many of the tracks.

Redhage, fresh off a tour with Esperanza Spalding, will appear at the exciting new venue DROM in New York’s East Village on 9/12/11 to celebrate the of minutiae and memory’s release. Helping her in her cause will be art-pop composer Corey Dargel and violinist Cornelius Dufallo of ETHEL performing a short set of songs. Doors at 6:30, showtime at 7:30. DROM is located at 85 Avenue A between 5th and 6th.”

From Nadia Sirota on Q2: “Muhly Mania!”

Nadia Sirota on Q2 streams weekdays at 12:00 noon and midnight at Q2

Nico Muhly joins Olivia Giovetti to talk about his world premiere at the English National Opera
Monday, June 20, 2011

“On Friday, London’s English National Opera gives the world premiere of 20-something composer Nico Muhly’s first opera, Two Boys, a work that has already been slated to come to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2013-14 season. I’ll pause for a minute to let the full awesomeness of that sentence sink in: A new opera by a composer under 30. A FIRST opera done by ENO and already slated to hit the Met. No stranger to Q2’s airwaves, Nico dominates our programming this week as we gear up for his next major milestone this weekend with ENO Does Nico: a five-day festival hosted by Nico himself.

One thing I recently discovered about Nico is that he and I hail from neighboring towns in a tiny hamlet called Rhode Island. So it’s an apt tribute to the smallest state in the union that he churns out some extremely spectacular works on the largest scale imaginable (and, in terms of scope, it doesn’t get much grander than the Internet–whose seedy underbelly is the subject and setting of Two Boys). We go all out with Nico as well on this week’s show, featuring a cavalcade of his compositions and 30 introductions from Nico himself.

We have an interview with Nico (hosted by yours truly, [Olivia], see [the web page]), a preview of his latest work from Decca (the exquisite Seeing is Believing) which drops on Tuesday, and works by Nico’s mentors, teachers and idols such as John Corigliano, Louis Andriessen, David Lang and William Byrd. We’ll tap into Muhly’s choral fixation and tango with his orchestral and chamber works that are at turns ravishing and kinetic.”

See the web page, where there is an audio stream.

Olivia Giovetti is hosting for Nadia Sirota

Nadia Sirota

From Cued Up at Q2: “Don’t Mess Up. Listen to This”

Chiara Quartet, NOW Ensemble and Matmos‘s performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge.

Chiara Quartet

NOW Ensemble


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

“Listen to Chiara Quartet, NOW Ensemble and Matmos share a concert bill that spans the outer reaches of haunting string quartets, groovy electronic experimentalism and instrumental chamber pop intricacy, all recorded at (Le) Poisson Rouge this last May.

The NOW ensemble perform works from their recently released Awake, which made quite a splash in the new-music community as of late. Judd Greenstein’s Change, Patrick Burke’s Awake, Sean Friar’s Velvet Hammer, Mark Dancigers’ Burst–all included on the New Amsterdam-released record–are handled not only by a group of skilled musical interpreters reading off of sheet music, but by a four-letter B-A-N-D; from listening to this performance, you can tell that the members of NOW Ensemble deeply know each other as people too, not just as musicians..


Chiara Quartet’s performance of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartet No. 3–recently released on the New Amsterdam-released Quartets album–came from a long-standing intimate relationship with the composer. Relentless and dark, this is no-putzing-around, high-impact string music. It will make you forget all about your own mundane problems, only to ponder the bigger ones with which contemporary life is fraught.


Matmos, whose remixes of Friedman’s string quartets appear on the aforementioned Quartets, is joined by Chiara Quartet to perform interpretations of some selections from Matmos’ Supreme Balloon. In the performance, Matmos, known for their extremely practical and groovy use of bizarre sampling (i.e. hair, liposuction surgery, etc), boil popular electronic music down to its primordial sludge, using only synthesizers and still only sound like themselves.

Cued Up is hosted by Olivia Giovetti

Olivia Giovetti

Visit the web page and find audio streams from each group for your listening pleasure, or “tune in” at 2:00PM for Olivia’s hosted presentation.

From the Washington Post: “Mazzoli comes to Washington”

Missy Mazzoli has a different take on classical music — and people are listening


This article is copyright protected, so just a tate.

“Ask composer Missy Mazzoli about the state of contemporary classical music, and you’ll get an earful. The academia-centered world of composing is “grumpy and dogmatic,” she says, an isolated, inward-looking place where composers need to write in an abstruse style if they want to be respected by their peers.

No matter that the thorny music of the last half-century has kept audiences away in droves; composers who try to reach a wider audience risk being “looked down on as stupid and uneducated,” she says, or they leave classical music entirely.

“The word ‘accessible’ can really ruffle feathers within the new music community,” Mazzoli says with more than a trace of exasperation. “But I don’t think that ‘accessible’ equals oversimplifying, or dumbing things down, or playing to the lowest common denominator. The goal of my music has always been to communicate with an audience. That sounds obvious to 99 percent of the world, but it really is blasphemy to say that within academia!”

Ms Mazzolli’s latest recording is with her group Victoire.


Cathedral City New Amsterdam (2010)

Missy Mazzoli keyboards
Olivia De Prato violin
Eileen Mack clarinet
Lorna Krier keyboards
Eleonore Oppenheim bass

See the full article here.

From New Amsterdam Records: NOW Ensemble and Chiara String Quartet

News From New Amsterdam Records

“We’re excited to announce that two new records – NOW Ensemble’s sophomore album Awake and Chiara String Quartet’s debut album Jefferson Friedman: Quartets (features remixes by Matmos) – are officially out as of today…The records will be celebrated with a dual-release show on Friday, May 6th at Le Poisson Rouge.

NOW Ensemble

NOW Ensemble Awake
New Amsterdam Records

About NOW Ensemble:
“NOW Ensemble is a dynamic young group of performers and composers dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. With our unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano, NOW Ensemble brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, infused with a blend of musical influences that reflects the diverse backgrounds and listening experiences of our members. We play in concert halls and art museums, rock clubs and jazz venues, for large audiences and for intimate gatherings, acoustic and plugged in. Above all, we strive for performances that are as lively and engaging as they are rigorous and technically sophisticated.”

Chiara String Quartet

Chiara String Quartet Jefferson Friedman: Quartets

About Chiara:
“Renowned for bringing fresh excitement to traditional string quartet repertoire as well as for creating thoroughly insightful interpretations of new music, the Chiara String Quartet (Rebecca Fischer and Julie Hye-Yung Yoon, violins; Jonah Sirota, viola; Gregory Beaver, cello) captivates and enthralls its audiences throughout the country. During 2010-2011, the Chiara is celebrating its tenth anniversary season. Over its first decade, the Chiara has established itself as among America’s most respected ensembles, lauded for its “highly virtuosic, edge-of-the-seat playing” (The Boston Globe).”

Both albums are now available on our site and at all major online retailers

From New Amsterdam Records

The band is Build, the Album is Place. The CD drops Marsh 29, 2011.


The band BUILD

Build is:
Matt McBane: violin/compositions
Andrea Lee: cello
Mike Cassedy: piano/keyboard
Ben Campbell: bass
Adam Gold: drums

“Having convinced indie bloggers that ‘the Next Big Thing in indie rock is chamber music!’ (The Deli), and firmly occupied its own territory with ‘malleable music which doesn’t distinguish between classical and rock,'(Los Angeles Times), Build expands this space with Place. A nine-track, hour-long album, Place reflects the sophistication and cohesion of a band that has played together for more than four years (contrasted with less than one year together at their debut). And while McBane’s compositions make use of the band’s standard instrumentation as featured on their first album, this second effort also allows for more flexibility – breaking the quintet down into a trio subset at times, and replacing the drumset with a vibraphone and concert bass drum at others.

The CD at Amazon $10.63. The .mp3 album, no information at this time.

News From New Amsterdam Records: New Am Artists at Two NYC Festivals

Newspeak, fresh off their debut New Amsterdam release, sweet light crude, will perform at two groundbreaking NYC festivals in the next week. Tomorrow night, as part of the Tune-In Festival, the group will join eighth blackbird and red fish blue fish for a concert exploring the political in music, featuring pieces by Matt Marks, David T. Little, Stefan Weisman, Frederic Rzewski, Louis Andriessen, and more. (Pre-concert artist talk will begin at 6:00 pm, featuring Lisa Kaplan, Tim Munro and David T. Little, and moderated by Kristy Edmunds, Armory Consulting Artistic Director.) The show will take place at the Park Avenue Armory at 7:30PM. More info/tix can be found here.


Next week on Thursday, Feb. 24, the group will perform as part of a very special collaborative Ecstatic Music Festival set with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, featuring music by Vijay Iyer, Nicole Lizée, and Newspeak’s own David T. Little. As part of the set, Newspeak will premiere The Sleep Room, Part 1, the first-ever commissioned work for an ensemble other than his own by Grammy nominee Darcy James Argue. Argue’s 18-piece big band Secret Society, called “a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future” (Newsweek), will perform new works by highly-acclaimed pianist/composer Vijay Iyer, winner of the 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Artist of the Year Award, the Montreal-based composer Nicole Lizée and Newspeak founder David T. Little. More info and tickets can be found here.



All Ecstatic Music Festival shows are presented by Kaufman Center at Merkin Concert Hall in association with New Amsterdam Records.

Viva! New Amsterdam Records 2010


2010 was a big year for New Amsterdam Records. You might even call it a breakthrough year. But more than anything, it was a year of firsts: 2010 saw debut albums from Ted Hearne, janus, Matt Marks, Newspeak, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Victoire (as well as sophomore releases from William Brittelle, Corey Dargel, itsnotyouitsme and the third installment of Sam Sadigursky’s Word’s Project series). And thanks to our partnership (new in 2010) with Naxos of America, the world’s largest classical music distributor, we’ve been able to bring this fantastic music to a much wider audience than ever before. On the live music front, our first season-length concert series, Archipelago, came to a triumphant conclusion at Galapagos Art Space back in May. More recently, we joined the Kaufman Center in announcing the Ecstatic Music Festival, an innovative concert series featuring collaborations between some of the brightest minds working in music today (including a number of NewAm artists). The festival is presented in association with New Amsterdam Records and curated by NewAm co-founder Judd Greenstein. Between all of that, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society’s Grammy Award nomination, and the NewAm-heavy Time Out NY Best of 2010 list (not to mention the numerous other lists that have featured our artists), it has been a great year indeed.

The critics agree that 2010 was a big year for NewAm. In a recent NPR Morning Edition story called Indie Classical Blossoms on Small Labels, the venerable radio institution featured several NewAm artists and noted that “2010 was a good year for a musical hybrid that might be called ‘indie classical.’ ” NewAm was also featured in the Denver Post as one of the forces of revitalization for classical music and was the only label mentioned by name in NPR’s Best Classical Music of 2010 list. Then, in Time Out NY’s Best Classical Albums of 2010, writer Steve Smith listed NewAm’s entire 2010 concert lineup along with Le Grand Macabre and The Nose as among the best live music events of the year. Smith wrote, “this vital local label mounted a steady stream of trailblazing live events.”

Here is a brief, artist-by-artist rundown of some of the great press and honors received in 2010:

Television Landscape The sophomore album from William Brittelle, Television Landscape, was named one of the Top 20 Releases of the year by eMusic, one of the Top Albums of 2010 by The Awl writer and Newsweek contributor Seth Colter Walls, and was included in ALARM Magazine’s list of 100 Unheralded Albums from 2010. The album received a 4/5 star review in Time Out NY in which writer Hank Shteamer said, “Like the finest AM gold, Television Landscape soothes even as it dazzles.” Brittelle himself was the subject of an in-depth NY Times article about his return to live singing after a vocal chord injury left him unable to perform for several years.
William Brittelle: Television Landscape

Someone Will Take Care of Me Corey Dargel’s sophomore double album Someone Will Take Care of Me was included in music writer (and ex-Hold Steady member) Franz Nicolay’s Top 5 Albums of the year. The album was also featured in The Big City, The Indie Handbook, 17 dots, NewMusicBox, and in eMusic as an Editor’s Pick. On WNYC’s New Sounds, host John Schaefer called the album a “brilliant collection,” while Indie Handbook writer Eric Robertson said, “like all things of true beauty, [SWTCoM] teeters on the brink of madness.”
Corey Dargel: Someone Will Take Care of Me

Katrina Ballads, the debut NewAm album from composer Ted Hearne, was included in Time Out Chicago’s Top 10 of 2010 and was listed by Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette as one of her favorite releases of the year. The album has been the subject of features on WNYC’s Soundcheck, WQXR’s Q2, and in the New York Times and All Music where the album received 4.5/5 stars and a glowing review from writer Stephen Eddins who called it “an important and maybe even seminal work.”
Ted Hearne: Katrina Ballads

fallen monumentsitsnotyouitsme released their sophomore album, fallen monuments in 2010. The duo have received rave reviews for the gorgeous follow-up to 2008’s highly acclaimed walled gardens. The Village Voice called the album a “gorgeous drifter” and a “doleful soundtrack for rainy days and crumbling cities,” while WNYC Culture said the music would “would make Brian Eno, Philip Glass and the members of Radiohead all nod in approval.” The album was also featured in new music blogs Sequenza21 and NewMusicBox.
itsnotyouitsme: fallen monuments

i am not The debut album from flute/viola/harp trio janus has received a number of excellent reviews. Since being released on New Amsterdam in November, i am not has been featured in NPR, Time Out NY, NJ Star Ledger, Sequenza21, and many many more. NPR also recently featured the album in their annual Director’s Cut Gift Guide and Time Out Chicago named it one of their Top Ten Classical Albums of 2010, with writer Doyle Armbrust calling i am not, “one of the prettiest albums of 2010.”
janus: i am not

The Little Death: Vol. 1 Matt Marks’s debut album and post-Christian nihilist pop opera, The Little Death, Vol. 1, was listed as one of the Best Classical Albums of 2010 in Time Out New York , and as one of the Top Albums of 2010 by The Awl writer and Newsweek contributor Seth Colter Walls. Writer Daniel Kushner also included a song from the album in his list of Top 10 Alternative Art Songs of 2001-2010 for the Huffington Post. The stage version of the work was featured in a New York Times review, in which writer Steve Smith called The Little Death, Vol. 1 “a vibrant, enigmatic new work.”
Matt Marks: The Little Death

Newspeak has received some rave reviews for its debut album, sweet light crude. Since being released on NewAm in November, the album has been featured on WNYC’s New Sounds, in the NJ Star Ledger, on NewMusicBox blog, and many more. The music blog Lucid Culture, called the album “fearlessly aware, insightfully political, and resolutely defiant” while NewMusicBox noted the album is “…not afraid to explore the possibilities and push past the boundaries of the zeitgeist’s brave new sonic world.”
Newspeak: sweet light crude

Words Project III Early in 2010, Sam Sadigursky issued the 3rd volume in his Words Project series. Called miniatures, the album is the most musically rich and stylistically diverse member of the series. The album was featured in All About Jazz, Pop Matters, All Music, and was the subject of a NY Times Podcast. Doug Ramsey, writing for All About Jazz, had this to say: “Jazz and poetry never really became a movement. Over the past 90 years or so, the hybrid form has had a few peak periods and some embarrassing lows. On the strength of Sam Sadigursky’s work, we may be at one of the peaks.”
Sam Sadigursky: words project iii miniatures

Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope topped Time Out New York’s list of the Best Classical Albums of 2010, with critic Steve Smith calling it “the year’s most affecting creation.” Penelope was also deemed one of the Best 5 Genre-Defying Albums of the Year by NPR, the #3 Album of the Year by Textura, one of the Top Albums of 2010 by music writer Seth Colter Walls, and one of the Top 20 Albums of the Year by eMusic. The song The Lotus Eaters from Penelope was also selected by Huffington Post writer Daniel Kushner as one of the Top 10 Alternative Art Songs of 2001-2010. The album has received some serious radio attention recently as well, with an appearance on the CMJ Radio Top 200 chart, a highly influential list that tracks the number of plays an album receives each week on college radio.
Sarah Kirkland Snyder: Penelope

Victoire’s beguiling Cathedral City was chosen by NPR as one of the Top 10 Classical Albums of 2010, by Time Out New York as one of the Best Classical Albums of 2010, and by the NY Times for their Classical Gift Guide, and by Alex Ross of the New Yorker as one of the Most Memorable Recordings of the year. Cathedral City was also recently reviewed on influential music website Pitchfork. “Victoire condense moments of focused beauty and quiet conviction from the pandemic distractions of modern life,” Pitchfork writer Brian Howe said of the album.
Victoire: Cathedral City

New Amsterdam Records is 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. Our diverse catalogue reflects New Amsterdam’s commitment to supporting and nurturing projects that wholly fulfill the intent of their creators, resulting in music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle. Since the label’s inception, New Amsterdam and its artists have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Studio 360, in prominent print publications such as Newsweek, the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Alarm Press, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York, and in tastemaker online magazines such as The Awl, PopMatters, and BlackBook. Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls called New Amsterdam “an upstart label that’s been releasing one quality disc after another since its founding”, and the Sunday New York Times lauded our first slate of releases in two separate year-end best-of articles. New Amsterdam has also given over 40 concerts of groundbreaking new music over the past three years. Highlights include 2009’s Undiscovered Islands series and the 2009-10 Archipelago chamber music series. As part of its ongoing programming, New Amsterdam has made a priority of forming partnerships with other like-minded organizations, including Cantaloupe Records, MATA, Galapagos Art Space, Minneapolis’s Southern Theater, Nonclassical (UK), the Manhattan New Music Project, Search and Restore, and AMC’s Counterstream Radio.

Denver Post:”Classical music is going new places to lure new faces”

A very interesting article at the Denver Post about the future of Classical Music..

The article speaks about both people and places. Not surprising, a fair amount of new success is found in New Music and in the venues that support it.

Just some bullets from the artilce to entice you:

Le Poisson Rouge
Sarah Kirkland Snider
Present Music
New Amsterdam Records

And, hey, it’s Denver. There is a lot more going on. Look back to my post

Some of the other successful new groups are noted.

And, by all means, listen to Q2 from WQXR.
Listen also the Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries every Wednesday morning at WPRB, Princeton, NJ

See the Denver Post article here.

From New Amsterdam: “Sweet Light Crude”

From New Amsterdam

Sweet Light Crude

New Amsterdam Nov 16, 2010
Newspeak is (L-R): Taylor Levine, electric guitar; Caleb Burhans, violin, voice; Brian Snow, cello, bass; Mellissa Hughes, voice, electronics; David T. Little, director, drums; James Johnston, synthesizer; Eileen Mack, co-director, clarinets. Not pictured: Peter Wise, percussion. Photo: Stephen Taylor

This is quite a cast of players.

At their website we are told, “NEWSPEAK is an eight-piece amplified ensemble working under the direction of composer David T. Little and clarinetist Eileen Mack. Named after the thought-limiting language in George Orwell’s 1984, Newspeak explores the grey area where art and politics mix. Through their programming, performances, and commissions, they seek to reconsider, redefine, and ultimately reclaim the notion of socially engaged music and its place in contemporary society. Embedding elements of a rock band into a classical new music ensemble, Newspeak confronts the boundaries between the classical and the rock traditions.

Read more at the Newspeak site.

I am going to send myself an email so that I remember to buy this album in .mp3 as soon as possible.

From New Amsterdam: Sarah Kirkland Snider “Penelope”

From New Amsterdam on October 18, Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope.
image 1
I got this description from Amazon,

Penelope is a song cycle by composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, with lyrics by playwright Ellen McLaughlin,
featuring vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and the chamber orchestra Signal, conducted by Brad Lubman. Inspired by Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. Suspended somewhere between art song, indie rock, and chamber folk, the music of Penelope moves organically from moments of elegiac strings-and-harp reflection to dusky post-rock textures with drums, guitars and electronics, all directed by a strong sense of melody and a craftsman’s approach to songwriting. Penelope originated as a music-theater monodrama, co-written by McLaughlin and Snider in 2007-2008 and commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Center. In the work, originally scored for alto/actor and string quartet, a woman’s husband appears at her door after an absence of twenty years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn’t know who he is and she doesn’t know who he’s become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads him the Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband’s memory and the terror and trauma of war.”
Sarah Kirkland Snyder

You should definitely visit Ms Kirkland’s web site to read about this very talented and complex composer and artist.

“First Listen” from NPR

National Public Radio has a wonderful new service, “First Listen“, on which you will find the best in new Jazz, new Classical music, and new “New Music”.

I just listened to Missy Mazzoli’s group Victoire’s project “Cathedral City” (New Amsterdam)

This is a wonderful album of contemplative music. I will buy this album in .mp3 when it is available at Amazon.
The group Victoire
Missy Mazzoli

Missy Mazzoli has been heavily presented at Q2 and on Cued Up at Q2, and she is worth it.

New From New Amsterdam

Victoire’s Cathedral City from New Amsterdam Records will be released September 28, 2010
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Here is what New Amsterdam tells us about Victoire
: The acclaimed chamber-rock quintet Victoire will release their debut album, Cathedral City, September 28th on New Amsterdam Records. The album is the follow-up to their critically-lauded EP A Door into the Dark, which was handpicked for release last spring through eMusic’s exclusive “Selects” series. The album was composed entirely by Victoire founder/composer/performer Missy Mazzoli and features guest appearances from Bryce Dessner of The National, composer/bassist Florent Ghys, composer/performer William Brittelle and versatile vocalist Mellissa Hughes.

Mazzoli founded Victoire in 2007 and the ensemble of Brooklyn-based, classically-trained women has proven to be the perfect vehicle for her distinctive blend of post-rock dreamscapes and quirky minimalism. Deemed “one of the most surprising composers now working in New York” by The New York Times and “Brooklyn’s Post-Millennial Mozart” by Time Out New York, Missy fuses lo-fi electronics, keyboards, strings and winds into works that are extraordinarily complex yet delicately beautiful.”

Victoire is:
Missy Mazzoli composer/pianist
Olivia De Prato (violin)
Eileen Mack (clarinet),
Lorna Krier (keyboards)
Eleonore Oppenheim (double bass)

Some photos of Victoire, well, parts of photos, from their web site.
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At Amazon the CD will be, $11.99, The .mp3 $7.12 (not a misprint – as Philip says, “Somewhere, a village is missing its idiots).

“Katrina Ballads” From New Amsterdam on 8.31.10

Katrina Ballads From New Amsterdam on 8.31.10
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New Amsterdam tells us, “To mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, on August 31st Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads will be officially re-issued on CD. Previously available only as a digital release, Katrina Ballads is a 70-minute cycle of ten songs with two instrumental interludes, scored for five singers (including Hearne) and an ensemble of eleven musicians. Its texts are drawn entirely from words spoken during the week following the hurricane – by politicians and celebrities, survivors and relief workers.

“Katrina Ballads made its debut at the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleson, South Carolina, with subsequent performances in Chicago, New York, and New Haven. The work earned Hearne the prestigious 2009 International Gaudeamus Prize for composition and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The same year, excerpts from Katrina Ballads were performed in concert as part of New York City Opera’s annual VOX showcase.

“Performances of the cycle will take place at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on Tuesday, Aug. 24 (7:30 pm) and in Houston at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, August 28 (8 pm), the latter presented by the Foundation for Modern Music.”

From New Amsterdam Records -

From New Amsterdam Records – “William Brittelle’s Television Landscape Record Release show feat. ACME”
New Amsterdam tells us, “On August 3rd at (le) Poisson Rouge in sure-to-be steamy New York City, a full night of music by William Brittelle will mark the release of Television Landscape , the highly-anticipated art rock concept album follow-up to the mind-bending Mohair Time Warp . The event will feature Brittelle’s own 8-person ensemble (featuring members of NOW Ensemble, The Long Count, Jerseyband, and the Respect Sextet) alongside Wordless Music stalwarts ACME. The seamless set will feature new work from Brittelle/ACME’s upcoming electroacoustic chamber project FUTURE SHOCK – including the world premieres of Brittelle’s new multi-movement electroacoustic String Quartet and Soft Animal for harp trio, featuring Caleb Burhans on banjo and vocals, preceded by a reprise performance of Future Shock for Nadia Sirota. On the Television Landscape side, the show will feature the world premiere of the extended version of Pegasus in Alcatraz, not to mention your first chance to pick up a physical copy of the new record!

A special integrated set featuring music from the new prog-influenced concept album, paired with ACME premiering 25 minutes of Brittelle’s new electroacoustic chamber music. “
ACME – American Contemporary Music Ensemble


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