LARS HOLLMER WITH FLOURY HAND (sketches)CD+DVD
“Lars Hollmer was a Swedish composer, accordionist and keyboardist. He was a founding member of the influential “Rock in Opposition (R.I.O.)” movement. His band Samla Mammas Manna, were a huge and hugely popular force on the Swedish progressive rock / avant rock scene for about 15 years in the 70s and into the 80s. After Samla/Zamla/Von Zamla ended in the mid 80s, he founded and performed in a number of other bands. With one or another of his bands he toured throughout Europe, the Americas and beyond.
Starting in the 1980s and concurrent with his band work, he had a solo career where he emphasized his compositions and his accordion playing and he wrote and introduced many beautiful and exciting pieces into the modern accordion repertoire, including a piece that is a modern-day standard in Sweden, “Boeves Psalm”.
“Towards the end of working on Viandra, (Lars) talked about wanting to make a new album that would be full of weird ideas and weird songs. He intended the new album to be a contrast to the melancholy and, at times, dark Viandra that he worked so hard with for several years. He said that he dug deep into his archive and found several hours of unreleased stuff, sketches, demos, and even finished songs, ranging from the early 1980s to 2008. He asked me to listen through the material and suggest a sample. That however did not happen as, in May 2008, my father was diagnosed with severe lung cancer and all plans were put on hold…. This is not With Floury Hand as my father might have imagined it and it is not a finished album. It is my selection from the more than four hours of music my father himself collected for his album. It is a mix of more or less unfinished songs and sketches that I love. It is full of wild and crazy ideas and antics, pieces of utter frivolity, but equally places full of delicate beauty. This is music straight from the heart. Just like how my father was.”-Gabriel Strand Hollmer
With Floury Hand is the final release by Lars Hollmer. In addition to the CD that contains the best recordings of what he was working on before he died and which is a treat in itself, also included is a professionally filmed DVD from 2005 of a performance at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal. The beautiful 45′ performance here has six solo pieces, four duet pieces with his long-time friend and musical associate, bassoonist Michel Berckmans (of Univers Zero and Von Zamla), and one track with Miriodor, with all of them performing “Talrika”, the piece Lars specifically wrote for them, plus DVD extras.
JANEL & ANTHONY WHERE IS HOME
“Both musicians, together and separately, have long been an important and active part of Washington D.C.’s new-music scene. Anthony Pirog, an omnivorous, multi-faceted guitarist who studied jazz at Berklee and has performed country, fingerstyle, rock and surf music and Janel Leppin, a conservatory trained cellist steeped in North Indian and Persian classical music, who also plays electric bass in rock bands, have created a lavishly detailed musical journey, by turns ravishing and harrowing. Janel and Anthony alternately charm and challenge, with music that draws from classical, experimental, jazz, rock and electronic traditions but that ultimately is simply theirs.
Self-recording and releasing their 1st album in 2006 and selling thousands of copies at their hundreds of shows, they spent over 3 years conceiving and recording Where Is Home in a professional, analog studio, giving the album a thoughtful, comfortable and lived in feel. Alternating compositions with brief improvisations and soundscapes, Where Is Home captures the dynamic ebb and flow of their live shows where they artfully employ live looping, an array of effects and prepared backing. Simple musical lines grow into complex blocks of echoing sound which eventually are spun and turned into elegiac melodies. The music is both experimental and elegant and smokily psychedelic in a completely modern way.”
Ellen Andrea Wang
Jonas Kilmork Vemøy
Jon Audun Baar
“Pixel, the powerhouse indie-jazz ensemble from Norway, makes an indelible first impression with Reminder. Led by bassist, vocalist and composer Ellen Andrea Wang, the band also features drummer Jon Audun Baar, saxist Harald Lassen and trumpeter Jonas Vemøy. Combining indie-rock energy with the improvisational flexibility of jazz, Pixel are earthy and ethereal, wistful and agressive, sensuous and pummeling.
Pixel features the same classic, piano-less, ‘modern jazz’ quartet lineup of sax, trumpet, bass and drums as the epochal jazz quartets led by Ornette Coleman and Gerry Mulligan. Like these antecedents, the band takes full advantage of the harmonic freedom given by the lack of a chordal instrument, but Pixel is more interested in painting scenes than in setting up extended solos. With sharply etched compositions, Pixel has attained preternatural cohesion after two years together, moving seamlessly from composed passages to group improvisation marked by conversational interplay. A radical democracy, no one instrument stays in the foreground for long. With every track but one clocking well under five minutes, Pixel makes every note count, never wasting a moment or letting a tune wear out its welcome.
All four Pixels are ubiquitous on the fiercely creative Scandinavian jazz scene, which has embraced the quartet as an exemplar of Norway’s populist cutting edge. Slated for a series of major festivals and showcases across the region and the UK in conjunction with the release of Reminder, Pixel is poised to take the jazz world by storm. Like similarly forward thinking groups such as The Bad Plus and Rob Mazurek’s Chicago Underground, this is definitely jazz, but it’s jazz that rock audiences can relate to.
Reminder is the debut release by the most exciting band to come out of the insanely active Norwegian jazz scene in recent memory. In a country where jazz talent seems to seep out through the tap water, that’s saying a lot!”
POSITIVE CATASTROPHE DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO, DIBRUJO…
Taylor Ho Bynum
“Dibrujo, Dibrujo, Dibrujo… is Positive Catastrophe’s second album. Here, the group combines salsa-derived groove with the intensity of modern jazz for a mix that is both artistic (dibujo = drawing) and magical (brujo = sorcerer). It features new music by both Bynum and Gomez-Delgado, including an extended suite by each.
Throughout the recording, all of the performers in the ensemble receive ample room to feature their musical voices and there are exciting scored passages that roll into rollicking solos; this is new music that knows how to swing and shake!”
WADADA LEO SMITH TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS
Wadada Leo Smith • Pheeroan AkLaff • Nels Cline • Michael Gregory • Vijay Iyer • Shannon Jackson • Okkyung Lee • John Lindberg • Don Moye • Brandon Ross • Lamar Smith • Skulli Sverrisson • Suie Ibarra • Josh Gerowitz • Angelica Sanchez • Stephanie Smith • Casey Anderson • Casey Butler • Mark Trayle • Charlie Burgin • Southwest Chamber Music
“Trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers is the work of a lifetime by one of jazz’s true visionaries, a kaleidoscopic, spiritually charged opus inspired by the struggle for African-American freedom and equality before the law. Triumphant and mournful, visceral and philosophical, searching, scathing and relentlessly humane, Smith’s music embraces the turbulent era’s milestones while celebrating the civil rights movement’s heroes and martyrs. This four-disc set documents a stunning, career-capping accomplishment by a jazz giant in the midst of an astonishing creative surge.
An orchestral collaboration with the acclaimed eight-piece ensemble Southwest Chamber Music (harp, clarinet, 2 violins, cello, flute, viola, bass, percussion) conducted by Grammy Award-winner Jeff von der Schmidt, Ten Freedom Summers is built upon Smith’s celebrated Golden Quartet featuring pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Susie Ibarra and/or drummer Pheeroan akLaaf (who often expands the ensemble to a quintet). As a child of the Deep South who was raised in the red-hot crucible of the civil rights movement, Smith traces the project’s origins back to 1977, when he wrote “Medgar Evers,” an expansive evocation of the NAACP activist gunned down in Mississippi 14 years earlier.
Working in fits and starts, Smith completed the 19-piece project 34 years later in October of 2011 with a portentous, elegiac piece for Southwest Chamber Music. In designing the huge, multi-movement work, he focused on the transformative decade framed by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“I was born in 1941 and grew up in segregated Mississippi and experienced the conditions which made it imperative for an activist movement for equality,” says Smith says, who marked his 70th birthday with a presentation of this, perhaps his most ambitious undertaking. “I saw that stuff happening. Those are the moments that triggered this. It was in that same environment that I had my first dreams of becoming a composer and performer.”
After decades of being revered by his peers and colleagues, Smith is attaining his rightful place at the forefront of American music. Ten Freedom Summers is an important work that combines unique, fully scored rigorous passages and great improvisational skills into one huge and cohesive work. It is a thrilling, emotionally charged and satisfying work from a master.”
“Hey there, 2012, you’re looking mighty fine! Every time I cross the threshold of a new year, I cannot help but think of it as a mild miracle of time travel. Remember the first time, in grade school, a classmate bid you farewell for the weekend with the remark ‘see you next year?’ It was mind-blowing!
At least for me. So yes! Now it is The Future, and this inaugural week of The Future is full of things that you, the listener, have told us are your absolute favorites, and know what? You have excellent taste! All the programming this week has been derived from your favorite 50 pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Thanks for making this week a breeze for me! All I have to do is sit back and listen to great music that y’all have chosen. While every piece this week made it into the top 50, we’ll be counting off the top 10 works of the past 100 years or so every day at 2 o’clock.
Oh, and speaking of time travel, this show, like Samoa, has made a small adjustment in our schedule. You can now hear repeat presentations of my show at midnight! It may in fact be undetectable, but like Samoa, we felt it was a good plan. So, Happy New Year! Here’s to more incredible music that has yet to be written! Have you heard your favorite work of 2012 yet??
About this program from Hearts of Space Stephen Hill tells us:
“Amazing, but true: we’ve been inventing electronic instruments and creating electronic music for over 120 years.
Back in 1876, ELISHA GRAY invented the electroharmonic piano; the instrument transmitted musical tones over wires. In 1906, THADDEUS CAHILL invented the Dynamophone, also known as the Telharmonium. It was the first ‘additive’ synthesizer, producing music by use of alternating current generators or ‘dynamos.’ Inconveniently, it weighed over 200 tons! It was designed to transmit sound over telephone wires. Unfortunately, they melted.
We’ve been doing better lately. Today, electronic instruments are ubiquitous and portable, fueling a worldwide boom in electronic music. And it reaches us on the air, on nice plastic discs, and on wires….that don’t melt.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another ambient journey in electronic sound, called TELHARMONIA. Music is by STEVE ROACH, BRIAN ENO, NUMINA, LIGHTWAVE,and JOHN BROADDUS.
From The program:
The weekly program is FREE on Sundays
Enjoy Hearts of Space in a variety of ways on your iPhone and many phones in the ANDROID system
This is a re-publishing of my original post on this very interesting band. As the title says, the release in the home country, Chicago, will be celebrated on Tuesday December 6, 2011.
Dave Flippo, FLIPPOMUSIC Tao Tunes
Releasesd November 27, 2011,
Available as CD or by download at CD Baby
Dan Hesler, Sax,flute
Donn De Santo, Bass
Heath Chappell, Drums
Larry Gray, Cello,
Neal Alger, Guitar
Hamid Drake, Percussion
Mike Levin, Clarinets,flute
“Chicago’s FLIPPOMUSIC has presented the unique, original jazz of Dave Flippo since 1992, when it introduced Chicago to its “global jazz” world fusion with two CD’s on Southport Records: Tendrils of Light and Ganesh. Since then, Flippo’s development as a singer has spawned two additional CD’s of vocal compositions, The Heart is Strong and, presently, Tao Tunes.
Tao Tunes returns to Flippo’s world-theme with the setting of ancient Chinese texts, the Tao Te Ching in a range of styles that reflects his musical travels and experience. Full of timeless observations and wisdom as well as energy and humor, the CD contains 10 different styles, including a number of Latin and jazz grooves, funk, ambient, and rock and also contains a number of extensive arrangements. The ensemble has played throughout the Chicago area at the Taste of Chicago, Southshore Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony “East Meets West Festival”,and artist series at every area College.
For thirty years, The Tao Te Ching has been a central force in the life of Dave Flippo since he first discovered the texts in his early 20’s in college. Its message has helped form his view of
life, his relationship with people and his approach to music. Flippo notes, ‘As I’ve studied cultures the world over, I keep finding the blending of the shaman and music. Music is used by many to
teach, to sooth and even heal, and that is very much a part of how I’ve approached this project, this time in a much more direct way than before. ‘
Flippo’s earlier global jazz compositions attempted to “glue together” the peoples of the world and celebrate their endless variations on a theme. This project, Tao Tunes is Flippo’s
journey to his own spiritual core – the Tao – and the joy and reverence with which he approaches these texts is apparent in the craft and personal attention found in each musical setting.”
About this wonderful new album, Dave writes,
“Tao Tunes was created because of a life-long connection I’ve had with the Tao Te Ching ever since I discovered them in my early college years in the 70’s. The text is one of the foundations for my personal spiritual approach to life and I felt the need to explore them more deeply by adapting the text to lyrics and the setting and arranging them.
My approach in adapting the various public domain translations to lyrics was to keep as close to the original words as possible, but allow for elaborations on the message with modern words, extra lines and even stanzas of new material when required by the form. I attempted to draw material from other chapters in the Tao with the understanding that I try to bring out the “essence” behind the words of each chapter I set. Also, rather than create a set of meditative, trancelike pieces, I decided to try to cover the breath of energy and moods that life possesses – dark – light; somber – joyous; serious – playful; simple – complex. The music also moves between tunes with sparse arrangement to pieces with extensive, almost through-composed arrangements.
The pieces that are not highly scored are closer to the traditional modern jazz sound. Useful is a light, fun beguine groove with a bubbling ostinado on electric piano while and Feeling is a driving samba built on three, then four measure phrases. Worthy, Returning and Truth are lush jazz ballads written with the most traditional modern jazz vocabulary on the album. Truth begins and ends with a cello cadenza by Larry Gray and who is also featured in the solo area. Stop, Paradox and Trouble are three swing tunes performed by the quartet, each with their own quirky introductions, interludes and ending. Paradox was written with two compositional ideas in place – moving harmonically by thirds on only dominant chords and building the melody out of altered extensions.
Within is a lightly scored funk ballad with completely original lyrics. This is the one instance I decided to make the message of the text into its own story. The idea of communion between a teacher and student is reflected in the back and forth interplay between the saxophone and piano. The text for Hopeless seemed to demand a forceful setting, and so it became the only hard rock piece on the album. However the music is still built over altered, chromatic chords more typical of jazz.
As for the more highly arranged pieces, Water adds light clarinet and flute lines to depict the endless, gentle flow of water in the background both in the “head” and during some of the solos. Distraction adds rolled gong and a field of metal wind chimes in the bridge to create an “other-worldly” effect to portray the expansive mind-set of the sage. Questions is a slow, 6/4 tango whose text asks a series of questions that the reader must answer for themselves. It is scored with a string and flute obbligato that soars and intermingles with the melody.
The two remaining selections – Fearless and Sick – are almost through-composed in their arrangements. Fearless again features Larry Gray on cello accompanied by saxophone trio and flute duo, portraying the force with which the subject lives their life (“he who knows how to live…”) Sick harkens back to my earlier “globaljazz” compositions and draws up the drone and non-western scales in the Indian and Middle Eastern styles. The piece is about the process of healing oneself and has a ritualistic structure. Once the song is presented a single bell heralds a wandering unison line that, each time, settles on a new drone pitch. Each drone area contains a solo which dissolves into a contrapuntal section – first in two voices, three voices and finally, after the song is represented, in four voices. The unison lines seems to represent a group of souls traveling together with a single purpose while the counterpoint could represent each of these souls expressing themselves individually while in harmony with the others.
Dave Flippo, 10-2011″
Visit the FlippoMusic web site. Listen to samples of the pieces. I am not a musician or a critic, I have no musical training whatsoever. But, I listened and I listened, over and again. I loved what I heard. This is a great album.
From Innova Recordings at American Composers Forum – Two Great Archives of Composer/Musician Interviews
Always Midwestern modest
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”.
“This Wednesday, November 23, 2011 from 5:30 till 11:00am
Classical Discoveries will present it’s 15th Annual program celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday with music of composers of the American Continent titled:
MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS
In this special program Classical Discoveries will present:
Time Machines for Violin and Orchestra (2007) by American Composer, Sebastian Currier (1959- ),
String Quartet No. 5 (2005) by American Composer, Jefferson Friedman (1974- ),
Mass for Saint Cecilia’s Day by American Composer, Lou Harrison (1917-2003),
Fantasia…sul un linguaggio perduto by Canadian Composer, Marjan Mozetich (1948- ),
Te Deum in stilo barocco for chorus and orchestra by Brazilian Composer, Amaral Vieira (1952- ),
An American Composer by American Composer, Gwyneth Walker (1947- )
plus music by Venezuelan composer Diana Arismendi, by American Composers Nancy Galbraith and Richard Yardumian plus many more.
THIS WEDNESDAY ON CLASSICAL DISCOVERIES GOES AVANT-GARDE – MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS
This Wednesday, November 23, 2011 from 11:00am till 1:00PM
MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS
will continue on the Avant-Garde Edition
More music from American Continent like
Ballad Nocturne by American Composer Ann Millikan,
For Si by American Composer Christian Wolff (1934- )
plus music by American Composer Missy Mazzoli, Canadian Composer Robert Morin plus many others
WPRB 103.3 FM or on the internet
“Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason are two composers used to shrugging off the distinction between experimental sound-art and deeply felt melodies. Frost’s vast, blackened post-industrial works often crystallize in moments of quiet beauty before disintegrating in pure visceral noise; Bjarnason’s orchestral music marries brutal modernism to classical aesthetics one moment and soaring ethereal harmonies the next. And yet here, on the tail of two widely acclaimed releases; Bjarnason’s PROCESSIONS and Frost’s BY THE THROAT, we are given something altogether new. A unique collaboration, SÓLARIS is a quiet, stilled and all consuming symphonic suite at once as affecting and uncanny as the science- fiction classic that inspired it.”
SOLARIS Bedroom Community HVALUR12 Releases November 07 2011
1. We Don’t Need Other Worlds, We Need Mirrors
2. Simulacra I
3. Simulacra II
6. Cruel Miracles
7. Hydrogen Sulfide
8. Unbreakable Silence
9. You Mean More To Me Than Any Scientific Truth
See the full exploration of this project here.