Bang On A Can All-Stars Big Beautiful Dark and Scarey
Cantaloupe CA21074 releases 02/28/12
“The Bang on a Can All-Stars have recorded their first studio album in five years and is the first to include the All-Stars’ current line-up: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, electric guitar; and Evan Ziporyn, clarinets. With Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, the Bang on a Can All-Stars show off their blazing speed, polyrhythmic virtuosity and all-world versatility in a return to the core Bang on a Can sound – an uncategorizable supermix of classical and electric instruments that is part classical ensemble, part rock band.
The album is the first in a decade that features the All-Stars exclusively, rather than as part of a collaborative project. Each of the pieces on the double-CD calls upon a different kind of virtuosity, demonstrating the range of musical abilities and experiences arguably unique to this ensemble. Recorded in New York City, all of the music on Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (including the arrangements of the works by Conlon Nancarrow) were written for and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.”
David Lang This Was Written By Hand
Cantaloupe CA21073 (11.15.11)
“Although Lang is known for his fearless innovation and daring experiments, a certain amount of introspection and longing is not unknown in his work. His latest album, this was written by hand, is the perfect marriage of the composer’s relentless need to expand the forms of classical music and his desire the recover lost memories. The CD is made up of two compositions, the title work this was written by hand and memory pieces, both performed by Andrew Zolinsky. Zolinsky and Lang have a history of collaboration, as Zolinsky gave the first performances of both the works on this disc, as well as the premiere of fur, commissioned by the BBC, and the ensemble works how to pray and forced march.
this was written by hand is a 10-minute piece for solo piano. The inspiration for the piece came from the physical process of writing music. ‘Writing music [used to be] an intensely physical activity,’ Lang muses in the album’s liner notes. ‘I got my first computer in 1993, and I have not written music with a pencil ever since, but I wonder how – or if – the means of my writing had any effect on the writing itself. I wrote this piano piece to find out.’ The second part of the release is the eight-sectioned ‘memory pieces.’ Each was written to honor a friend of the composer who have passed away. They serve, however, less as monument than as an attempt to enclose a specific memory about the loved one. Lang explains, ‘Each of these little pieces highlights some aspect of my relationship with each friend. I hope this will help me hold on to these memories just a little while longer.'”
Bang On a Can is the original DIY New Music Organization
At the centerpiece of the program is the New York premiere of Life by the revolutionary Louis Andriessen, with film by Marijke Van Warmerdam. Also on the program is the quiet and poignant for Madeleine by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon; the hard-driving sunray by Bang on a Can co-founder David Lang; the poly-rhythmic Glamour Girl by Lukas Ligeti (founder of Burkina Electric); the sizzling Instructional Video, Matt Damon, Breakfast at J&M by David Longstreth (of the Dirty Projectors); and the dramatic and mesmerizing Ridgeway by Australian composer Kate Moore.
And stay tuned for the upcoming All-Stars two-CD set titled Big Beautiful Dark and Scary featuring work by Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, David Longstreth, Kate Moore, Conlon Nancarrow, Julia Wolfe, and Evan Ziporyn to be released on Cantaloupe Music in early 2012.”
New From Cantaloupe Records: Music By Martin Bresnick and Annie Gosfield For Lisa Moore and So Percussion
Martin Bresnick Caprichos Enfaticos
Cantaloupe CA21075 Releases 10/25/11
Composer Martin Bresnick returns to follow up his first Cantaloupe release, The Essential Martin Bresnick (2006) with Caprichos Enfaticos (Emphatic Caprices). A concerto in eight movements for piano/keyboard and percussion quartet, Caprichos Enfaticos was commissioned by Meet the Composer for Cantaloupe artists Lisa Moore, pianist, and So Percussion. The 8 movements are accompanied by interpolated DVD projections (available on Youtube), created by Johanna Bresnick based on Francisco Goya’s book of etchings Los Destastres de la Guerra, or The Disasters of War, a piece that laments the excesses and tragedies of war.
Says Bresnick, ‘The titles of the eight movements are either by Goya himself, or suggested by his ideas. A farandula, or farandole, was a chain dance popular in Provence, although it’s origins are much older. The dance is often in 6/8 time, with a moderate to fast tempo. In modern Spanish, a farandula is a company of actors.’
Martin Bresnick is presently the Professor of Composition and Coordinator of the Composition Department at the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers of composition include Gyorgy Ligeti, John Chowning, and Gottfried von Einem.
Lisa Moore Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers
Cantaloupe CA21061 Releases 10/25/11
Lisa Moore is back with her second EP, Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers, written specifically for her by composer Annie Gosfield, who is described as ‘…a major figure of the downtown scene with pieces that use nonmusical sounds in a strikingly expressive manner.’
Wondering where such an eclectic title comes from? A “Lightning Slinger” is an archaic term for a telegraph operator, and an apt simile for a pianist who translates musical ideas into an electric medium. This piece is performed on a piano and a keyboard sampler simultaneously, so that the pianist can use piano techniques and interpretive skills in both the acoustic and electronic realms. A “Dead Ringer” literally means an exact substitute of something. The dead ringers in this case are samples of piano sounds: the detuned, retuned, pinging, sliding, and rattling sounds are altered piano, prepared piano, and inside the piano techniques, which sometimes resemble guitar, bass, and even synthesizer sounds.
The last track, Brooklyn, October 5, 1941 was inspired by the 1941 Dodgers vs. Yankees World Series, and is performed with two baseballs and a catcher’s mitt. The baseballs are rolled, rubbed and struck on the keys, strings, and soundboard of the piano, and the mitt provides an expanded span for giant clusters and chords.
Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers was commissioned by Lisa Moore with funding provided by Meet the Composer’s Commissioning USA and The Argosy Fund for New Music.
Bang On a Can is the original DIY New Music Organization
The Bang on a Can All-Stars take the stage at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on Saturday, November 5 to perform the New York premieres of Louis Andriessen’s Life with film by Marijke Van Warmerdam and David Lang’s sunray. Also on the program is Michael Gordon’s for Madeline, Kate Moore’s Ridgeway, three pieces commissioned by Bang on a Can from David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, and Lukas Ligeti’s Glamour Girl. Get your tickets here.
Recordings of these works and more appear on the All-Stars’ first studio album in five years: a two-CD set titled Big Beautiful Dark and Scary to be released on Cantaloupe Music in January 2012.
Original article is here.
Florent Ghys Baroque Tardif
Cantaloupe Records CA21052 (09/27/11)
“Following his 2009 EP release, Baroque Tardif: Soli (CA21051), Florent Ghys is back with a full-length album, Baroque Tardif, revealing the various directions his work has taken him the last four years.
The answer to the common question musicians often get – “what kind of music do you play?” – is summed up neatly in this title (meaning “late Baroque”). Says Florent, ‘When I was a teenager I had an odd classical guitar teacher who was convinced that baroque music would come back one day and would crush all other kinds of music. I remembered this peculiar idea while working on the first draft for this album since the pieces in it are often very dense and contrapuntal. Baroque Tardif could be like the resurrection of a very late baroque’
Baroque Tardif encompasses a diverse medley of multimedia experimentation. Phase parisienne features some contrapuntal experiments while Quatrieme implores an extended canon technique. Pull blanc , chemise rouge, always remaining playful and modal, brings out an accessible pop side to Florent’s music. The album also unveils Florent’s personal vocal technique, as in Simplement, in which his voice sings on top of a speech sample. Even more compelling is the dominate use of solfege (do re mi…) as lyrics, leading the listener to consider voice as an instrument.
As with his first EP, Florent has recorded this album using a unique and personal tuning of the double bass, bringing the instrument nearer from the cello and extending the range of possibilities of his virtual “multiple-me ensemble” made of basses, guitars, voices and percussion.”
Here is Bang On A Can’s 25th Anniversary news:
“When we started Bang on a Can in 1987 in an art gallery in SoHo, we never imagined that our one-day, 12-hour marathon festival of mostly unknown music would morph into a big international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music. But it has, and here we are in 2011 about to launch our 25th Anniversary Season!
We have a tremendously exciting year planned for this milestone season. The calendar features the Bang on a Can All-Stars in a dizzying array of collaborations with friends old and new, joining forces with Norwegian superstars Trio Mediaeval (in Steel Hammer by Julia Wolfe); with percussion legend Steven Schick (in an evening of music by Steve Reich in Los Angeles); with an all-new expanded live tour of the Brian Eno ambient classic Music for Airports; and with a host of composers, visual and sound artists (in the premiere of a new evening-length touring project, Field Recordings, a collaborative program created from found sounds, images, and voices featuring works by Tyondai Braxton, Nick Zammuto, Christian Marclay, Mira Calix, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Evan Ziporyn ).
The season also includes the premiere of a newly staged show featuring the avant marching band Asphalt Orchestra, new CD releases on Bang on a Can sister-label Cantaloupe Music, and more. See the full season calendar online. We are so gratified to still be hard at work, all these years later. The reason is really clear to us: we started this organization because we believed that making new music is a utopian act, that people needed to hear this music and they needed to hear it presented in the most persuasive way, with the best players, with the best programs, for the best listeners, in the best context. Our commitment to changing the environment for contemporary music has kept us busy and growing for the last 25 years, and we are not done yet. We hope to see you this season.”