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  • richardmitnick 12:29 PM on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Turn (Back) on the White Lights “ 

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

    Alexi Lubimov’s Late-Night Elegies Recital from Last Year’s White Light Festival*

    “This week Hammered! takes its programmatic cue from the probing musical curiosity of pianist Alexei Lubimov and begins Monday with a recital recorded last year live at Lincoln Center’s inaugural White Light Festival, which is currently midway through another illuminating installation of performances for its 2011 festival.

    Lubimov’s haunting performance last year features a set of unlikely but beautifully interactive composers ranging from Valentin Silvestrov to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, whose Fantasia in F-sharp minor, no joke, sounds supremely freaky next to Tigran Mansurian’s Nostalgia.

    The rest of the week’s program revels in Monday’s acoustic and conceptual resonance, riffing on Lubimov’s intermingling of new and old with introspective works by Alfred Schnittke, John Cage and Eleanor Sandresky alongside short pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leoš Janáček and Franz Schubert (trust me).

    In addition to juxtaposing “new” and “old” pieces by separate composers, the central works on this week’s program are by single composers fusing material from both sides of the categorical dividing line, in some cases erasing it completely. Think: “is that a quotation from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in John Corigliano’s Fantasia On An Ostinato” or, “is that a modernized Mozart paraphrase in George Tsontakis’s Ghost Variations,” (yes to both) and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.

    What you might not expect are performances of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata (with its disfigured quotations from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony), George Crumb’s Little Suite for Christmas (cue surreal setting of the 16th century “Coventry Carol”), and Philip Lasser’s Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J.S. Bach (good guess!).

    Whatever the repertoire, this week promises to be a vivid, sometimes creepy, frequently touching combination of works you never knew you always wanted to hear together.”

    View the complete article here.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

    *Link is to this year’s festival web page

     
  • richardmitnick 2:40 PM on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Two’s Company: Piano Pairings” 

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    Hammered! is a focused program at Q2 the program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2

    “So much exhilarating music heard this month! — swarms of young composers, hours of new repertoire and not but a few exciting Webcasts. But for this week’s programmatic sorbet on Hammered!, we’re simplifying the hour to just two works per day and showcasing the beauty of musical compatibility (despite the occasional 100-plus year age gap).

    Some of the most intriguing programs are the simplest on paper: Jeremy Denk’s pairing of Gyorgy Ligeti’s two books of Etudes with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, or Ursula Oppens’s mammoth juxtaposition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations with Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Such bold presentations reveal immediate and jarring relationships that often pack a programmatic punch your more typical potpourri collection of works just can’t achieve.

    Seriously. Like twins separated at birth, Beethoven and Charles Ives belong together (cue Friday’s show with the Bagatelles, Op. 126 (super weird) and the Concord Sonata).

    Pun intended here when I ask if the cord was ever cut between Olivier Messiaen and his student Tristan Murail (stream this one above).

    Or perhaps you crave a more self-conscious, retrospective connection, which is the approach taken by Timothy Andres in his It Takes A Long Time To Become A Good Composer, a piece looking to Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana for inspiration (heard Tuesday in its rarely heard and very strange first version from 1838).

    Rounding out the week are works by John Adams / David Lang and, wait for it, John Luther Adams / Elliott Carter.

    See the full article here.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

     
  • richardmitnick 10:03 AM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered at Q2: “Piano Sounds of a New Century” 

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    Vibrant Keyboard Works from a Versatile New Generation
    Monday, October 10, 2011

    “What do you get when you combine the talents of two expert curators, 16 world-class ensembles and over 100 young composers? You get an atwitter Q2 Music and the first-ever SONiC Festival, an exciting and diverse new-music festival whose participants we’ll preview all week at 11 am and 11 pm on Hammered!.

    Let’s turn over the mic to composer and SONiC curator Derek Bermel, who explains the festival’s aim:

    “We wanted to present a snapshot of the younger generation of music-makers, to showcase the richness, vitality, and diversity of the music being created right now – under our very noses here in New York and throughout the world. Emerging composers today have much greater access to different traditions and influences, and we are celebrating that by not restricting the music we present to any one style, movement, or agenda. We want to bring more public awareness to the many directions contemporary music is moving in, and to show everyone that ‘the composer’ is alive and thriving.”

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    Umm, YES! Well said. To pre-game for the festival’s first event this Friday, we’ll hear keyboard works throughout the week by 25 of the over 100 composers age 40 and under that will be featured at SONiC, along with performances by Bermel’s co-curator and new-music piano ninja Stephen Gosling. Rounding out Monday’s show are works by Caleb Burhans and Timothy Andres, who performs his own It Takes A Long Time To Become A Good Composer.

    We’ll also hear from Andy Akiho, Suzanne Farrin, Kati Agócs, Ryan Brown, Judd Greenstein, Nathan Davis, and on and on and on… It is confounding how much incredible (and incredibly diverse) music is being made right now, in your very own Brooklyn backyard.”

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

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

     
  • richardmitnick 10:55 AM on September 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Premiere Week “ 

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

    A Week’s Worth of Albums, Tracks and Composers New to Q2 Music

    “Fresh from summer hibernation, Hammered! returns with brand new fall episodes chock-full of repertoire never before heard on Q2 Music. Tune in all week at 11, a.m. and p.m., for Q2 Music premieres drawn from rarely heard tracks, recently released albums and compositional up-and-comers.

    Promo CDs and perusal media is usually painful to wade through, but wow, the box of Hammered! discs that accumulated over the summer was absolutely packed with treasure. A favorite from the pile was the makeshift-iest of the bunch (a compliment in this case): Simon Rackham’s Music For Multiple Pianos, a title typed in Times New Roman on a torn single sheet cover.

    The disc contains three works written for five and six pianos, The Probability of Beauty, Still Beginning, Never Ending and Which Ever Way Your Nose Bends, a work for six pianos that Rackham intended as a counterpoint to Steve Reich’s seminal Six Pianos. In fact, this entire disc could aptly be heard as the Yang to Reich’s Yin, offering dense minimalist textures that are at once indebted to Reich’s work while providing an antithesis to it.

    And then there’s Benjamin Broening’s beautiful album of night pieces called Recombinant Nocturnes. The work is anchored by five large “ensemble” movements (multiple pianists or solo piano with electronics) that are sewn together with eight Nocturne Fragments for solo piano. Aided by ravishing performances from four different pianists, Broening’s work is shimmering and elusive and incorporates some remarkably original electronic sounds.

    We’ll give you a taste of both these discs on Monday, but tune in Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of Rackham’s album and on Friday for a complete run of Recombinant Nocturnes.

    Other remarkable works receiving their Q2 Music debut: solo piano music from Vincent Persichetti, Richard Danielpour and Roy Harris; a new recording from composer Thorkell Sigurbjornsson; an unexpectedly fascinating collection of works from a collaboration between the mystic world traveler Georges Gurdjieff and pianist / composer Thomas de Hartmann; and a justly-tuned piano work with electronics by Randy Gibson.”

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

     
  • richardmitnick 9:50 PM on September 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Memory Pieces “ 

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

    “As a composer, I always become emotionally involved with the music I’m writing. As frustrating as it tends to be sometimes (like a true relationship!), I have come to love it and now find it the only way to compose. Of course, one could question how much of this internal emotional journey is communicated with the listener.

    However, when an external force — life changing event or experience, for instance — becomes the sole inspiration for a piece of music, the composition finds an even stronger communicative voice. Whether it is homage to an admired composer, or a work composed in memory of a certain occurrence or place, the composition in some way transcends the idea of “art for art’s sake.” By the nature of its dedication the music finds a more personal meaning, not only for the composer but also for the listener.

    As we will be joining many this week in remembrance of 9/11, this week’s Hammered! is devoted to piano music that bears a special dedication. We start off the week with David Lang’s Memory Pieces and Yiannis Konstantinidis’s Eight Greek Island Dances, as well as works by Caleb Burhans (A Moment in the Rothko Chapel), and Bohuslav Martinu (Ballade, Chopin’s Last Chords).

    The article is here.

    This week Hammered! is hosted by Gity Razaz

     
  • richardmitnick 8:59 AM on June 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! At Q2: “The Raw And The Cooked” 

    Hammered! is a focused program at Q2 the program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2

    This was posted to RSS 9:46AM

    Week Three: Pianist, pedagogue and new-music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June
    Monday, June 27, 2011

    “With apologies to Claude Lévi-Stauss, this week on Hammered!, The Raw and the Cooked. How do materials get made into art? How do scales, chords, and tremolos turn into compelling music? What happens when delicious ingredients are baked, stirred, or julienned?

    And when we’re cooking up some art, how do we know when it’s done? Sometimes achieving art requires high-level technique. And sometimes too much obvious refinement seems to get in the way of something more real.

    Those mysterious foams and sous-vide dishes from the molecular gastronomy chefs can be wondrous, or just too precious. What’s the exact transition point between raw and ready?

    We use many forms of technology to do our work. The piano’s a remarkable machine, an artifact of Industrial Revolution high technology. Sometimes we try to adapt our bodies or minds to what machines can do. But at least so far, machines are made by humans, and our artistic interactions with machines often end up disclosing what humanity really is.

    On Hammered!, in our tasting of The Raw and the Cooked, there will be music by Sylvano Bussotti that’s written graphically, with pictures rather than notes, and played inside the piano, and all over the outside of the piano too. We hear György Ligeti’s testing of the human player’s limits, and Alvin Curran deconstructing and reconstructing something very familiar.

    See the complete web page here.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

     
  • richardmitnick 6:43 PM on June 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Week Three: Pianist, pedagogue and new-music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June – Monday, June 20, 2011” 

    Hammered! is a focused program at Q2 the program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2

    Week Three: Pianist, pedagogue and new-music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June
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    Monday, June 20, 2011

    “This week the piano is a “Portal.” Not the video game, but this “Portal” does include teleporting of a sort. Music lets us travel through time and space in many ways, by allowing us to hear in many different ways.

    Composer Karlheinz Stockhausen said that some music allows us to ’empathize with the temporal and spatial experiences of other living beings which live faster or slower, narrower or wider than the human being [insects, fish, birds, plants, trees, clouds] …’

    The piano always has been a virtual instrument, able to mimic other instruments and even assume multiple musical personalities. The piano and pianists are always morphing into something else. For a moment the pianist’s a rock drummer, then an Italian coloratura soprano, country dancer, violin virtuoso, banjo picker, or a whole band, or gospel quartet.

    Early keyboard music was all based on specific vocal pieces. But, this week, we’re not really talking about imitating voices or violins. Some keyboard music is a window, an opening through which the listener passes to distant realms, other ways of being, or altered states of consciousness …

    Are we also considering program music, wordless music that tells stories? Maybe.

    We hear part of Terry Riley’s The Harp of New Albion, Richard Beaudoin’s Black Wires, Alvin Curran’s piano-marathon Hope Street Tunnel Blues III, and James MacMillan’s piano concerto The Berserking, initially inspired by group hysteria MacMillan witnessed at a soccer game.”

    View the web page here.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

     
  • richardmitnick 7:38 AM on June 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Drone “ 

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    Week Two: Pianist, pedagogue and new music guru Bruce Brubaker takes the curatorial reins for June
    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Few pianists have proven themselves to be more programmatically inventive and musically provocative than this month’s Hammered! pianist-in-residence, Bruce Brubaker. Open your ears all June for a month’s worth of programs specially curated for Q2 by one of today’s most intriguing contemporary artists.
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    In each of Brubaker’s four week-long programs, the distinguished concert pianist, New England Conservatory faculty member and new music Jedi examines a series of endlessly fascinating themes and offers 1,200 minutes of music that is almost entirely new to Q2.

    Each week will include a hosted Monday show and program note from Brubaker, and we’ll also offer exclusive music videos recorded live by Brubaker of works by Philip Glass and John Cage.

    Tune in all month for what promises to be an illuminating, sometimes quirky and altogether fascinating dive into the curatorial mind of Bruce Brubaker.

    Hammered! is one of the focused programs at Q2

     
  • richardmitnick 6:45 PM on June 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Something Borrowed” 

    Hammered! is a focused program of keyboard music at Q2
    Streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2

    i1

    “Few pianists have proven themselves to be more programmatically inventive and musically provocative than this month’s Hammered! host in-residence, Bruce Brubaker. Open your ears all June for a month’s worth of programs specially curated for Q2 by one of today’s most intriguing contemporary artists.

    In each of Brubaker’s four week-long programs, the distinguished concert pianist, New England Conservatory faculty member and new music Jedi examines a series of endlessly fascinating themes and offers 1,200 minutes of music that is almost entirely new to Q2.

    Each week will include a hosted Monday show and program note from Brubaker, and we’ll also offer exclusive music videos recorded live by Brubaker of works by Philip Glass and John Cage.

    Tune in all month for what promises to be an illuminating, sometimes quirky and altogether fascinating dive into the curatorial mind of Bruce Brubaker.”

    i1
    B.B.

    Week One: “Something Borrowed” | by Bruce Brubaker

    In music today there’s so much borrowing, appropriation, even theft! Maybe we need different ideas about stealing, or artistic property? (We won’t even talk about copyright.) Post-production art is the making of pathways, more than creating—the MC doing a remix, more than the “capital-c” Composer handing down a masterpiece from the mountain top.

    What’s left to say or make, if everything’s already been said and made? And besides, the whole idea of “creating” music is recent. Mr. Bach would certainly say (in English!), “I’m just a musician. It’s God who creates things.”

    So this week on Hammered!, “Something Borrowed.” Sartorial advice for the bride, and now a major motion picture. It’s not surprising composers borrow or steal so much—if you consider that we’re all just adding to a big collective artwork.

    We hear piano music with literal borrowings: George Crumb taking Frederic Chopin, George Rochberg framing Johann Sebastian Bach, Hans Werner Henze rifling Johannes Brahms. And there will be more subtle allusions, hints, shared lexia, intertexts …

     
  • richardmitnick 10:21 AM on May 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: Keys To Our Future 


    Keith Jarrett

    Keys To The Future 2011 Festival Pre-Game and Fund Drive Celebration!

    “This coming Wednesday marks the final day of Q2’s first-ever fund drive! It’s also the midpoint of the 2011 Keys To The Future Festival, which will be presented in a future Q2 Webcast. It’s because of your support that concerts like this (and many others) are available on Q2, which is why we’re celebrating The Future all week on Hammered!.

    We told you back in January that this troupe of piano jocks puts on a good show, and from the looks of it, this week’s three-day Keys To The Future festival is not to be missed.

    Pianist/composer/curator Joseph Rubinstein has cast an all-star group of pianists in performances of a huge variety of repertoire, including one US and one world premiere. True to form, the festival spotlights recently composed repertoire, with Phrygian Gates (1979) by John Adams claiming date-of-compositional seniority to a fascinating body of works written mostly in the last ten to fifteen years.

    To pre-game, tune into Hammered! Monday and Tuesday at 11 am/pm for highlights from last year’s festival, including works by Don Byron, Marc Mellits, Annie Gosfield, Chick Corea, Magnus Lindberg, Gyorgy Ligeti, *deep breath* Philippe Bodin, Joseph Rubenstein, Vuk Kulenovic, Philippe Hersant, Judd Greenstein, Barbara White and Nikolai Kapustin. Whew. The rest of the week is comprised of works and composers featured on this year’s festival.

    Just as this exceptional group of musicians has its collective eye on the future, this week so does Q2. If you appreciate hearing live concerts and value access to cutting-edge, brilliantly performed contemporary music 24/7/365, celebrate it with a few clicks and a monotary new-music fist pound.

    Thanks for sharing in our optimistic view of Q2’s future!

    Hammered! is hosted by the keyboard specialist Conor Hanick.

     
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