New Amsterdam Records is at the heart of the New Music environment
Due East Drawn Only Once
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
“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.”
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 NewAmsterdamPresents.com.
And, oh yes, some music!!
Jody Redhage – of 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.”
itsnotyouitsme – everybody’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.”
yMusic – Beautiful 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.
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.
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).
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.”
“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.
“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.
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.
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.