“I like things that are minimal, unexpectedly simple, and surprisingly powerful… In math and music I think it’s really striking how you can take these tiny little ideas, and they can explain huge reactions.”
Negative Space is the first full length album of electronic musician/sound artist Michael Hammond’s recording project No Lands; it features nine electronic works that combine song format and ambient soundscape—the work of, as Hammond states in the liner notes, “Three years and a hurricane.”
Composer-trombonist-conductor JC Sanford’s recent release Views From The Inside on Whirlwind Recordings delivers loads of aural surprises wrapped up in layers of jazz orchestra.
Jeffrey Mumford’s recent 2-CD album through a stillness brightening features a selection of imaginative, skillfully executed solo and chamber works to fire up the ears.
This selection of chamber works composed between 1993 and 2008 suggest that Becker has an “on/off” switch resulting in either intensely energetic music, or in work of concentrated repose. There isn’t a lot in-between, but clearly such extremes suit the composer.
John Adams’s most recent album, released by Nonesuch, could essentially be seen as an exercise in nostalgia; City Noir, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is an homage to the city of Los Angeles and its movie-making style of the 1940s and ’50s, while the Saxophone Concerto gives a hat tip to Adams’s own jazz-steeped upbringing.
Although composers are always constructing new sonic worlds, Bora Yoon is super-charging that idea through her multimedia and site-specific works. Her performances create immersive environments that, as she puts it, “transport people somewhere, and return them, hopefully changed from the experience.”
Andy Biskin’s quartet Ibid contains clarinet, cornet, trombone, and drums; it’s a quirky group, playing some appropriately zany tunes, to the point where, if you close your eyes for certain tracks, it’s easy to picture a tiny cartoon marching band dancing its way across your field of vision.
Composers Jefferson Friedman and Craig Wedren have joined forces to shove their different-yet-connected musical worlds successfully closer together into the album On In Love. With the ensemble ACME, the two have constructed a group of songs that are dramatic, unpredictable, and beautifully crafted, serving up both both punch and substance.
We are nearly finished with the NewMusicBox @ 15 Anniversary Celebration! This is a look back to some of the most interesting content of 2013 in a “yearbook award” format. Befitting this season of graduations, no?