Author Archives: Alexandra Gardner

Lainie Fefferman: Strength In Numbers

Lainie Fefferman

“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.”

Sounds Heard: No Lands—Negative Space

No Lands: Negative Space

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.”

Sounds Heard: Dan Becker—Fade

Dan Becker—Fade

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.

Sounds Heard: John Adams—City Noir / Saxophone Concerto

John Adams: City Noir / Saxophone Concerto

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.

Bora Yoon: The Weight of Magic

Bora Yoon. Photo by Leslie Van Stelten

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.”

Sounds Heard: Andy Biskin Ibid—Act Necessary

Andy Biskin Ibid

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.

Sounds Heard: Jefferson Friedman & Craig Wedren—On In Love

Jefferson Friedman & Craig Wedren: On In Love

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.

The Class of 2013

graduation

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?