Posts in Listen
If I’m completely candid, the two large dinosaurs dominating the cover were what first attracted my attention to Travel Diary, a CD of works for percussion duo composed by Tristan Perich, Nathan Davis, David Lang, and Paul Lansky. Was there any way this album could end without someone being eaten alive?
It might be more accurate to consider Journey as a musical composition with interactive video element, rather than as a barely challenging game with a fantastic and lovingly created underscore.
While there have been many composers who have explored combining Western musical forms and orchestrations with elements from the art music of China, Japan, Iran, India, and Indonesia, very few have attempted a similar rapprochement with the music of Thailand. But the music of a Thailand-born composer now based in Kansas City, Narong Prangcharoen, has perhaps been the most effective thus far in seamlessly weaving Thai and Western classical idioms.
At NewMusicBox we make it a point to feature as much great new music as possible, so we thought it would be fun to start our own mix series, built from some of the new and recent recordings that travel across our desks, land in our inboxes and hook our ears out in the world.
John Bischoff is a composer celebrated for his work at the cutting edge of live computer music, explorations that can be traced back all the way to the late 1970s and his experiments with his first KIM-1. Audio Combine, the recent New World Records release of Bischoff pieces spanning 2004-2011, is an undeniable reminder that, though his roots run deep, his music hasn’t been anchored.
The six pieces showcased below were all performed at the kick-off event for the MTC Studio, held at 92YTribeca on October 15, 2010. Now New Music USA is going back into MTC’s archive and bringing these performances out for the world to see.
Imaginary Islands, the latest entry in Bridge Records’ rather extensive Lansky discography, is composed expressly for and performed entirely by a symphony orchestra with no electronic elements whatsoever. Throughout his life, Lansky actually had composed for corporeal performers on acoustic instruments, or—as he jokingly describes them in his notes for the present CD—“carbon based life forms,” even though his reputation as a composer was established almost exclusively on the basis of his electronic music. Nevertheless, the three compositions collected on this new disc, all of which were composed within the last five years, chart a remarkable new compositional direction.
Write the most directly communicative melody that you can. Don’t worry about it being cheesy. Don’t worry about it being obvious. It will be. Or it won’t be.
Imagine you’re at a new music concert. The artist or ensemble performing is really great, but they open with a few pieces that don’t speak to you. Everything seems grey. You drift into a dull torpor, hardly paying attention. But then, suddenly…
Before the Aeolus Quartet returned to the frozen Northeast, they entered the studios at UT Austin to record Many-Sided Music, an album of new works by American composers, its title taken from Leonard Bernstein’s description of the “many-sidedness” of American music. I’ve had the good fortune of hearing several of these pieces live, fresh, and new, but it’s great to hear them with the benefit of time and reflection.