Music of the Spheres

The Electric Weasel Ensemble (Allen Strange, Stephen Ruppenthal, David Morse, Music Easel synthesizers; Brenda Hutchinson, pulse control; Donald Buchla, frequency shifting and mix) and Charles Amirkhanian, triangle The first sounds heard on Johanna M. Beyer’s Music of the Spheres is an unsettling mix of soothing ocean waves and the ominous roars of a mutant lion, […]


Depending on how much you enjoy the computers in your life, Nathan Davis’s Crawlspace will either be one of the neatest things you’ve heard in a while or your worst nightmare turned into audio. You see (or rather hear), the composition is based entirely on sounds made inadvertently by the composer’s noisy laptop. An overarching, […]

Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano

Music from Copland House: Jesse Mills, violin; James Wilson, cello; Michael Boriskin, piano Though John Musto has had a major publisher for many years and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize nearly a decade ago, until now there have been no commercially available CDs devoted exclusively to his compositions. Music from Copland House more […]

Song IV

If you like liner notes, there’s plenty to read about here. But don’t expect a bunch of ratios or mathematical relationships. This music involves alternative notation systems and a semi-improvisational approach. What you end up with is a long jam with some left-of-center timbres: Bill Ruyle on tabla, the late-great Arthur Russell (dammit, buy some […]

The Miracle of St. Nicholas

The New York Virtuoso Singers conducted by Harold Rosenbaum Some years ago there was a joke going around the Internet about twelve-tone Christmas carols which seemed the perfect antidote to the email list from ASCAP of the most widely performed Christmas songs, all almost invariably chock-full of nuthin’ but 1-4-5. So imagine my glee when […]

Lazy Eye

Nothing says jazz like a B3, and nothin’ says country like a pedal steel, so what is a girl to do when a band decides to mix and match them both? Everyone seems to be getting in on the “just little bit country” hay wagon these days, so it’s really no surprise that the trend […]

The Waves Roll on, Thundering and Shimmering

The Studio for New Music at the Moscow Conservatory conducted by Igor Dronov Projecting a rather bleak sense of stasis from the onset, Joseph Dangerfield’s The Waves Roll on, Thundering and Shimmering contains several explosions of glistening timbres and melodic fragments that blend into a dark landscape. The music sets listeners adrift to contemplate the […]


Sierra Winds The first time I heard Philip Bimstein’s Casino was back in 1999 at the Bang On A Can marathon, but since then it’s left such a visceral impression on me that it’s hard to imagine that until now it has not been available on CD. “EatDrinkGambleSex,” the first movement of this three-part sonic […]


You’ve probably never heard of Joe Jordan (1882-1971), but New World Records has packaged 20 of his songs into this anthology that should get you up to speed before any more times goes by. Though this is a minor portion of his catalog (the liner notes reveal that Jordan composed and conducted dozens of musicals […]