Upon first listen to composer Oscar Bettison’s music, most striking are the strangely disconcerting yet beguiling sound worlds that are created with relatively standard instrumental forces.
Christopher Campbell, who released his Sound the All-Clear on a three-sided LP, contends that the process of listening to music on “long play records” allows for a more personal relationship with the music as well as more focused listening, despite the possible mechanical imperfections of the medium.
Following in the footsteps of composers such as Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng and Chou Wen-chung, composer Lei Liang was able to learn a great deal through their example, but he has also felt a particular need to make his own way and develop a voice uniquely his own.
The upcoming release of Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12 Records) featuring the Mary Halvorson Quintet, is very much an outgrowth of Halvorson’s exploratory spirit.
Tristan Perich’s 1-Bit Symphony stands quite eloquently in contrast to the 21st century’s love affair with the endlessly copyable digital file. While CDs have been traded for the instant gratification of the easily distributed MP3, Perich has shifted the frame and managed to make the fragile plastic jewel case once again worthy of shelf space.
Ben Hackbarth, a product of UC San Diego now working at IRCAM in Paris, is a composer dealing with acoustically and electronically generated phenomena while seeking out meaningful artistic experiences in new territories.
Pitre writes music that just sounds good. The tuning schemes he uses are not the ends themselves; rather, they serve to further open up the acoustic worlds that can be elicited from the instruments, creating a rich, meditative space for listening.
You could call Shodekeh (a.k.a. Dominic Earle Shodekeh Talifero) a beatboxer or a vocal percussionist, if you want to feel a little more refined about it. But what the Baltimore-based musician seems to be more than anything is a chameleon, breathing out entire rhythm and bass tracks and blending them into a borderless range of performance situations.
“I like music that establishes a sound and lets that sound live and breathe and expand and contract and evolve and die,” says composer Richard Carrick.
While there’s certainly a lot of talk about breaking down aesthetic barriers, Ted Hearne is one of the few who really walks the walk.