New & Notable Classical Albums



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    - "This album represents a new chapter in a crossroad shared with Brunhild and Luc Ferrari. Since we met in Chicago in October 2001, our creative connection has continued to joyfully expand. This album tells stories about the wind, ocean and also about a village feast in the southern part of France… The listener is led into a poetic journey which tells about freedom and impermanence." 
    - Vincent Royer.

    - "The French violist and composer Vincent Royer was born in Strasbourg. He studied in Freiburg and Cologne, performed early on in various ensembles (Ensemble Köln, Ensemble Modern), dedicated himself intensely to chamber music, but also to improvisation and to the dialogue between various art forms, music, dance and the visual arts. Besides several fellowships, in 1991 he earned the “Prix Xenakis” for his performance of new music. Collaborating closely with such contemporary composers as Gérard Grisey, Pascal Dusapin, Horatiu Radulescu, Luc Ferrari and Vinko Globokar, Royer developed a comprehensive repertoire, and presented it in guest appearances around the world. He developed the spectral sonic language of his compositions during an artistic Residence in Banff (Canada), as fellow of the “Bourse Lavoisier” and in the electronic studio “Centre Henri Pousseur” in Liège (Belgium). Numerous composers dedicated new works to Royer and his duo, which involves the Belgian pianist Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven. Exhibiting his creativity in many different forms and aesthetics, he conceived with Gerhard Eckel the work Traverse for viola and computer, which in 2000 was selected by the International Computer Music Conference in Berlin. His encounter with the visual artists Joëlle Tuerlinckx and Bob Verschueren led to intense experimental projects. The B.R.A.C. Quartet (violin, viola, cello, double bass), of which he was a co-founder, explores new directions of spontaneous composition.

    His world premiere of the complete oeuvre for viola by Horatiu Radulescu earned worldwide recognition and received the highest award of the music journal Crescendo. In 2008/09 the Duo Royer/Collard-Neven was awarded the “Coup de Coeur” of the Académie Charles Cros for their recordings of works by Luc Ferrari and Jean-Luc Fafchamps. Royer regularly conducts seminars and workshops at European und American conservatories and universities. Since 2010 he is professor for chamber music at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège." 

    - Mode Records     

  • edited November 2015
    - "Inkilino Records announces the release of CHAPA 16, the debut album by
    Pablo Chimenti. This deeply moving piece for solo voice (performed by Cecilia
    Mazzufero) and electroacoustic sounds references the tragedy occurred in 2012 at
    Estación Once main train station in Buenos Aires, to produce a shocking and
    emotional music."

    Pablo Chimenti
    - "Buenos Aires (1980). Composer, sound artist and performer. He has a degree in Electro-Acoustic Music Composition at the University of Quilmes (UNQ), Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is professor and researcher. He also teaches at the National University of Arts (UNA), in the Multimedia area and at the University Film Foundation (FUC). His artistic production focuses on sound and its environment, the voice and its discursive field and the mixture of instrumental and electronic sources. He composes music for theatre, visual arts, and cinema. He was founding member of ‘Buenos Aires Sonora’ (BAS)."

  • edited November 2015

       Shara Worden, Andrew Ondrejcak, BOX  - You Us We All

    The cast:
    Hope Shara Worden
    Love Martin Gerke
    Virtue Helga Davis
    Death Bernhard Landauer
    Time Carlos Soto

    BOX Baroque Orchestration X:
    Lute Pieter Theuns
    Cornetto Lambert Colson
    Cornetto Jon Birdsong
    Treble Viol, Bass Viol Liam Byrne
    Harpsichord, Positive Organ Anthony Romaniuk
    Violone Christine Sticher
    Baroque Harp Jutta Troch
    Viola da Gamba Pieter Vandeveire
    Drums, Percussion Mattijs Vanderleen
    Baroque Trombone Adam Woolf

    - "YOU US WE ALL is a contemporary and irreverent take on a 16th- and 17th- century court masque, featuring musical scenes, allegorical characters and heightened theatrical style.

    The performance is a series of episodes in which the characters Death, Love, Virtue, Hope and Time reflect on their own aptitude for inciting meaning within their lives. As the characters perform the masque, Time insistently destroys everything, stripping away the layers of pomp and artifice that had given them shape. Pruned of their clothes, roles, and story, the opera turns radically inward."  -  Emusic 

    - "Billed as a contemporary baroque opera, Shara Worden's You Us We All draws upon everything from Monteverdi to pop as it explores a rite of passage to find meaning in the modern world. The libretto by Andrew Ondrejcak offers an updated take on the 16th- and 17th-century masque, a form of courtly entertainment which revolved around allegorical content and an episodic structure.

    Shara Worden, of the alt-classical band My Brightest Diamond, has both composed the score for the ten-piece baroque ensemble B.O.X. and sings the leading role, Hope. Contrary to the name, she is so full of despair that only writing fan letters to pop icons offers consolation. “Do you ever think that you’re just like everybody else?” she asks Beyoncé to accompaniment including harpsichord, flute and recorder in the second track.

    Meanwhile, Love (baritone Martin Gerke) can only “load the barrel” for his beloved, sung above a Renaissance-like drone in “Bullets are my Love” before breaking out into punchy rhythms which are testament to Worden’s ability to cross stylistic boundaries while maintaining a clear dramatic arc.

    Death (countertenor Bernhard Landauer) is not just annihilation but has the ability to love and forgive. The penultimate track, “Death’s Death,” is appropriately unsettling as it juxtaposes an insidious harpsichord, brass and woodwinds with catchy percussion. There are also passages of mesmerizing post-minimalism, such as in the final track, in which the lucidly voiced Worden concludes, “Are we not us each all split from one single chromosome?”

    Trite as the message may be, You Us We All offers a glimpse into the contradictions that drive the human condition. Virtue (the legendary Helga Davis, also of Q2 Music) is plagued by lust at a strip club (track nine), where pulsating accompaniment expresses her inner torment. As Time, the performance artist Carlos Soto lends an earthy tone to his monologues. Keep an ear out for the hip-hop rhythms in # KRUNK."


  • edited November 2015

    - "On their seventh Ravello Records release, PLOT: MUSIC FOR UNSPECIFIED INSTRUMENTATION, the McCormick Percussion Group, directed by Robert McCormick, delivers a diverse collection of works that explore and expand the bounds of the percussion ensemble, featuring the use of improvisation, taped field recordings, and computer-generated graphical scores.


    Bones (2000), the opening piece by Stuart Saunders Smith, examines the existence between composed musical thoughts and improvisational interactions. With only the parts and no score, the musicians choose the order of the pages and improvise the musical events presented. Nine and a Half for Henry (and Wilbur and Orville) (1964) and Pacific Sirens (1969) by Robert Erickson can be considered companion pieces, both involving taped sounds – including engines, machinery, and the Pacific surf – and acoustic instrumentation.


    Percussion (1935) is the second of eight known percussion ensemble works composed by Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888-1944). The fourth movement was Beyer’s only composition to be published during her lifetime, and until recently, was misunderstood as a complete and freestanding composition. These pioneering works consistently demonstrate clear structural design, economical use of material, and confident originality. Plot, composed by Herbert Brün for solo percussion, is praised for its innovative use of computer-generated graphical score, which is not intended to be improvised. Rather, the performer creates a well-crafted interpretation through the analysis of a coordinate system that influences choices regarding instrument and implement selections, timbre, and connectivity of sounds. The adventurous programs that the McCormick Percussion Group tirelessly and effectively offer show them as one of today’s leading percussion."

    - Ravello Records.  Soundcloud   


    - "The McCormick Percussion Group’s albums are praised by Gramophone Magazine for having “spellbinding virtuosity and limpid eloquence,” and by Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review for having “music that engrosses as it transcends boundaries”


    - Robert McCormick is a former member of the Harry Partch Ensemble and served as Principal Percussionist with the Florida Orchestra for 20 seasons


    - He is the recipient of several notable awards including the 2006 Music Educator of the Year Award, the 2007 Grand Prize Winner of the Keystone Percussion Composition Prize, the 2010 recipient of the Jerome Krivanek Distinguished University Teacher Awards, and is the winner of several Global Music Awards for his albums, including two for SOLI FOR SOPRANO WITH PERCUSSION ORCHESTRA


    - McCormick is currently Professor of Music at the University of South Florida, Tampa



     - More MPG @ Emusers

  • edited November 2015
    Here's a "Jonah the Jazzpicker" recommendation (not jazz) and an excellent one . . .
    I could imagine that GP would love this.

       David Moore piano
       Jeremy Viner clarinet
       Patrick Breiner clarinet
       Mike Effenberger tape delay
       Leigh Stuart cello
       Jeff Ratner bass
       Greg Chudzick bass
    - "Formed in the mid-aughts among music student friends at New York City’s New School, Bing & Ruth’s lineup has shifted with the scope of each recording. 2014’s Tomorrow Was The Golden Age was executed by an ensemble of two upright bassists, two clarinetists, a cellist and a tape delay tech, all supporting David Moore’s sublime yet resonant piano scores.

    Originally pressed in a limited edition five years ago, City Lake was re-realized in a simultaneously refined and expanded form as a RVNG, Intl. release in November 2015. Embodying both the restrained and expressive capabilities of a large ensemble,City Lake impresses a physicality where Tomorrow Was the Golden Age traces ethereal shifts between darkness and light. Joining Moore on this stirring rove are two clarinetists (Jeremy Vinerand and Patrick Breiner), two cellists (Greg Heffernan and Leigh Stuart), two vocalists (Becca Stevensand Jean Rohe), a bassist (Jeff Ratner), a lap-steel player (Myk Freedman), a faithful tape-delay engineer (Mike Effenberger), and a percussionist (Chris Berry), with Moore on piano.

    Outside of Bing & Ruth, Moore is also a multi-faceted composer, scoring under his own name and for old-time fiddle groups, which he describes as “drone-based with a lessened concern for perfect intonation.” These ventures illustrate Moore’s unpretentious devotion to various musical traditions, yet Bing & Ruth remains Moore’s principal project, where form ventures even further beyond recognition."
  • edited November 2015
    Di lontan album cover 
    Eduardo Raon  harp, electronics & idiofones / Joana Sá  piano & idiofones / Luís José Martins  classical guitar, electronics & idiophones

    Di Lontan is a fragment of Joana, Luís and Eduardo’s life. They reunited in 2014 to give birth to a bright, transparent new music in which the energy of each note, idea, of all sounds is featured in its plenitude. Improvisation is still the driving force behind their sounds’ succulence. Sometimes blazing, explosive. It comes wrapped in subtle forms that ensure a continuum, simultaneously delicate and effective. It is sparkling due to its ability to overcome the sound fingerprint of all three instruments – guitar, harp and piano – the characteristic attack-decay. Powertrio invents itself a new nature, coming out of new materials and composed resonances, accomplishing a thorough and flowered granular aesthetics. An encounter, empathy, tolerance, freedom – the music of three musicians. These three musicians.

    Intertwined accelerations of smooth isorhythmic patterns, in the beginning of À Flor do Mal, lead to a granular music able to water down harmonies into sound clouds. In O Nervo e a Outra Dança a harp’s thick, low melody, a distant passacaglia reminiscence, is revealed as an anticipated resonance, then swallowed by an epic and evolving crackling just to, in the very end, give place to a few fluted electronic arpeggios as fascinating as delicate. Di Lontan fa Specchio il Mare is a sort of “detachment and sentiment” as defined by Manuel Pedro Ferreira, but in Powertrio’s version and interpretation the memory of the fixed, hieratic sound material is further defied in the lengthening of times. If, on one hand, Di Lontan begins with a decay/resonance without attack, on the other hand, the echo of all heard so far is glimpsed in the stretched constructed resonance that abruptly ends Divertimento, a piece full of life, breathing among waves and particles, both diatonic and percussive.

    - Cleen Feed  - Soundcloud   


         Although he has a classical harp education, Raon has always been unsatisfied with standing with both feet on the same recognizable ground. Contemporary, experimental, ethnic, noise, pop, retro, rock and electronic music are all part of a kaleidoscopic baggage brought by Eduardo Raon onstage. Either improvising, composing or interpreting and with a mixed attitude that oscillates between the visceral and the delicate/minute, his harp is squelched, stretched, melted, lit, consumed, blossomed, caressed.
         He has frequently toured and recorded with I-WolfPOWERTRIOMaria João & Mário LaginhaBypassEla Não É Francesa Ele Não É EspanholHipnóticaO Espectáculo d'Ontem as well as solo. Besides Portugal he has performed in Germany, Austria, France, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Russia, Holland, Belgium and Macau (China).
         As an interpreter he has premiered both solo and chamber works by Eurico Carrapatoso, Clotilde Rosa, Ivan Moody, João Lucas, Joana Sá, Daniel Schvetz,  Eli Camargo, Sebastian Duh and Fernando Lobo.
         Raon regularly composes for Cinema, Animation, Theater, Dance e Fine Arts projects.
         In 2009 he was granted a grant by the Portuguese state for an international internship in Improvised Music/Neue Musik, working with Professor Paulo Álvares at the Hochschule für Musik Köln (GER).
         More recently, he  composed and performed live soundtracks at Slovene Kinoteka, for the following films:
     - "L'Impossible" for Sylvain George's retrospective;
     - a collection of Émile Cohl's animated films;
     - "49 Flies" by Piérre Hebért;
     - "Text of Light" by Stan Brakhage;
     - "Die Puppe" by Ernst Lubitsch;
     - "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang;
        In late 2013, he made his solo debut with the album "The Drive For Impulsive Actions" released by the Lisboa based label SHHPUMA (powered by Clean Feed)
  • edited November 2015
    The albums are literally pouring in these days . . . :-)

    This is a lot more than "just" a piano album:
    "Recorded live in 2014 at the prestigious EMPAC hall in Troy, NY, the second album on Ad Noiseam by the greek composer Stavros Gasparatos departs from his usual soundtrack-oriented works. A highly conceptual piece, "Expanded Piano” explores the wide array of sounds which can be produced by this instrument and contextualizes them in the context of modern electronic music. Surrounded by 24 speakers fed by 24 microphones capturing everything happening inside the piano, the audience is placed in the middle of an uncommon yet highly touching sound-scape. "Expanded Piano” is an encompassing, abstract but emotional album which confirms Stavros Gasparatos's originality and talent.

    "Expanded Piano” is a recording of a live performance by Stavros Gasparatos, commissioned for the EMPAC (the art venue of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, NY). It was recorded during a unique live show on November 27th 2014, with Stavros Gasparatos alone on stage. The 24 channel original recording was mixed to stereo for this album, though a surround sound version is available for download.

    Compared to Stavros Gasparatos's previous album on Ad Noiseam ("Seven”, 2013), "Expanded Piano” revolves around an aesthetic concept rather than a narrative and was made to be played by one musician only. In this work, Stavros Gasparatos first extends the piano as an instrument beyond its accepted use: by hitting its wooden body, by hammering or caressing the strings, he creates uncommon sounds which are themselves digitally re-processed live. The second part of this performance (and arguably the most difficult one to render on an album) consists in morphing the piano itself into the venue: 24 microphones were placed in the room, linked to as many loudspeakers, enabling the audience to experience the sounds as if sitting inside the piano.

    "Expanded Piano” also goes beyond its rules and technology, as Stavros Gasparatos does not only execute a concept, but creates a touching and highly evocative art piece. From the opening "Vincent” to the building energy of the closing "Scrape”, the album finds its place in today's emotional piano-based music and seduces its listener as much with its beauty as with its abstractions."

    - "Prepared piano is a perfect example of how thinking differently and reconfiguring available technologies can transform how you make music. In the mid-20th century, when composers like John Cage and Henry Cowell started placing cardboard, metal and their hands between the strings of a piano, they created a machine for triggering fascinating percussive tones more akin to the timbre of industry than the concert hall.

    Suddenly the piano’s physical properties could be explored in ways that went beyond the pre-scripted harmonies of the keyboard, leading to new kinds of music which dealt in space, texture and impact. The dazzling possibilities of prepared piano bear fruit to the present day, especially when complemented by the possibilities of 21st century technology.

    Stavros Gasparatos’ Expanded Piano project is a case in point. Using Max for Live and a two-tier 24-channel speaker array, the Greek composer has come up with a prepared piano piece which places his audience within the piano itself.

    Unlike his avant garde predecessors of the last century, Gasparatos installs no foreign objects in the piano, or ‘preparations’ as they’re known. Rather, a finely tuned array of microphones capture the myriad spatial nuances of the piano and pass them to the computer, which then triggers prepared sounds and processes the live piano simultaneously. Contact microphones capture impulse responses from within the piano itself and construct frequency filters based on the results. Each filter then sculpts one of the 24 speaker channels so that each speaker amplifies a specific point from inside the piano and projects it into the audience."

  • edited November 2015

    -  "By Ospald’s own account, his discovery of the poetry of Leopardi was both "radical and existential". "In Leopardi," Ospald says, he found "for the first time wonderfully powerful songs that also evoke despair at the aloof beauty of nature that sweeps everything away before it". "Strong, breathless songs in simple images: of loss and speechless recognition."

    It is not by coincidence that what was probably Leopardi’s most important canto, "La ginestra o il fiore del deserto"("Broom or the Flower of the Desert"), provided the title for Ospald's entire group of works.

    Collected on the present CD, the three works mined from this œuvre massif offer prime examples of Ospald’s art of transformation and sound modulation that characterizes the entire Leopardi Cycle. His music is neither narrative nor dramatic nor rhetorically appellative. Instead, it expects the listener to listen to the incessant transformations of the sounds and discern its actual formal laws. Notable in all three works is a preference for low tonal regions, especially of the brass and woodwinds, augmented by deep percussion.

    Deliberate quarter-tone deviations of the instrumentalists and vocalists help to create states of suspense and precarious tonal balances. With a finely tuned ear, Ospald uses the world of enharmonics with its oscillations, beats and irritations that can blur the sounds or make them dazzlingly unreal.

    Through various intonations of the instruments and instrumental groups, an interval such as the octave, with which the orchestral work "Sovente in queste rive ..." rises, is progressively stretched, blurred and coarsened.

    "Sopra un basso rilievo antico sepolcrale" laments a girl bidding farewell to her parents and friends. The verses are musically deconstructed and alienated, to be recomposed in the listener’s auditory perception.

    With the help of the live electronics, microscopic changes in pitch cause the interval of a third to implode: "An unknown interval comes apart and displays a new quality: the unknown potential of a known phenomenon." (Klaus Ospald)"


    - "Klaus Ospald was born in Münster and studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, which he completed with a master class diploma. In 1985 he won a fellowship at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris, and the First Composition Prize of the city of Stuttgart in 1987. That same year he continued his studies with Helmut Lachenmann. Ospald’s many awards include the Bavarian State Prize and the Composition Prize of the SWR-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden/Freiburg at the Donaueschinger Musiktage Festival. His music has been performed by internationally renowned musicians and orchestras, including the Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik, Collegium Novum Zürich and the Arditti Quartet. Important platforms for contemporary music including the Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music, the Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik, the Munich Biennale, Warsaw Autumn and the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik have premiered Ospald’s works. In 2013–14, Klaus Ospald was composer in residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He teaches at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg."

    - Wergo         

  • One more:

    Ted Mook, cello; Margaret Kampmeier, piano; Matthew Gold, marimba; Claudia Rüegg, piano; Relâche, Lloyd Shorter, conductor

    - "The majestic beauty and savage turbulence that one often beholds while witnessing an awesome act of nature is also evident in Lois V Vierk's (b. 1951) vigorous and delicate music. In her meticulously wrought works, she enfolds the rapture of opulent expression in the elegance of formal rigor, a combination that derives much of its power and grace from a sensitive integration of Western experimental practices with the traditional classical music of Japan. "I've always felt equally drawn to the West and to the East," Vierk explains, "in terms of my analytical training in Western music and the musical principles I learned during twelve years of actively studying and performing gagaku, ancient Japanese court music." Because both musical cultures occupy such prominent places in Vierk's musical imagination, she recognized important points of intersection, including structural clarity and timbral sensuousness-musical elements that she had inherited from the previous generation of composers.

    Three elements-glissando as a formal function, extreme sensitivity to timbre relationships, and exponential structure-are evident in the works on this recording, but the composer's primary intention has always been the clear, direct, physical presence of sound as a mode of expression. "In my own music," she insists, "pure sensuous beauty is often a starting point. I work with emotional expressiveness and with many kinds of sound relationships as well, to build form and structure." Also, although Vierk's music is not overtly programmatic, she often draws formal and poetic inspiration from dualistic images of the natural world, including the astronomical phenomenon of an eclipsing binary star, the border of a forest at elevation, and the mysterious power of the sea below its calm surface. "

    - New World Records 


    - "Lois V Vierk, from Lansing Illinois, in suburban Chicago, was born in 1951. She studied composition at California Institute of the Arts with Mel Powell, Leonard Stein, and Morton Subotnick. For ten years she studied Gagaku (Japanese Court Music) with Mr. Suenobu Togi in Los Angeles, and for two years she studied in Tokyo with Mr. Sukeyasu Shiba, the lead ryuteki flutist of the emperor's Gagaku Orchestra. Ms. Vierk has spent most of her career in New York City. Her music has achieved an impressive international reputation. Recently it was presented in "composer's portrait" concerts at German Radio, Cologne and by other German and Swiss ensembles. Commissions include Silversword for the Lincoln Center Festival, where it was performed by the Reigakusha Ensemble of Tokyo, River Beneath the River, commissioned by the Barbican Center, London, for the Kronos Quartet, which has played it many times.

    Among the many performers and presenters who have commissioned her are pianists Ursula Oppens, Frederic Rzewski, Aki Takahashi, and Margaret Leng Tan; accordionist Guy Klucevsek, cellist Maya Beiser and percussionist Steven Schick, Ensemble Modern, the Kitchen, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Bang on a Can Festival, L'Art Pour L'Art, and Music from Japan. Co-creations with tap-dance choreographer Anita Feldman have been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer and others.

    In July 2007 the feature length film "Everywhere At Once" by Holly Fisher and Peter Lindbergh, feautring Vierk's music, premiered at Cannes, France, in an off-festival venue. Ms. Vierk's music has been performed at major venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Glasgow (by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Darmstadt, Radio Bremen, the Huddersfield Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Edmonton New Music Festival (Canada), the Suntory Festival (Tokyo), and the Adelaide Festival (Australia). Her music is available on Tzadik Records, XI Records, oodiscs, Sony Classical, Starkland Records.

    Ms. Vierk has composed for many types of performing forces, from solo piano (Yeah Yeah Yeah; To Stare Astonished at the Sea) to string quartet (River Beneath the River; Into the Brightening Air) to chamber ensemble (Timberline, Red Shift for mixed ensemble; Simoom for 8 cellos; Tusk for 18 trombones; Go Guitars for 5 electric guitars; etc.) to orchestra (Devil's Punchbowl)."

  • edited December 2015
    Barbary Coast, the debut album from New York-based ensemble Red Light New Music, features works by the group's founding composers: Christopher Cerrone, Ted Hearne, Vincent Raikhel, Liam Robinson, and Scott Wollschleger. These works represent ten years of collaboration between the composers and performers, and showcase the collective’s imaginative approach to contemporary chamber music.

    - "The album begins with Vincent Raikhel’s Cirques, a stunning ensemble piece that explores contrasting perceptions of time. Liam Robinson’s Chamber Concerto is a playful three-movement work, which draws on a wide range of musical influences from American minimalism to the works of Charles Ives. Throughout the piece, the piano part, played masterfully by Yegor Shevtsov, leads the listener through unexpected environments and beautiful horizons, presenting equal parts humor and profundity. The Night Mare by Christopher Cerrone is an appropriately haunting work, which takes inspiration from a lecture by Jorge Louis Borges, in which he describes nightmares as chaotic series of images, from which we later construct a narrative. Ted Hearne’s raucous Crispy Gentlemen is constructed of fragmented percussive grooves, ecstatic string shrieks, and a powerful bass clarinet line, brilliantly performed by Christa Van Alstine. The album's final work, Scott Wollschleger’ Brontal No. 3, is an epic piece for viola and ensemble. A nod to Feldman’s masterpiece The Viola in My Life, Brontal No. 3 features violist Erin Wight’s powerfully expressive playing, set within Wollschleger’s otherworldly sonic spaces."
  • The albums are literally pouring in these days . . . :-)
    Phillip Bush, piano; Greg Stuart, percussion; Michael Pisaro, sine tones

    - "Michael Pisaro (b. 1961) is a member of the Wandelweiser collective, an international organization of musicians which he has defined as "a particular group of people who have been committed, over the long term, to sharing their work and working together." Its members have shared an interest in John Cage and experimental music, and extended durations, indeterminacy, and silence have featured in many works they have made; but Pisaro is quick to point out that the members of the collective have a far from uniform aesthetic stance. Pisaro's work over the past decade bears little surface resemblance to the pieces made by other members of the collective apart from a commitment to experimental music and to deeply collaborative processes. Many of the recent trajectories of his work intersect in A mist is a collection of points (2014).

    A mist is a collection of points, while a grid is an organized collection of points. There is the unspoken tension in this work between regular and aperiodic, solid and vague, artificial and organic, order and sprawl. This interplay takes place from one section to the next, and also in the interactions between the parts: between the pianist (Phillip Bush), the percussionist (Greg Stuart), and the sine tones (by Michael Pisaro). It affects the melody and the resonance, the timing and the coordination between parts. The intermingling of shadow pitches and extended resonances creates effects that are at least as vivid as any articulation.

    Gradual change is a feature of the entire work, on the most local scale (measure by measure) and on the macro scale as well. Timing, resonance, melody, register, and dynamics are all intertwined in these slow transformations. "The work is essentially about the morphology and topography of this resonance." This recording, like the piece itself, best reveals itself when it is "let loose in an environment," played on speakers rather than headphones, in order to continue to develop its shape."

    - New World Records  


  • edited December 2015
    - "In 2005, with the world premiere of Cinq poèmes de János Pilinszky, accentus met Bruno Mantovani for the first time. After this first commission, three other works followed, marking further collaborations. This beautiful artistic partnership is now celebrated with the release of Mantovani: Voices, an album that follows upon such contemporary and critically-lauded accentus vocal portrait collections celebrating living composers as Pascal Dusapins Requiem[s] (in 2000) and Philippe Manourys In-harmonies (2010). The versatile musician Bruno Mantovani (b. 1974) is firstly a composer, but also a conductor; he produces a weekly broadcast on France musique and runs the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris, a post hes held since August 2010. His music regularly connects with the history of occidental music (Bach, Gesualdo, Rameau, Schubert, Schumann) or the popular repertory (jazz, oriental music). The international success of his work was immediate, and is today performed by renowned soloists and prestigious orchestras worldwide." 
    - Naïve 

    - "Bruno Mantovani was born on October 8, 1974. After receiving five first prizes from the Paris Conservatory (analysis, aesthetics, orchestration, composition, music history) and attending the computer music Cursus at Ircam, he began an international career. His works have been performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Cologne, the KKL in Lucerne, La Scala in Milan, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre in New York, the Cité de la musique and the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Faithful to his preferred performers, he collaborates with prestigious soloists (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Alain Billard, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Antoine Tamestit, Tabea Zimmermann), conductors (Pierre Boulez, Sir Andrew Davis, Peter Eötvös, Laurence Equilbey, Gunter Herbig, Emmanuel Krivine, Susanna Mälkki, Jonathan Nott, Pascal Rophé François-Xavier Roth), ensembles (Accentus, Intercontemporain, TM+) and orchestras (Bamberg Symphony, BBC Cardiff, Chicago Symphony, WDR Cologne, La Chambre Philharmonique, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Liège Philharmonic, BBC London, Lucerne Academy, Orchestre de Paris, Paris Opera Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, Sarrebrücken Radio Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, NHK Tokyo, RAI Turin, Sinfonia Varsovia, RSO Vienna).
    He is the headmaster of the Paris Conservatory since September 2010. . . ."

    - "The Accentus Chamber Choir, literally "Le Choeur de Chambre Accentus," was founded in 1992 by choral director Laurence Equilbey, who, incidentally, is a woman. Accentus is limited to 32 members and was originally founded to explore a cappella literature in the chamber choir format from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Within the context of their own concerts, this is still the rule, but through collaborative projects with period orchestras such as Concerto Köln and Akademie für Alte Musik, Accentus has also earned a reputation on disc as an outstanding chorus in Baroque, Classical, and Romantic period repertoire as well.

    Based in Paris, Accentus also enjoys an excellent relationship with a number of contemporary composers, such as Pascal Dusapin, Philippe Manoury, and Pierre Boulez, and has formed a smaller, subsidiary choir expressly for the performance of new music called Axe 21. Accentus tours in some part of the world annually and visited the United States in 2000. The Accentus Chamber Choir exclusively records for the French concern Naïve. The group has received numerous honors inluding a 2004 Grammy nomination and five Diapason d'Or awards in 2011."

    - All Music 

  • edited February 2017
    - "We’re very pleased to be releasing this. What Boris does is without parallel or precedent, and he’s been doing it for over 40 years, perfecting a language that is uniquely his own: not chamber music, not world music, not jazz – but demanding performance skills vital to all three. What do you call a music that is fully scored, played only by acoustic instruments and demands not only extremely high technical standards from its performers but - if they are to imbue what is written with its proper ritual body - shared histories and deep cultural roots? To grasp the essence of this work, the composition and the ensemble need to be considered together and it’s this aspect of Boris’ work that is so exceptional. Composers write scores, while folk and jazz ensembles spin the present out of collective memory; Boris somehow manages to do both, and there is a depth here that’s not in the notes or in the performances but in an ability to tap into a collective reservoir of archetypical resonances. That's the source of its intangible strength and apparent inevitability. It has, as we say, the ring of truth." 

    - "Composer, instrumentalist and multimedia artist from Serbia. Boris writes music for chamber groups he rehearses and leads. Many of his projects are to some extent connected with theatre. 
    From 1989 he has been the leader of the Chamber Theatre of Music OGLEDALO from Novi Sad. During the period from 1991-1995 he mainly lived and worked in Italy, Slovenia and Austria. In 1996 he moves back to Yugoslavia. By leading his RITUAL NOVA ensemble, LaDaABa orchest, La Campanella orchestra, Chamber Theatre of Music OGLEDALO, Academy of Fine Skills and working with students he is also trying to reestablish the contemporary music/theatre scene in his country. 
    He has performed his works in a few hundred concerts and more the 200 festivals of new music and contemporary theater in around 30 countries on 4 continents."

  • The Emu version of this album has got a wrong cover:

    1. David Lang. just (after song of songs). 12.58. World Premiere Recording
    Performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox,viola Agnès Vesterman, cello and Sylvain Lemêtre percussion
    2. Luciano Berio. Naturale. 19.08
    Performed by Garth Knox, viola and Sylvain Lemêtre, percussion. And tape
    3. Betty Olivero. En la mar hai una torre. 13.12
    Performed by Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox,viola Agnès Vesterman, cello, Cliona Doris, concert harp and Sylvain Lemêtre percussion conducted by Andrew Synnott.

    - "The writer Paul Griffiths in his booklet notes for this remarkable recording says “The Song of Songs is the dancer in the temple, the sensualist’s page tucked into the holy book, a love song accepted as scriptural in Jewish and Christian traditions from times before reckoning. It is a song of mutual adoration, voiced by two people— though their voices are not distinguished in the text, perhaps, in the ecstasy of this shining, blazing regard that each fixes on the other, that holds them face to face, they are one. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” the song begins, “For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out.”

    The Song of Songs cd features the world premiere performances of two incredible new works by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang and renowned composer Betty Olivero centred around the ancient text The Song of Songs.
    The new compositions, both Louth Contemporary Music Society commissions, Lang’s just (after song of songs) and Olivero’s En La Mar Hai Una Torre (In the sea there is a lighthouse) are lyrical yet beautiful contemporary spiritual works that are breathtaking from start to finish. The recording also features Garth Knox performing Berio’s Naturale which is apt considering Berio was one of Olivero’s most important teachers

    The brilliant Norwegian Trio Mediaeval collaborate with Garth Knox, Agnes Vèsterman, Sylvain Lemêtre along with Cliona Doris harpist, for the first time to record the new compositions. The record stems from a Louth Contemporary Music Society concert performance in October 2014 where both composers David Lang and Betty Olivero attended the performance and recording session.
    This is must have recording."

    - Louth Contemporary Music  

    - "The vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval was founded by Linn Andrea Fuglseth in Oslo in 1997. For sixteen years, the three original members Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth and Torunn Østrem Ossum constituted the trio. In December 2013, Torunn left the group. Linn Andrea and Anna Maria are now joined by Berit Opheim, who has been singing with the ensemble regularly since 2010.

    The trio's core repertoire features sacred monophonic and polyphonic medieval music from England, Italy and France, contemporary works written for the ensemble, as well as traditional Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic ballads and songs, mostly arranged by the group members. During the last eight years, the trio has developed exciting collaborations with both individual musicians as well as larger ensembles/orchestras. 

    Trio Mediæval's first CD on ECM Records, Words of the Angel, immediately reached Billboard's Top 10 Bestseller list and was made the Stereophile "Recording of the Month" in April 2002. Further releases on ECM followed in 2004 withSoir, dit-elle and in 2005 with Stella Maris. The first three recordings, produced by John Potter, consisted of medieval and contemporary works. In 2006, the trio started a long-term collaboration with the Norwegian percussionist Birger Mistereggen, and the long awaited recording of Norwegian ballads and songs, Folk Songs, was produced by Manfred Eicher and released in the Autumn of 2007. Folk Songs was nominated for the Norwegian Spellemannprisen and for a US Grammy Award for "Best Chamber Music Performance" the following year. Their latest recording, A Worcester Ladymass (2011), like the previous releases, hit the Billboard's Top 10 list, and was selected by the German Record Critic's Award as one of the best new releases in the "Early Music" category. . . "

    More Trio Mediaeval at Emusers Here  

  • image  

    "Yotam Haber whose music, hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting,” was named by the Los Angeles Times as on of the five classical

    musicians “2014 Faces to Watch, and chosen as one of the “30 composers under 40” by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440. His grants include a 2005 Guggenheim grant and the 2007 Rome Prize;  he served as Artistic Director of MATA, the organization founded by Philip Glass. The works include Torus; From the Book of Maintenance and Sustenance, a viola and piano duet based on Italian Jewish chant; We Were All and One Leaving Brooklyn, two works that engage in very different ways with recent poetry; and Last Skin, for eight electric quarter-tone violins, that reworks material from We Were All."

    - Roven Records 

    Sound Cloud - I Care If You Listen presentation  


  • edited December 2015

    One more album from one of the most strange and excentric artists on this planet

    (the last one posted on November 7)

    - This album is featuring:
    James Shaw - (Metric and Broken Social Scene

    and Wiek Hijmans:

    - "Wiek Hijmans (Netherlands, 1967) is an acknowledged pioneer on the electric guitar. Renown composers including Christian Wolff and Theo Loevendie have written solo works for him. Wiek has performed solo and as a chamber musician in Europe, Russia, Indonesia, the U.S. with ensembles including the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the Nieuw Ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His solo CDs have received international critical acclaim. Wiek formed the CATCH electric guitar quartet  at the request of American composer Steven Mackey. CATCH made its debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014.
    Wiek studied with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music (New York) where he was the first ever electric guitarist in the classical guitar department. Wiek's groundbreaking work at the Manhattan School was awarded the prestigious Andrés Segovia prize. . . ."

  • edited December 2015
    - Out on a label called United Phoenix Records:
    - "United Phoenix Records is a Download Label of Ensemble Phoenix Basel, a contemporary music ensemble based in Switzerland. Available downloads are mostly live recordings of the ensemble as well as released studio productions of the ensemble and ensemble members."

     - "The Vortex-compositions by composer Alex Buess, from Basel, are tailor-made for the three core musicians and founding members of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel: Jürg Henneberger, Christoph Bösch und Daniel Buess. The three interpreters are expanded through amplification to create a sound-physicality together with a pre-recorded tape. Parmegiani's tape composition De Natura Sonorum is THE masterpiece of the so-called acousmatic music using both the raw material of "musique concrète" as well as electronically processed and distorted instrumental sounds."

    - "The Ensemble Phoenix Basel is a group of up to 25 musicians who are especially dedicated to performing contemporary music.
    The initiator and conductor of the ensemble, Jürg Henneberger, who is presently also president of the IGNM Basel, has for years been regarded as a specialist for contemporary music. Each of the individual members of the ensemble has accumulated experience in this branch of musical performance during the past years.
    During this time, these musicians were engaged as individual performers by institutions such as the IGNM Basel or the Theater Basel, where they performed in various formations, for example under the name "Ensemble der IGNM Basel". As such, the members of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel were involved in productions such as "The Unanswered Question" (Marthaler/Henneberger) or "Der mündliche Verrat" from Mauricio Kagel, etc. However, at this point in time an actual ensemble per se did not exist.
    In time, the need of forming a specialized ensemble for contemporary music became evident, not only to meet the demands of the Basler Theater. The city of Basel, which with its large number of resident composers is regarded as an important center for contemporary music in and outside of Switzerland, is ideally suited to house an ensemble of this kind.
    In addition, an independent, self-managed ensemble significantly eases the organizational burden of concert promoters such as the IGNM and the Basler Theater, and can insure the efficiency which comes from working with a permanent team, the members being tuned-in to each other.
    In 1998 Jürg Henneberger and a handful of nucleus members took the initiative and founded the Ensemble Phoenix Basel, which gave its initial concert on the "Kleine Bühne" of the Basler Theater on December 12, 1998. Works from B. A. Zimmermann, Harrison Birtwistle and Christoph Delz were on the program. The concert was recorded live by Swiss Radio DRS II and received wide acclaim by the press.
    The Ensemble Phoenix Basel will continue to be active, performing ensemble concerts of the IGNM Basel, as well as realizing projects requiring chamber music ensembles at the Basler Theater, and organizing its own concerts.
    The purpose of the Ensemble Phoenix Basel is to perform concerts in its home town, the rest of Switzerland, and also to be present in the most important contemporary music festivals outside of the country. Its primary objective is to play an integral role in the development of contemporary music through direct co-operation with not only renowned, but also young composers of our times, in order to perform their works and make them accessible to a broader public."

    - "Alex Buess – Musician, saxophonist, composer, producer and sound technician born in 1954. Buess works (and has worked) with the likes of Stephan Wittwer, Paul Schütze, Kevin Martin, Peter Brötzmann, William Parker, Raoul Björkenheim, Toshinori Kondo, Bill Laswell, Kevin Shields, Tim Hodgkinson, Michael Wertmüller and many others.
    He has played among various bands, such as “ice”, “god”, “phantom city”, “the bug”, “sprawl” and with his own outfit “16-17″. Has has composed music for different contemporary music ensemble, has worked as a producer and is now a sound engineer for the Swiss National Radio, SRF2. As a studio technician, he worked for different labels, including Virgin, Island and Big Cat. His music is performed both abroad and in Switzerland.
    Alex Buess has performed at the following festivals (amongst others) : Huddersfield New Music Festival (England), Rostrum for Electroacoustic Music, Tampere Festival (Finland), Musique Action Vandoeuvres-les-nacy (France), Taktlos (1993/95/96/2003), Tonart Festival 2000, Lucerne Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage (2007) as well as both the Festival de Musica Contemporanea in Quito (Equador) and the Encuentro de Compositores Bolivianos (Bolivia).
    Buess’ work illustrates his experience with electronic, contemporary and film music, as well as new mixing and production techniques and computer music."
  • edited May 2016

    - "Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto are teaming up to score The Revenant the upcoming film from Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The National’s,Bryce Dessner has contributed to the film’s score as well. The film is being released by 20th Century Fox in New York and Los Angeles on December 25, 2015, with a wide release on January 8, 2016.

    The three composers were recently nominated for ‘Best Original Score’at the 2016 Golden Globes for their work on The Revenant.
    Coming off his Academy Award-winning film Birdman, Iñárritu’s epic new film takes place in the 19th century and stars
    Leonardo DiCaprio as a hunter abanadoned by his team after a brutal bear attack. He must withstand the elements and the wilderness to survive and return to his family. The film also stars Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson.
    Alva Noto released his latest album Xerrox No. 3 in March 2015, while Sakamoto — a member of the pionerring electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra and frequent collaborator of Christopher Willits,Taylor Deupree, and Fennesz — is back with new music for the first time following his treatment for cancer. Alva Noto has already collaborated with Sakamoto on five albums in the past, and they have toured extensively together in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
    Dessner has been actively composing too, having recently written new work for So Percussion, Kronos Quarter, LA Phil, and the New York City Ballet."

    - Milan Records

  • edited January 2016
    "The Source is the new data-obsessed work from composer, singer, and bandleader Ted Hearne. A modern day oratorio (written for 7 instrumentalists and 5 singers including Hearne himself), The Source explores the life and story of U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, and the content and implications of the hundreds of thousands of classified military documents she infamously leaked to WikiLeaks. Like Hearne's previous release for New Amsterdam, the widely hailed Katrina Ballads, The Source draws on a litany of primary source texts (stitched together by librettist Mark Doten) – including Twitter feeds, cable news interviews, chat transcripts and declassified military reports."

    - New Amsterdam - Emusic

    "Composer, singer and bandleader TED HEARNE (b.1982, Chicago) draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music's full terrain, to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works.

    The New York Times has praised Mr. Hearne for his "tough edge and wildness of spirit," and "topical, politically sharp-edged works." The Los Angeles Times said, "No single artist embodies the post-genre Brooklyn scene, but Hearne may be its most zealous auteur."

    Hearne's newest theatrical work, The Source, sets text from the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, along with words by Chelsea Manning (the U.S. Army private who leaked those classified documents to WikiLeaks), and was premiered to rave reviews last October at the BAM Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn. The New York Times included The Source on its list of the best classical vocal performances of 2014, noting that the work “offers a fresh model of how opera and musical theater can tackle contemporary issues: not with documentary realism, but with ambiguity, obliquity, and even sheer confusion.”

    Hearne’s piece Katrina Ballads, another modern-day oratorio with a primary source libretto, was awarded the 2009 Gaudeamus Prize in composition and was named one of the best classical albums of 2010 by Time Out Chicago and The Washington Post. A recent collaboration paired him with legendary musician Erykah Badu, for whom he wrote an evening-length work combining new music with arrangements of songs from her 2008 album New Amerykah: Part One. 

    Law of Mosaics, Hearne’s 30-minute piece for string orchestra, will see performances this year by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. His album of the same name, with Andrew Norman and A Far Cry, was named one of The New Yorker’s notable albums of 2014 by Alex Ross.

    A charismatic vocalist, Hearne performs with Philip White as the vocal-electronics duo R WE WHO R WE, whose debut album (New Focus Recordings) was called “eminently, if weirdly, danceable and utterly gripping.” (Time Out Chicago). Two forthcoming albums of vocal music, The Source and Outlanders, will see release on New Amsterdam Records in 2015.

    Ted Hearne was awarded the 2014 New Voices Residency from Boosey and Hawkes, and recently joined the composition faculty at the University of Southern California. Recent and upcoming commissions include orchestral works for the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry, chamber works for eighth blackbird, Yarn/Wire and Alarm Will Sound, and vocal works for Volti, The Crossing and Roomful of Teeth."

  • - "This first volume of John Cage’s complete works for flute spans a fifty year period, from the Three Pieces for Flute Duet of 1935—deft studies in chromatic writing—to the 1984 Ryoanji, which involves the use of pre-recorded flutes and percussion with resultant diverse and intricate textures. Two is the first of Cage’s important ‘number’ series and is edgily ruminative, while Music for Two, written for any combination of the 17 different instrumental ‘parts without scores’ provided by the composer, is heard in an arrangement described by Katrin Zenz as a ‘new piece for flute and piano’.
  • edited November 2017
    - A good thing about all these year end list is that you very often discover albums that really shouldn't be missed.
    Here's one, released in January 2015 I found by reading this excellent list on @Nereffid 's blog:

    The best music of the past 20 years (says Q2)

    A New York Times Best Classical Music Recording of 2015
    One of the Alex Ross/The New Yorker "Ten Notable Recordings" of 2015
    A Textura "Album of the Month" 2015

    - "The Wind in High Places is an elegant, haunting collection album containing three of Adams’s serenly powerful recent string works: (1) The Wind in High Places (2011), a three-movement string quartet commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Theodore Front Musical Literature, performed by JACK Quartet; (2) Canticles of the Sky, a four-movement piece for four cello choirs, performed by the 48-member Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, directed and conducted by Hans Jørgen Jensen; (3) Dream of the Canyon Wren (2013), a single-movement string quartet written for and performed by JACK Quartet.

    All three of these works share certain features: harmonies based in the overtone series, slowly changing polyrhythmic textures, and arch forms. Both of the string quartets are devilishly virtuosic, The Wind built solely from natural harmonics and open strings and Dream built from overlapping streams of glissandos.

    As this ever-in-motion, ever-in-flux music unfolds, the listener is slowly taken up in a series of sonic waves that usually start from almost nothing and grow to great richness (increasing in density of instrumental voices and number of concurrent pitches), while often simultaneously shifting the piece’s or movement’s general tessitura (e.g., low and soft to high and loud or high and soft to low and loud). This sort of very natural-feeling wave motion may occur once per movement or a few times per movement, often reaching a very expressive sense of ecstasy at each crest."

          "The Wind in High Places, a tripartite piece for string quartet that uses only natural harmonics and open strings—played extremely quietly—to create a still, pastoral ambience... Could any new music be more delicately sparse, more wonderfully poetic? I think not." —John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

    - Cold Blue Music.

  • Wergo kicks off 2016 brilliantly with this album from January 1.:

    Katzer Les paysages fleurissants - Elektroakustische Kompositionen album cover
    - "Georg Katzer produced his first computer composition that consisted entirely of synthetic sounds in Stockholm in 1984. In those days, programming was still truly laborious and waiting for the resulting sounds rather wearing. In the years afterwards, he built on the experience he gathered there to develop his own computer program for a self-organising composition process generating controlled aleatoric musical sequences.
    The present CD covers the period from 1976 to 2010, a period which includes Georg Katzer's composition 'Bevor Ariadne kommt' of his first electro-acoustic works up to his compositions generated by the computer program developed by him.
    The continuous examination of computer-assisted composition techniques becomes apparent in his works like a documentary report. Analogous and digital (instrumental) sounds are often mixed with noises and signals until the work of the composer in 'Steinelied 2' eventually consisted in choosing from the recorded sounds and com-posing them.
    Memories and the assimilation of historical events as well as reactions to political events often serve Katzer as basic themes for his compositions. 'Mein 1989' is about the political changes in East Germany whereas 'Bevor Ariadne kommt' focusses on the events surrounding the Prague Spring of 1968. Katzer also takes a very prominent look at the technological progress of his 'composition instrument': '"Preußisch Blau" recalls the technology of a time long past with equipment filling a room, space-consuming loops of tape and the eternal battle with background noise.'"


    - "The German composer Georg Katzer was born on 10 January 1935 in Habelschwerdt, Silesia, and studied with Rudolf Wagner-Regeny and Rutz Zechlin in East Berlin as well as at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with Karel Janáček and at the Academy of the Arts of the former German Democratic Republic as a postgraduate student of Hanns Eisler. In 1978 Katzer was elected to membership in the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin, whose artistic director he remained until 2005. In 1987 he was appointed Professor and subsequently taught a masterclass in composition at the Academy of the Arts. From 1988 to 1991 he was President of the German Section of the C.I.M.E. (International Council for Electroacoustical Music) and from 1990 to 2001 was a presiding member of the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council). In the early 1980s, he founded the Studio for Electroacoustic Music at the Akademie der Künste der DDR."

  • - "An exemplary collection of the seldom-heard works of this Spanish-born composer, and pioneer of concrete/electronic music. Resident in the UK, he established his first home studio in about 1954 – well in advance of the BBC radiophonic workshop (1958) and other independent ‘home studios’ here. Employing concrete rather than electronic techniques for the most part, he evolved a unique aesthetic. It’s a commonplace that the vocabulary and grammar of the different early tape schools was generally quite similar, but Gerhard’s was different from the start - as amply demonstrated in this fine collection. The rarity and precocity – and limited means – of these pieces make them essential listening for anyone interested in the history of electronic music, but they are also great pieces in their own right, culminating in the extraordinary ‘Lament for the Death of Bullfighter’ a setting of the great elegy to Ignacio Sanchez Mejias by Frederico Garcia Lorca, a piece made for radio in 1959, with text spoken by Stephen Murray."
    - ReR Megacorp

  • Twilight of the Dreamboats, a quintessential Smith electro-acoustic work, is an ever-evolving single gesture, a seamless blend of tones and timbres from his metal sound sculptures (instruments with such names as Bertoia 718, Que Lastas, lockheed, Mantis, Sceptre, DADO) and his homemade and hot-rodded steel guitars (Clinesmith, Emmons, Guitarzilla, Cadillac bass), performed by the composer.
    Twilight of the Dreamboats is a 25-minute CD single/EP.

    Chas Smith is a musician who has created his own unique musical world—complete with its own instruments and “language.” It is a world of expansive musical tapestries and carefully sculpted textures that evolve via a slow, constant change of aural perspective. A Los Angeles-based composer, performer, and instrument designer and builder, Smith, in the spirit of Harry Partch, creates much of his music for his own exotic instruments. His compositions, which always display his dualistic fascination with the scientific and the sensual, might owe their split personalities to the diverse collection of composers he studied with in the 1970s: Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell, James Tenney, and Harold Budd. As a performer, Smith has been heard playing both pedal steel guitar and his personally designed instruments on feature film scores by Thomas Newman, Christopher Young, Charlie Clouser, Mark Mothersbaugh, Jeff Danna, John Williams, and others. Smith’s playing has also been featured on recordings by composers Harold Budd and Rick Cox and numerous country-western bands. He has performed his own works at new music festivals and art galleries in the U.S. and Europe. His music has been recorded on the Cold Blue, Arc Light, Cantil, MCA, and Straw Dog labels. (Smith’s music appears on eight previous Cold Blue CDs.)

    "Smith’s pieces are music of experiment and discovery: a way of enabling the physical world to ‘speak’ by investigating, harnessing and organizing its sonic properties. The extraordinary sound-world of Smith’s articulately structured music captivates from the start." —International Record Review . . . . .

    - Cold Blue Music

    A few Chas Smith's inventions:

  • - "This new release by Ondine offers a unique glimpse into the flute chamber works of Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952), one of the leading contemporary composers internationally. The disc includes works covering four decades, from 1982 to 2012 performed by flutist Camilla Hoitenga. Hoitenga is joined by cellist Anssi Karttunen, Da Camera of Houston, baritonist Daniel Belcher and harpist Héloïse Dautry.
    Kaija Saariaho and Camilla Hoitenga met for the first time in 1982 and their collaboration has been active for many years. Hoitenga has partly inspired several of the compositions heard on this disc. Besides premiering flute works by Saariaho, she has championed Saariaho's flute works around the world.
    This release includes, among others, the world premiere recording of Sombre, a work originally commisioned by the Da Camera Society of Houston, Texas to be premiered at the Rothko Chapel."



    - "Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. Born in Helsinki in 1952, she studied at the Sibelius Academy there with the pioneering modernist Paavo Heininen and, with Magnus Lindberg and others, she founded the progressive ‘Ears Open’ group. She continued her studies in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber, at the Darmstadt summer courses, and, from 1982, at the IRCAM research institute in Paris – the city which has been most of the time her home ever since.

    At IRCAM, Saariaho developed techniques of computer-assisted composition and acquired fluency in working on tape and with live electronics. This experience influenced her approach to writing for orchestra, with its emphasis on the shaping of dense masses of sound in slow transformations. Significantly, her first orchestral piece, Verblendungen (1984), involves a gradual exchange of roles and character between orchestra and tape. And even the titles of her next, linked, pair of orchestral works, Du Cristal (1989) and …à la Fumée (1990) – the latter with solo alto flute and cello, and both with live electronics – suggest their preoccupation with colour and texture.

    Before coming to work at IRCAM, Saariaho learned to know the French ‘spectralist’ composers, whose techniques are based on computer analysis of the sound-spectrum. This analytical approach inspired her to develop her own method for creating harmonic structures, as well as the detailed notation using harmonics, microtonaly and detailed continuum of sound extending from pure tone to unpitched noise – all features found in one of her most frequently performed works, Graal théâtre for violin and orchestra or ensemble (1994/97).

    Later Saariaho has turned to opera, with outstanding success. L’Amour de loin, with a libretto by Amin Maalouf based on an early biography of the twelfth-century troubadour Jaufré Rudel, received widespread acclaim in its premiere production directed by Peter Sellars at the 2000 Salzburg Festival, and won the composer a prestigious Grawemeyer Award. Adriana Mater, on an original libretto by Maalouf, mixing gritty present-day reality and dreams, followed, again directed by Sellars, at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in March 2006. Emilie, an opera and monodrama for Karita Mattila had its premiere in Lyon in March 2010.

    Around the operas there have been other vocal works, notably the ravishing Château de l’âme (1996), Oltra mar (1999), and the song-cycle Quatre instants (2002). And the oratorio La Passion de Simone, portraying the life and death of the philosopher Simone Weil, formed part of Sellars’s international festival ‘New Crowned Hope’ in 2006/07. The chamber version of the oratorio was premiered by La Chambre aux echos at the Bratislava Melos Ethos Festival in 2013. . . . . ."

  • edited February 2016
    New Amsterdam news of the finest quality (= album of the year potential)

    Holographic is the new album and series of performances from Paris-born composer Daniel Wohl. The album, released on January 29, 2016, was co-produced with Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost) and features contributions from Lucky Dragons, Olga BellCaroline Shaw (Roomful of Teeth), Bang on Can All-Stars, Mantra Percussion, Mivos Quartet and Iktus Percussion. In a groundbreaking new model, Holographic was commissioned by pioneering organizations Liquid Music (of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra), MASS MoCA, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Indianapolis Museum of Art.

    • image
      - "Paris born composer DANIEL WOHL draws on his background in electronic music to create works that intimately merge electronic and acoustic elements. His distinctive hybrid format has earned him praise as one of his generation’s “imaginative and skillful creators” (New York Times) “shaping our contemporary music scene” (NPR) . His music has been commissioned and/or performed by cutting-edge ensembles and performers such as Eighth Blackbird, So Percussion, Present Music, Bang on a Can All-Stars Lisa Moore, Ashley Bathgate and Vicky Chow, Talujon, Da Capo, California E.A.R Unit, Dither, Mantra Percussion, Iktus percussion and Calder Quartet, as well as the more classically-oriented American Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Ossia Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, New York Youth Symphony, and St Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. His work has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Webster Hall, the MATA Festival, the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Ecstatic Music Festival, NordKlang (Switzerland), Mass MoCA, Dia Beacon, River to River, Gaudeamus (Amsterdam), and over media outlets such as NPR, PBS, WQXR, CANAL +, TFI and FRANCE 2. . . . ."

      New Amsterdam Records  -

      More Daniel Wohl at Emusers.

  • edited February 2016

    Yarn/Wire: Ning Yu, Laura Barger: piano; Russell Greenberg, Ian Antonio: percussion.
    Pete Swanson: EMS VCS3, Electronics and Tape.
    - "Known for his uncompromising tape and synthesizer work, Pete Swanson has pushed the limits of electronic music since the early 2000s. Since stepping down as half of formative underground duo Yellow Swans, he has subverted the genres of noise and electronic dance music as a solo artist. For Eliminated Artist, the third LP release from ISSUE Project Room’s Distributed Objects imprint, Swanson ventures into new territories with two works at the intersection of electronic and acoustic sound, created in collaboration with New York instrumental quartet Yarn/Wire. Combining electronics, tape loops, and modular synthesizer with Yarn/Wire’s unique ensemble of two pianists and two percussionists, both works were recorded live at ISSUE Project Room, initiated as part of the ensemble’s 2011 residency at the Brooklyn venue and presenting organization.

    For the title track, Eliminated Artist (2012), Swanson recorded improvised rehearsals by Yarn/Wire, from which he crafted an exacting, repeatable framework for live performance. A combination of live signal and rehearsal recordings were then constructed by Swanson into a live electronic mix, ranging from tranquil chromatic textures to unhinged distortion. Corrections (2014) emerged from a series of recorded fragments Swanson made using “the Putney”, an early EMS VCS3 modular synthesizer, at Rotterdam’s WORM studios in 2013. Over two days of rehearsal, Yarn/Wire and Swanson developed acoustic arrangements to integrate with the earlier recordings. Clattering, intricate rhythms combine with soaring synthesizer pitches and heavy percussive beats; the result is atmospheric, physical and precise."

    Issue Project Room -


    - "Yarn/Wire is a quartet of two percussionists and two pianists. This instrumental combination allows the ensemble flexibility to slip effortlessly between classics of the repertoire and modern works that continue to forge new boundaries.
    Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is admired for the energy and precision they bring to performances of today's most adventurous music. The results of their collaborative initiatives with genre-bending artists such as Two-Headed Calf, Pete Swanson, and Tristan Perich point towards the emergence of a new and lasting repertoire that is "spare and strange and very, very new."

  • "Chamber works by Iranian-born composer Reza Vali that have broken away from the European music system":

    - "Born in Iran, composer Reza Vali studied at the Conservatory of Music in Tehran, the Academy of Music in Vienna and the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. He has been a faculty member of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988. The recipient of numerous honors and commissions, including the honor prize of the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Sciences, his music has been performed by orchestras and ensembles around the U.S., including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Kronos Quartet, and Da Capo Chamber Players, among many others. His music appears on the Naxos, New Albion, MMC, Ambassador, ABC Classics, and Albany Records labels. In 2001, Vali broke away from the European music system and started composing music based on the Iranian Dastgâh/Maghâm system. To explore his goals of replacing the European equal temperament tuning system; European polyphony; European musical form; and utilizing rhythmic cycles of the Dastgâh/Maghâm system, Vali started composing a series of chamber work using the title Calligraphy. This recording contains all twelve of his Calligraphies, composed between 2000 and 2011."

    Albany Records.

    - "Carpe Diem is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical and audience acclaim for its innovative programming and electrifying performances. With programming that reflects its passions for Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music alongside the traditional string quartet repertoire, the quartet continues to rack up accolades and awards.
    For three consecutive years, Carpe Diem was the only quartet in America chosen to receive the prestigious PNC Foundation’s ArtsAlive Awards, and they have received rave reviews. . ."

  • edited March 2016

    -" Sylvain Chauveau new solo instrumental album, How To Live In Small Spaces, is out on October 2nd 2015. The album title is taken from two long pieces in the work; new versions of compositions for Christian Rizzo choreography. Reminiscent of Morton Feldman, time is suspended to the unresolved piano chords. Each one if followed by a minimal electronic piece. They were also composed for a dance performance by Cécile Loyer, recalling Sylvain's works on S. (Type 2007) and his collaboration with Stephan
    Palimpsest (Schwebung, 2012)."

    Brocoli - Emusic 

    Sylvain Chauveau
    - "has made solo records on labels such as 
    FatCatType, Les Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier, and Brocoli: very minimal compositions for acoustic instruments, electronics and vocals. His music has been played in John Peel’s show on the BBC and reviewed in The Wire, Pitchfork, Mojo, Les Inrockuptibles, Libération, The Washington Post and many others.
    One of his tracks was published on the compilation XVI Reflections on Classical Music (Decca/Universal) alongside pieces by Philip Glass, Gavin Bryars and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
    He has played live around the world (Europe, America, Asia), performed in museums and art galleries, and was artist in residence at the Villa Kujoyama (Kyoto 2011), Fundacao Serralves (Porto 2011), and Lieu Unique (Nantes 2004 and 2014).
    He runs the label Onement, whose aim is to release one-copy vinyl records and co-runs I Will Play This Song Once Again Records where musicians have to re-record their songs for each buyer.
    He has composed a piece titled You Will Leave No Mark on the Winter Snow whose duration is seven years, with extremely long silences inside. One can listen to the streaming here:
    He makes soundtracks for long feature films and dance shows.
    Sylvain Chauveau also plays with 0 (with Joël Merah and Stéphane Garin), Arca (with Joan Cambon) and On (with Steven Hess).
    He was born in 1971 in Bayonne (France) and lives in Brussels, Belgium."

  • edited March 2016
    Mode Records  -  ArkivMusic

    Gerald Eckert,

    - "born 1960 in Nuremberg, studied violoncello and conducting at Nuremberg, Mathematics at Erlangen and from 1989 to 1995 composition, first with Wilfried Jentzsch and Walter Zimmermann, then with Nicolaus A. Huber as well as electronic composition with Dirk Reith at the Folkwang-Hochschule Essen.
    He participated in additional composition courses with Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey. . . ."

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