New & Notable Classical Albums



    New Thread Quartet, an “adventurous, rule-breaking” (NewMusicBox) saxophone quartet, releases their debut album “Plastic Facts" highlighting works written for them that explore the intricacies of extended techniques and the unique sound worlds available to this ensemble, underpinned by the quartet’s virtuosic ensemble playing. . . . .

     . . .Plastic Facts (Les Sons Multiples) is inspired by an architectural idea of what the architect Le Corbusier, whose studio Xenakis incidentally worked in for many years, called “plastic facts,” or basic architectural necessities, such as doors, windows and walls. He saw these as constraints to work with, and as a challenge to see both how they could be worked with and how they could be made new. The “plastic fact” of this piece is multiphonics, appearing in almost every moment of the work. At various times, Anthony Gatto uses multiphonics for their harmonic content, their ability to be disruptive, to create screaming ensemble chords, or as an unsteady support to a melodic line. Being presented in such varied contexts, the “fact” of multiphonics never appears the same way twice, continually inventing new facts of how multiphonics can be used toward expressive ends. . . .
    - New Focus Recordings
    New Thread Quartet
  • edited April 2019
    Released April 26, 2019

    Rand Steiger 
  • edited April 2019
    - Featuring Beth Gibbons of Portishead:

    Domino is proud to present Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) performed by Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. The performance took place at The National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw on November 29th 2014. In advance of the concert, Beth Gibbons undertook an intense preparation process, including tackling the challenge of learning the original text (and the emotional weight it carries) without speaking the mother language.

    - Wow !
  • edited April 2019
    Here's a brand new Bandcamp list:

    With the most fascinating Alvin Curran release:

    Canti Illuminati

    released February 27, 2019
    . . . . Canti Illuminati, composed and recorded between 1973 and 1977, stands as one of the great documents from the golden era of Curran's singular brand of creative radicalism - combining a deep sense of social and political consciousness, with creative humanism and visionary compositional ideas. Blume Editions is proud to present the first ever vinyl reissue of this seminal master-stoke by one of the most important composers working today. . . . .

  • edited May 2019

    Justin Wright - Music for Staying Warm

    First Terrace Records is thrilled to announce that Justin Wright - the Montreal cellist & composer hand-picked for support duties by luminaries such as Colin Stetson, Hauschka, Bing & Ruth, and the late great Jóhann Jóhannsson - is gliding calmly into the spotlight with his debut long player.
    With an assembled quartet of violin, viola, cello and double bass, the record was tracked in Rolston Hall at the Banff Centre, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and carries in its sound the location’s stately beauty.
    Over the duration of Music For Staying Warm, nine experimental compositions and improvisations are unwound for the listeners pleasure, each with its own gentle patience, as Justin invites you to “relinquish your sense of anticipation” and enjoy the drift.
    Announcing itself like sunshine on frost, Harmonic Loops opens the record and begins to thaw the path ahead. Throughout the album, woollen strings swell at their unforced pace and combine to swaddle the brain’s pleasure sensors in frequent moments of pure hygge.
    These beautiful sounds have been mastered by Lawrence English (Room 40)

    - In Justin’s own words:
    "Music For Staying Warm began when I was tasked with writing and performing a set of string works for a relaxation room at a chaotic all-night event in the heart of Montreal winter. It was a cold winter, and for me, a cold year, and when a cat curled up at my feet in the middle of performing these works, I felt like I was doing something right. After gradually developing these ideas many months after the first performances, I recorded most of this album during a residency at the Banff centre for the Arts, coinciding with a surprise visit from my long-time collaborator Kate Maloney. 

    What all of these tracks have in common, aside from being limited to string instruments, is an intention for you to relinquish your sense of anticipation. Conceptually, they were heavily inspired by particular styles of Ethiopian music such as the tizita, which often lacks any resolving cadences to leave you with it’s trademark evocation of longing without resolution. 

    So I guess there is a certain amount of irony in the name Music for Staying Warm. Drone III definitely isn’t warm. But refuge is just as often acceptance of where you are as it is an escape, and I hope that, whatever I was thinking when I wrote this music, you are able to contextualise it in your own life and find your own meaning."

    Justin Wright

    -  is a cellist and composer who strives to push the boundaries of new classical and experimental indie music, and to erase the lines between synthetic and acoustic sounds. A prolific collaborator in countless Montreal-based musical projects, Justin has established himself as one of the city’s most innovative and versatile cellists, performing in classical concert halls and underground loft venues alike. A former molecular biology researcher, Justin takes an exploratory and experimental approach to creating music, integrating composition, production, and recording into a single process, and fostering an environment where mistakes and spontaneity are embraced as integral tools for creation.

    - Emusic - First Terrace Records

    ETA: Fractured Air interview:

  • edited June 2019
    Seattle Symphony
    Ludovic Morlot, Music Director 
    with the generous support of Leslie and Dale Chihuly 

    The New York Philharmonic 
    Jaap Van Zweden, Music Director 
    John Luther Adams’ Become Desert is a remarkable expansion on the ideas he developed for his Pulitzer-winning (and Grammy-winning) work Become Ocean. While not necessarily a “sequel” in the literal sense, the recording certainly shares multiple elements with its predecessor — including, most significantly, the renewal of Adams’ creative partnership with conductor Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony. 
    In his 2018 essay for the New York Times, Adams prepares us for listening to Become Desert with a map, of sorts, to help us find the state of “swimming in light” that the music is meant to convey. Along the way, “You begin to feel that this music you had thought was suspended in time is slowly leading you somewhere, pulling you somewhere. It continues upward, rising with inevitable force, like the wind or the light.”

  • edited June 2019
    Music in the Barns is a Canadian ensemble directed by violist Carol Gimbel highlighting the new chamber music community in Canada. Their debut album includes works by Rose Bolton, Scott Godin, and Michael Oesterle that are demonstrative of an aesthetic openness that is characteristic of the current Canadian new music scene. . . .

    - New Focus Recordings
    TAK Ensemble
    With works by Tyshawn Sorey, Erin Gee, Natacha Diels, David Bird,
    Ann Cleare, and Ashkan Behzadi
  • Rogelio Sosa – Eclíptica

    The tracks that make up Ecliptica were produced from improvisations made with a guitar pedal modular matrix -connected by a closed circuit – that generates and processes feedback signals. The sounds resulting from this feedback system find their root in complex signals of chaotic behavior. The improvisational and compositional mediation with this instrument consists of running small parametric variations that trigger new arborescences of a continuous energy flow that seems to have an organic, autonomous life and in constant mutation.

    The twelve themes that make up this double album were recorded in the same number of days and are organized in two separate sections: The first, inspired by scenes of necromancy and shamanic trance, while the second alludes to ritual practices that exalt/praise the celestial order. Thus the title of the album and the succession of the pieces seek to place the listener in a programmatic context that invites him/her to enter a nonexistent mythology, inspired by syncretic mysticism and the cyclic nature of certain forces and invisible energies.

    We can find some indirect references in the work of contemporary composers and sound artists as: Karlheinz Stockhausen (Some of his electronic pieces), Eliane Radigue, Else Marie Pade, Kevin Drumm, David Maranha, Thanos Chrysakis,  or Toshimaru Nakamura.

    Rogelio Sosa – Various media, electronics, guitar, voice

    - Is an experimental musician and sound artist. He is also an active promoter of new music and sound art in Mexico.

    His work include live performances, sound installations and electroacoustic compositions.

    By using a wide range of sound sources, electronic media and kinetic devices, his work explores sound morphology, improvisation, the intensification of the acoustic space and  performativity.

    He studied at the Ateliers UPIC and the IRCAM in Paris. He pursued a masters  degree at the Paris 8 University. His work has been presented in more than 40 cities of the  world. His music is published by Substrata, Sub Rosa, Bocian, Important and Mode Records.

    He lives in Mexico City since 2004 and he is director of the Experimental Music Festival Aural and member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores since 2012.

    His latest installations have been shown at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo MUAC-UNAM (Reverberaciones, 2017 and EES, 2016); Bethanien Museum Berlin (Zwischen Grenzen, 2016); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (Sonoplastia and LeStiBi, 2015) and the Centro Cultural de España (Sustain, 2017), Laboratorio de Arte Alameda (Entre Límites, 2016), and Museo de Arte Moderno (Bosque Sonoro, 2016) in Mexico City.

    Sosa has been awarded by the National Fund for the Arts, FONCA (Mexico) in six occasions, and has received important prizes and distinctions such as SCRIME  Electroacoustic Music Prize (Bordeaux, France, 2000); the IMEB Electroacoustic Music  Contest (Bourges, France, 2001), the Nuevas Resonancias Award (Mexico, 2001), the  Russolo Electroacoustic Music Contest (Varese, Italy, 2002) and the EAR Electroacoustic  Music Contest (Budapest, Hungary, 2003) and the Visiones Sonoras Prize (Mexico, 2008).  In 2000 he was awarded the National Youth Award for the Arts in Mexico.
    Substrata - Band Camp - 
  • An interesting list, with Oren Ambarchi, Alvin Curran, John Luther Adams etc. . . .
  • edited July 2019
    Michel Banabila - Uprooted
    Peter Hollo: cello, Alex Haas: synths & electronics, Gareth Davis: bass clarinet.
    Oene van Geel viola & stroh violin, Stijn Hüwels: guitar & electronics,
    Gulli Gudmundsson: el.bass, double bass & ebow,
    Michel Banabila: midi instruments, sampling, electronics.
    “Orchestral.” The word’s an adjective, certainly, an unambiguous one. It depicts amassed instruments working in synchrony according to a fixed document prepared in advance.

    But what if “orchestral” were uprooted? What if “orchestral” referred to what we heard, not how it was recorded? What if “orchestral” welcomed electronic instruments not just into the pit, but into the compositional process?

    For that is the sound of Michel Banabila’s Uprooted, this album of beautiful, striated, patient music — patient on the surface, deep with turmoil underfoot. When bass clarinet and harmonium rise above a misty string section halfway through “Breathe,” that’s orchestral. When woodwinds trill and pulse against piano on “Dragonfly,” that’s orchestral. . . .

    I almost forgot about this album. This is certainly Banabila at his very best !

  • edited July 2019
    Michael Gordon with the drama button turned all the way up:

    Mikaela Bennett, Acquanetta 
    Amelia Watkins, Brainy Woman 
    Eliza Bagg, Ape 
    Matt Boehler, Director 
    Timur, Doctor 

    Courtney Orlando, violin 
    Caleb Burhans, violin and viola 
    Ashley Bathgate, cello 
    Taylor Levine, electric guitar and bass 
    Greg Chudzik, double and electric bass 
    Red Wierenga, keyboard and electronics 
     - An homage to the campy and spine-chilling horror films of the 1940s, the stage version of Acquanetta combines theater, opera and film to explore the world of a real-life B-movie star with a mysterious past. Known for her exotic beauty, Acquanetta—aka Mildred Davenport—was the star of such cult films as Captive Wild Woman, Jungle Woman, The Sword of Monte Cristo and Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, before she disappeared from public life. . . . 

    - Cantaloupe Music.

    Acquanetta—aka Mildred Davenport

    SummerScape Theater: Acquanetta Interview

  • edited August 2019
    The Pieces That Fall to Earth is the long-awaited CD from Brooklyn-based composer Christopher Cerrone and Wild Up, LA’s leading new music ensemble, to be released Friday, July 26.  
    Conducted by Wild Up’s Artistic Director, Christopher Rountree, The Pieces That Fall to Earth comprises three vocal cycles: the title work, with soprano Lindsay Kesselman; The Naomi Songs, sung by vocalist Theo Bleckmann; and The Branch Will Not Break, with a chorus of eight singers. The album was recorded and produced by Nick Tipp.  
    More than three years in the making, The Pieces That Fall to Earth grew out of Cerrone’s musical friendships with these exceptional Los Angeles- and New York-based artists.
    - New Amsterdam
    Christopher Cerrone at Emusers here, here, herehere and here
    Wild Up at Emusers
  • edited August 2019
    Live at Albertina, Vienna, 29.5.2019
    Hermann Nitsch's music is played by the Koehne Quartett:
    Joanna Lewis – first violin
    Anne Harvey-Nagl – second violin
    Lena Fankhauser – viola
    Mara Achleitner – violoncello
    - Trost Records
    Hermann Nitsch
    Hermann Nitsch does not write his music in regular musical notation, but divides the individual movements into time segments of one minute duration and precisely defines sound events, durations, dynamics and actions with words or signs. His instructions are e.g.: deep sound, whole tone cluster, D minor, F major or noise.
  • edited August 2019

    yMusic - .​.​.​which enables us to fly

    Track 1: We Carry Our Homes Within Us
    Composed by: Marcos Balter
    Track 2: Which Enables Us To Fly (documentary)
    Directed by Meade Bernard
    Produced by Nadia Sirota and yMusic
    yMusic is:
    Rob Moose, violin, voice
    Nadia Sirota, viola, voice
    Gabriel Cabezas, cello, voice
    Hideaki Aomori, clarinet
    Alex Sopp, flute, voice
    CJ Camerieri, trumpet, voice
    About Marcos Balter:
    Praised by The Chicago Tribune as "minutely crafted" and "utterly lovely," The New York Times as "whimsical" and "surreal," and The Washington Post as "dark and deeply poetic," the music of composer Marcos Balter (b.1974, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is at once emotionally visceral and intellectually complex, primarily rooted in experimental manipulations of timbre and hyper-dramatization of live performance.
  • edited August 2019
    “How to begin? No beginning... never ending reverberation,” Antoine Beuger writes in the accompanying notes to Leo Svirsky’s River Without Banks. Dedicated to his first piano teacher Irena Orlov, River Without Banks is a mesmerizing, emotional collection of pieces that are simultaneously complex and fluid. The title River Without Banks comes from a chapter of musicologist Genrikh “Henry” Orlov’s profound work Tree of Music. In said chapter, Orlov traces the history of sacred music from the Western and Eastern tradition and how the forms (of the chant, raga etc.) sought to eliminate the division between the physical and the spiritual--the bank and the river.

    Arranged for two pianos with accompaniment from strings, trumpet, and electronics, this is Svirsky’s first piece to approach the history of the piano and the possibilities of the recording studio, and his deepest dive yet into exploring the instability of listening and its transformation of musical semantics and affect. Like Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project, Svirsky overlays romantic musical gestures to create a lush unfamiliarity. No sooner than each track begins the next moment unfurls beneath it, cascading time and blurring perception of past and present.

    Akin to a multidimensional Rzewski thematic interpretation, Svirsky’s music defies genre-classification or classical ideology while its virtuosity clearly stems from somewhere from within disciplined traditions. Continuously revisiting, revising, and renewing its emotional core, River Without Banks is less an album of songs than songs of a singular, unlocatable album. Performed by the composer with assistance from Britton Powell, Max Eilbacher, Leila Bordreuil, Tim Byrnes, and recorded by Al Carlson.

    Unseen Worlds

    Leo Svirsky is an American born composer, pianist, and accordionist living in The Hague. Svirsky received a masters in Composition from the Royal Conservatoire studying under Cornelis de Bondt, Martijn Padding, and Antoine Beuger. Svirsky’s works reference Shona Mbira music, ambient, The Necks, Julius Eastman, among others. He has released music on labels such as Catch Wave Ltd., Another Timbre, Emanem, Ehse and Unsounds, and shared billings with such artists as Laraaji and James Blackshaw.

  • delugEON is Maya Beiser’s 12th solo album and the debut album on her newly launched label, Islandia Music Records.

    Recorded during a period of 7 days in Hudson Hall, New York, delugEON breaks away from the sterile studio environment, utilizing numerous sets of microphones situated in various positions throughout the space. This concept allowed for various facets of the natural acoustics to suffuse the sound of Maya’s cello with a reverberant, ethereal voice. The entire album was recorded without the use of any artificial or digital sound manipulation.

    About the concept of delugEON Maya writes:

    “I have always thought of making music as an act of mining. Somewhere deep, there is a vein of music. It is the observer that makes it cohere into a certain shape. The music is discovered as it is being created. It becomes a direction.
    Like many, I have been preoccupied in recent years with the impending ecological disaster unfolding in front of our eyes. I have been thinking of seasons, and water, and the accelerated extinction of helpless species. Bound to a decaying world, it is easy to become despondent and helpless. But thankfully, the music is not subjugated to the folly of man; it belongs to the universe".

    The concept for delugEON began with arctic icebergs and the dark rhythms created by the sound of their near-continuous melting. As she listened to these sounds, Maya imagined the layers of her singing cello, being permeated by the sounds of a vanishing natural world. In "slow seasons" she juxtaposed multi-cello layers of each of the slow movements from Vivaldi’s "four seasons" with sounds of melting icebergs (winter), desert dunes (summer), oceanic winds (autumn) and the winds on Mars – as recorded by NASA (spring).

    delugEON is music that is elegiac but not hopeless. The heart of the album is in fact the heart itself: Maya’s actual heartbeat, recorded as a pulsating drumbeat to the music of Beethoven. Maya explains: "I used a retrofitted stethoscope to record my heartbeat as I was playing the piece. when we layered my heartbeat track on top of the music, it seemed like it had always been there, hidden within Beethoven’s eternal arpeggios."

    As we hear the sounds of Maya’s breathing emerging within the layers of her soaring multi-cello recreation of Olivier Messiaen’s "water", we are reminded that in ancient Greek the word psyche means “the breath of life,” and is synonymous with the soul. And we understand that this music is not a requiem for the human race in one of its darkest periods, but proof of an inextinguishable human spirit. And, if our path sometimes seems dark, don’t despair; this is music to help light the way.

  • edited September 2019
    SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) releases its 28th volume of works by its member composers, representing the newest trends and ideas in electroacoustic music, and using instruments as traditional as the saxophone and as obscure as candles and Nintendo Wii remotes alongside all manner of electronic sounds. . . .
    - released August 23, 2019


    Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: August 2019

  • edited October 2019
    - In 2019, to mark the 90th anniversary of his birth, Transversales Disques is very glad to announce the release of « Photophonie » unpublished archives, spanning 1973-1992, revelatory collection of commercial, `commission and secret music by electroacoustic music pioneer Luc Ferrari.

    - « Photophonie » (1989) / Music for the photographic exhibition of Alain Willaume.
    - « Il était une fois » (1973) / Commissioned by the G.M.E.B.
    - « Trans-Voices » (1992) / Curated by the American Center, Paris.
    - « Tu m'écoutes » - (1975).
    - Transversales Disques, September 20, 2019.

    « Affiliated with French Radio’s Groupe de Musique Concrète, co-founder of the GRM with Pierre Schaeffer in 1958 Luc Ferrari (1929-2005) major figure of musique concrète and electroacoustic music broke away to pave his own path of individualistic expressions of minimalist music, musical theatre, field recordings, orchestral music and soundtracks…»
  • From 1978 and just released by Finders Keepers:

    Recognised as a mystical withdrawn masterpiece created by Irish electroacoustic pioneer Roger Doyle, the album Thalia's short-lived existence on CBS Classics was deemed a commercial failure in the eyes of blinkered major label suits but would further cement Doyle's contemporary concrète credentials - paving the way for a multi-disciplinary genre-bending career at the forefront of independent Irish music and earning him a coveted spot on the indispensable Nurse With Wound List. With only 200 copies rumoured to have survived the CBS cull, Thalia has become an elusive and highly sought-after feather in the caps of collectors of both outsider electronics and avant-garde tape manipulation, and has long since been respected as one of the most important records in either field to emerge from the Emerald Isle.
    - Released September 19, 2019

    This album is also available from Roger Doyle's Bandcamp page together with this album from 1975, But with track 5 missing:

    This manifesto of outsider orchestrations, teenage symphonies and cultivated concrete is the debut album of experimental Irish avant garde and electro acoustic innovator Roger Doyle. A pianist, composer and improvisational jazz drummer with a penchant for experimentation that would marginalise him from traditional seats of learning in his native homeland but embrace him to the bosom of Europe’s leading forward-thinking research centres for electronic and computer music. Here he would piece together two highly sought after experimental albums before returning home to channel his multi-disciplinary work ethic into the agit pop theatrical company Operating Theatre and play a leading role in the burgeoning Irish new wave scene as an early signing to U2’s Mother Records.

    Roger Doyle
    After leaving school Roger Doyle attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music for 3 years studying composing, during which time he was awarded 2 composition scholarships. ‘I am a composer’, he thought. His works ‘4 Sketches’ and ‘All the Rage’ won respectively second and first prizes in the Dublin Symphony Orchestra’s composition competition, receiving performances when Roger was in his early 20s. Around this time he was also teaching piano (composing ‘6 Pieces for Pupils who Don’t Like Exams’), and being a drummer in jazz/rock and experimental improvisation groups.
    He hung up his drumsticks when he was awarded a Dutch Government Scholarship to study electronic music at the Institute of Sonology, then in Utrecht. By saving his scholarship living expenses money Roger financed and came back from Holland with his first LP under his arm OIZZO NO (1975), a mixture of acoustic and electronic pieces. A further scholarship took him to the Finnish Radio Experimental Music Studio for a year. CBS Records released a second LP THALIA in 1978. A third LP was released in 1981 on the London United Dairies label RAPID EYE MOVEMENTS, his ‘masterpiece before the age of 30’
    Since then Roger has worked extensively in theatre, film and dance in particular with the music-theatre company Operating Theatre which he co-founded with actress Olwen Fouere. Operating Theatre released singles with CBS and Mother Records in the 80s – the latter produced by Bono of U2 – and also mounted many theatre productions integrating music as an equal partner. In his 30s he worked in many styles, allowing the influences of pop music to filter through. He was one of the first people in Ireland to work on a Fairlight Computer Music Instrument. . .
    Geographic North, september 6, 2019

    Clarice Jensen
    -is a composer and cellist based in Brooklyn, NYC. As a versatile collaborator, Jensen has recorded and performed with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stars of the Lid, Owen Pallett, Max Richter and numerous others. As the artistic director of ACME (the American Contemporary Music Ensemble), brought to life some of the most cherished works of modern classical music, including pieces by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Dustin O’Halloran, and more.

    Jensen now follows her debut album 'For This From That Will Be Filled' with 'Drone Studies,' highlighting Jensen’s improvisational prowess, venturing even deeper into the meditative mire but with more organic, naturally expressive air.

  • At around 4:40pm on March 25, 1911, a scrap bin caught fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, near Washington Square in New York City. Within minutes, all three floors that the factory occupied were ablaze, most of the young, immigrant workforce still inside. Heat from the fire quickly melted not only the elevator cables, but also the external fire escape. The factory doors were locked to keep the workers from taking unauthorized breaks. With no other way out, many of the workers jumped out the windows to the pavement eight, nine, or ten stories below. They did not survive the landing. By the time the fire was extinguished half an hour later, 146 people were dead.
    These horrific events were the inspiration for Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, an hour-long oratorio for orchestra, high chorus, and children’s chorus that was premiered this past January by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia-based choral ensemble The Crossing, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, all conducted by Jaap van Zweden. Now, those same forces have come together to issue a recording of this monumental work on the Decca Gold label. . . .

    - National Sawdust

  • David T. Little’s newest release on New Amsterdam features the world premiere recording of AGENCY for string quartet and electronics, which The New York Times calls “forthright, visceral, bloody, with the intimacy and polish of a classical chamber ensemble but bulging with the loud, reverberant sweatiness of rock.” Performed by “contemporary music dynamos” (NPR) American Contemporary Music Ensemble—with special guests, the Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion, Andrew McKenna Lee (The Knells), and Julian Day—AGENCY is a journey into the nature of truth, rooted in the tension between ancient faith-based cultures and modern information-based societies. Using the language and tactics of espionage, AGENCY is riddled with secret messages, ciphers, and redactions. A companion to 2014’s Haunt of Last Nightfall, AGENCY illuminates our need to find truth, while suggesting that the truth might be unknowable, delivering a powerful message for a troubled time.
  • edited November 2019
    Six long years have passed since Pierre-Yves Macé's last album on John Zorn's prestigious Composer Series.

    In the meantime, the talented composer has been working hard and has gained eminence in the world of contemporary music. He has produced works for Ensemble Intercontemporain (founded by Pierre Boulez), the Paris Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and has collaborated with directors Joris Lacoste and Sylvain Creuzevault on ambitious works mixing theatre and opera.

    Much to our surprise, he returned to his first love—the studio—a few weeks before the birth of his son, which resulted in a series of highly contrasted yet straightforward tracks. Here, Macé deploys an abundance of forms and sounds: a detuned piano triptych, a Bertolt Brecht sound archive, abrasive electronics, some melancholic ambient escapades, an elegant cello solo, a miniature for bass and celesta flute, or funeral melodies for trélombarde, a peculiar instrument from Brittany.

    With this very personal record, Pierre-Yves Macé pushes further his exploration of "disturbing strangeness".

    Brocoli, November 8 2019

  • edited January 2020

    Meara O'riley - Hockets for Two Voices (EP)
    In just over ten minutes of recorded music, Los Angeles-based composer, artist, and instrument designer Meara O’Reilly can communicate a daunting breadth of creative possibility. That’s no mean feat in today’s soundbite-obsessive world, but it’s part of what makes Hockets for Two Voices such an unusual and compelling addition to the hypermodern canon of new music.

    Hocketing refers to the practice of splitting a melody across multiple parts, often in very surprising ways. While the form dates back to the vocal music of medieval Europe, it’s also found in indigenous folk practices from all over the world.

    For O’Reilly, who grew up in a household filled with classical music, but who was drawn to the study of musical cognition and perception, her pursuit of hocketing is a natural extension of her interests. . . .
    - Cantaloupe Music, October 25, 2019
    Meara O'Reilly

    ETA: Bandcamp Feature, January 15, 2020

    Composer Meara O’Reilly Brings Hockets Into the Future

  • edited December 2019
    Composition: Michael Vincent Waller
    Piano: R. Andrew Lee
    Vibraphone: William Winant 
    In essence, the sound of the piano comes in two parts: its attack and its decay. The striking of a hammer is followed by the resonance of a string or strings. (Much the same might be said about the vibraphone, as it happens.) This dual quality of sound comes to mind when listening to Moments by New York-based composer Michael Vincent Waller. Performed by pianist R. Andrew Lee and vibraphonist William Winant, Moments − his third album, following Trajectories (Recital, 2017) and The South Shore (XI, 2015) − draws on Western classical music tradition in its most archetypal forms through its use of modal melodies, triadic harmonies and metered rhythms. Yet the emotional heart of the music is not in attack, but resonance. The afterlife of sounds. . . .

    Michael Vincent Waller

  • edited December 2019

    The opera‘s music is based on the opening phrases of the revolutionary song «Varshavyanka» but stratches them out in time almost 100 times. The temporal transformation of the song reveals various harmonic and melodic metamorphoses that become «nutritional material» for the chorus, soloists and live electronic music. Thus arises a hermetic, self-referential construction that feeds on itself.

    - Dmitri Kourliandski

    Dmitri Kourliandski

    Russian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and vocal works that have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America.

    Mr. Kourliandski studied flute with Daniil Kharkeyevich at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow from 1991–95, where he later studied composition with Leonid Bobylev from 1997–2002 and had postgraduate studies with him from 2002–06. . . .

  • edited January 2020

    The great fame of Antonino Riccardo Luciani, a musician and composer from Palermo, is due above all to his work for television and to one in particular, namely the music for the Almanacco del giorno dopo (Almanac of the Coming Day), a famous program that has been broadcast on the first channel of RAI - Italian Television for over twenty years. Chanson Balladée, this is the title, is for many people an indelible memory of a television now disappeared and radically changed, for which Luciani has often composed wonderful themes and soundtracks of great value as Tecnica di un colpo di stato (Technique of a coup d'état). Agonia della civiltà (Agony of Civilization), on the other hand, is part of his more experimental and abstract works, such as Inchiesta sul mondo (Inquiry Into the World) or Desol, and reveals the less accommodating side of the Sicilian composer, at work with tense atmospheres, hammering percussions, Musique concrète, magnificent orchestrations and bitter reflections on society. Originally released in 1972, the album is paradoxically more relevant in these complicated times. Titles such as Esodo di popolazioni (Exodus of Populations), Catastrofe sociale (Social Disaster), Disfacimento ecologico (Ecological Decay), Metropoli in agonia (Metropolis in Agony) o Dramma dell’evoluzione (Drama of Evolution) foretold our future almost fifty years in advance, accompanied by timeless music.
    This compilation aims to provide a concise, but varied, overview of Luciani's most groundbreaking musical experiments that were made available to us via a host of production music labels in the 1970s. Needless to say these original records are rare and have obviously never been intended for commercial release until Finders Keepers/Dead Cert's recent collaborative work with "Tony" Luciani himself. With individual tracks begging instant comparison to our previous solo release Sounds Of The City by Maria Teresa Luciani (complete with all matter of mind-melting tape loops and resampled pre-synth applications) and other tracks embodying stark small group orchestral tension amidst primitive electric drum box percussion, this album serves a multifarious toolkit portfolio of all of A. R. Luciani's most introspective, intimate, individualistic and uninhabited solo studio experiments . . . .
    - Luciani is new to me and could very well become one of my most significant finds this year.
  • edited January 2020
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