2 CD’s, 2 long slow-moving tunes, 63 & 53 mins from Australia’s The Necks. CDs mix together nicely. Repetitive piano and sidewinding bass phrases, some electroacoustic and film sample sounds. Drum machines. 88 BPM. Made me want to go out at night and repossess some vehicles. 6 minutes in, “Can I get a beer?” You’ll need one. 15 minutes, a guy gets roughed up. 37 minutes in, this lady gets thrown out a window. Ambulances wail, the crime scene photographers do their job. Let’s go on a stakeout.
Hemroid The Leader
Brooklyn’s Grant Cutler recorded musicians improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, building odd warm drones. The compositional process is guided by the dumb logic of delay, and the results are anything but. Klangfarbenmelodie colors, shifting terrain, structures constructing and desconstructing simultaneously. 8 short tunes 3-7 minutes each. We have another Cutler 12″ in the library.
Robert Moran’s music on this CD exists in two modes. Driving, rhythmic, high energy (Open Veins & 32 Crypptograms) or tragic elegy (Arias & Stimmen). The tragedy of AIDS is never far away. This “disgracefully pretty” Minimalism offers seductive critique.
Beethoven’s late quartets were written in failing health in April 1825. Considered among the greatest works of all time, Beethoven composed these in almost total deafness. In his words, B2 is his “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.”
TS Eliot wrote the Four Quartets with a copy on the turntable, saying:
I find it quite inexhaustible to study. There is a sort of heavenly or at least more than human gaiety about some of his later things which one imagines might come to oneself as the fruit of reconciliation and relief after immense suffering; I should like to get something of that into verse before I die.
Miya Masaoka was a pianist who took up the koto – a 21-string Japanese harp. The principal is jo ha kyu – prelude/breaking away/hurried. It essentially means that all actions or efforts should begin slowly, speed up, and then end swiftly. The great Noh playwright Zeami viewed it as a universal concept applying to the patterns of movement of all things. Like shakuhachi, this is meditative improvisation.
In 1993 Francis Wong was director of Asian Improv Records. He said at the time, “there has never been an Asian American exclusive form.” Hopefully we will get more from AIR, a scene that probably best correlates to AACM. Masaoka was in the process of obtaining a Master’s degree from Mills College. In her words, it was “an exciting time for the Asian American music scene. It was small, fragile, underground, and we had a mission and our bonds were strong.”
Track 7 is an Ellington tune. Track 8 features wood flute.
CD1: Summer smells / CD2: Winter smells
Pianist/composer Yelena Eckemoff recruited Finnish jazz players to record this homage to the scents of her childhood in Russia. The band is comprised of trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, drummer Olavi Louhivuori, vibraphonist Panu Savolainen and bassist Antti Lotjonen. They are a younger band, very investigative, stimulating. More IN than OUT. Eckemoff is new to our library. She gives the band a lot of room within the compositions, but they retain a strong structure.
Hammer jammin dulcimer dudes pay penance for past performances with Phish? Perhaps.
Massage your meridians. Chart new chakra-graphies.
Boulder and Berkeley connect. Track titles tell the tale. Very soothing.
Mimmo, Gianni & Sjostrom, Harri – “Live At Bauchhund Berlin 2010” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]
Out on Mimmo’s own label Amirani Contemporary, a duo of soprano sax natives Gianni Mimmo and Harri Sjostrom (ho-STROAM) performing live at Bauchhund Salonlabor in Berlin, June 4, 2010. Track 1 is a spoken intro. It was recorded on the anniversary of Steve Lacy’s passing, a fact mentioned in the intro. Lots of mouthpiece sounds. They get very into the instrument. Almost private. Track 9 features Sjostrom playing a special plastic cup.
Thomas Ades (rhymes/w Jon Faddis) b. 1971, London. 45 Year old British composer. Recorded 95&97, released 98. 5 pieces over 24 tracks. Track singly, grouped by piece, continuous- all good.
1-8 Living Toys ’93- Chamber orchestra London Sinfonettia. Extended technique, performers slap their instruments from behind. Giant extinct bull- death of HAL- lifeless gongs- Juanito’s dream of a heroic life.
9-15 Arcadiana ’94- Endellion string quartet. 7 movements. Free. Track 12- Tango mortale. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
16-19 Sonata da Caccia ’93- Hunting Sonata – Oboe, horn, and Ades on harpsichord. Baroque sound turns modern in the final 2 movements.
20-23 The origin Of The Harp ’94- Chamber ensemble work for 10 players, commissioned by the Halle Orchestra. It premiered in 1994 at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester under the baton of the composer himself.
24 Gefriolsae Me ’90 (at 19 years old) – Haunting penitent chorus.
Gefriolsae me of blodum, God haelu mine.
(“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God my saviour.”) Psalm 51
Recorded February 17th, 2014 at Cal’s Center for New Music & Audio Technologies.
Natural Artefacts cultivates a mix of live electronics, jazz, improvised, and new music. Piano, tenor sax, percussion, electronics. Never too rough.
Susanna Lindeborg-piano, electronics
Ove Johansson- tenor sax, EWI, electronics
Pers Anders Nilsson- exPressurePad, electronics
Gino Robair- percussion, electronics
Tim Perkis.- electronics (12, 13)
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto
Concerto in C Major for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 56
Rudolf Serkin, piano
Jaime Laredo, Violin
Leslie Parnas, Cello
Alexander Schneider Conducting The Marlboro Festival Orchestra
Every summer, America’s finest classical musicians gather in Marlboro, VT. This dates from 1964. The B side begins with a high-pitched recording defect which resolves just after you begin pulling your hair out. A fine record.
Beethoven/ Schumann/ Souvairan, Pierre – “Beethoven, Bagatelles – Schumann, Fantasiestucke” – [Radio Canada Internationl]
Pierre Souvairain was born in Switzerland to French parents, July 30, 1911. In 1953 he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto, and in 1959 he became a Canadian citizen.
These pieces are part of a 19th century genre of solo piano music. Beethoven’s Bagatelles, Op. 126 was his final work for piano. He called them “cycle of little pieces,” and they are tracked together on this LP. Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 was written in 1837, dedicated to Fraulein Anna Robena Laidlaw, an accomplished and attractive 18-year-old Scottish pianist with whom Schumann had become good friends. Dreamy fanciful sketches.
String trio published in 1797 when Beethoven was 27 years old. The first of four, all from his youth.
Violin – Jascha Heifetz
Viola – William Primrose
Cello – Gregor Piatigorsky
Melody, arpeggio, ornament, trill, notes jumbled up and piled on top of each other. Madly dense. Two jazz standards locate the work but propose many questions, Well You Needn’t and On Green Dolphin Street. Calarts grad. Recorded by in Brooklyn NY Nov 2015.
Beethoven / Vladimir Horowitz – “Sonata In F Minor, Op. 57 – Sonata No. 7 In D, Op. 10, No. 3” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]
Horowitz married Toscanini’s daughter. Beethoven piano sonatas. Good for the mood.
Beethoven took Viennese music publisher Anton Diabelli’s cut-n-paste waltz with one unexpected chord change and freaked it every which way, writing 33 variations. Beethoven pushes the limits of piano composition. Steven Bishop at the piano.
Korean composer Unsuk Chin (b. 1961) studied under Gyorgy Ligeti and she takes his influence somewhere very special. This CD features performances by Ensemble Contemperain, founded by Pierre Boulez in 1976. The music is colorful and textural. Tracks 1-7 track together as one work. Many silences, subtleties. Tracks 8, 9, & 10 are more recent, longer compositions. Tension, anxiety, and dread make their presences felt.
Robert Ian Winstin conducts the Kiev Orchestra and plays piano, these are all his compositions.
Taliban Dances (Tracks 1-5) is a violin concerto in the tradition of Bartok, Prokofiev, and Kreisler. Track 3 is a standout, features a slide whistle and percussion.
Three Pieces For Piano finds Winstin alone at the piano.
Normandy and Le Voyage Dans La Lune are very cinematic and percussive.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born Salzburg, Austria 1756; died Vienna, Austria, 1791.
Mozart wrote six string quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn. Here are two, played by the Budapest String Quartet using the Library of Congress’ Stradivari instruments, given to the nation by Gertrude Clarke Whitall. Great old Mono pressing from 1953.
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