Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

three from Thessaloniki

Organized Music From Thessaloniki, Kostis Kilymis’ new-ish label out of his native Greece, has picked up the pace in its release schedule, here contributing three distinctive and listenable discs in a year that’s thus far been packed with gems. Experimental music is not without its share of notable Greek musicians, but for whatever reason […]

Jozef van Wissem – A Priori (Incunabulum)

Lutanist Jozef van Wissem has been productive of late, releasing a strong series of solo discs – along with a standout partnership with Tetuzi Akiyama – in the handsome black sleeves he favors on his Incunabulum imprint. So when I received the glossy white A Priori, I was more intrigued than usual. The spaciousness […]

Art Hodes – Up in Volly’s Room

Art Hodes has long had home at Delmark. Despite recording for a variety of other imprints over his lifetime, it’s the Chicago label that continues to keep the departed pianist’s candle lit by keeping the highest percentage of his albums in print. Case in point, this 1972 jam session recently re-minted from its first 1992 […]

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Finding Places for Electronica, the Sacred and the Inner Child

The New York Times reviews some recent classical releases:

“The Economic Engine” (2008) is an idiosyncratic four-movement dialogue between antiquity and modernity, and its charm is in the blend, clash and interplay of Asian and Western timbres, gestures and textures. The Chinese instruments usually sing in their native accents (without using traditional themes) but stretch toward Western styles too, and at times the two sound worlds are juxtaposed: a keening erhu line is supported by a vibrato-rich violin.

A different kind of dialogue animates “Hammer and Hair” (2007), a 20-minute fantasy for violin and piano. Here the tensions involve modernist timbral effects (though not electronic ones), an updated Classicism (a fugal section, for example) and a freewheeling jazz style that takes over the violin and piano lines at different times. The violinist Todd Reynolds and the pianist Kathleen Supové, comfortable in all these styles, move seamlessly through the colorful episodes.

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Ojai Music Festival

This fest takes place next month outside of Los Angeles, and features, among many others, The Eighth Blackbird and Tin Hat. Some scheduled performances are below.


PART I – 4:00 pm
Steve Reich: Double Sextet
Stravinsky: Songs
Lee Hyla: We Speak Etruscan
Victor Ekimovskij: Kites Flying
Taverner: In Nomine
Pete Rose: Tall P

PART II – 5:30pm
Stephen Hartke: Meanwhile
Steven Mackey: Heavy Light
Lisa Bielawa: Kafka Songs
John Cage: Construction No. 3

PART III – 7:00pm
David Rakowski: Selected Piano Etudes
Hartke: Oh Them Rats is Mean in My Kitchen
Nathan Davis/Trimpin: Sounder
Louis Andriessen: Workers Union

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Free Jazz Blog Reviews

Image of Nate Wooley from Facebook
Image of Nate Wooley

From Free Jazz:

Saturday, May 16, 2009
Transit – Quadrologues (Clean Feed, 2009) *****

Thursday, May 14, 2009
Dennis González & João Paulo – Duo (Clean Feed, 2009) ****½

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Mary Halvorson, Reuben Radding, Nate Wooley – Crackleknob (Hatology, 2009) ****

Monday, May 11, 2009
Anthony Braxton & Kyle Brenders – Toronto (Duets) 2007 (Barnyard Records, 2009) ****

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Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble – Compositions of Shifting Identity

From the Times:

The composer and conductor Petr Kotik presided over a varied program of rugged, demanding contemporary works at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday evening. And perhaps inadvertently, he also demonstrated how porous new-music groups are these days. The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, an expansion of a chamber group Mr. Kotik founded in 1970, shared the bill with the Ostravska Banda, which he started in 2005. But the rosters in the program book showed that nearly everyone in the S.E.M. group was also in the Ostravska Banda, which is slightly larger.

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NYC Musical Saw Festival

Music played on saws? Apparently so at the upcoming NYC Musical Saw Festival.

When: Saturday, July 18th, 2009, 2pm
Where: Trinity Church, 31-18 37th Street (37th Street at 31st Avenue), Astoria, NY

NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as an ensemble instrument in contemporary, jazz, pop, world-music/new-age music, with participation of a string quartet, soprano singer, percussion, bass and a handbell choir.

* World premier of 5 new compositions for the musical saw by composers Scott R. Munson and Eyal Bat, commissioned for the Musical Saw Festival.

* A musical saw art exhibit

* Solos by saw players from around the world

* The ‘Chorus of the Saws’ (all participating musical saw players playing together, accompanied by church organ and piano) – attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Musical Saw Ensemble’. The current world record (set in Poland last year) is 27 musical saw players playing together.

* Musical saw workshop