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.
- Olivia Block (waywardmusic.blogspot.com)
- Morton Subotnik (waywardmusic.blogspot.com)
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
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
- Post Reich (classicaldrone.blogspot.com)
- Ethos Percussion (netnewmusic.net)
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