This isn’t “classical music.” It’s the work of Harry Partch, an influential American avant-garde composer known for his unique instruments and tuning systems. This week, his music will be performed at San Diego State University’s NWEAMOElectronic Arts and Music Festival. The concert will be the first time in roughly 25 years that Partch’s instruments and ensemble have appeared on campus.
Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.
I went almost all-Braxton-all-the-time this week, catching up with the first bootleg series available from the Tricentric Foundation.
Ross Hammond – Adored (2012)
Witxes – Winter Light Burns (2012) Anthony Braxton – Quartet (Bremen) 1975
Anthony Braxton – Quartet (Graz) 1976
Anthony Braxton – Orchestra (Paris) 1978
Anthony Braxton – Duo (Verona) 1989
Anthony Braxton – Solo (Brussels) 1985
Anthony Braxton – Solo (Austin) 1978
Anthony Braxton – Orchestra (Pisa) 1980
counter)induction (Sunday) This distinctively named new-music ensemble focuses on the intersection of words — both audible and unspoken — and music, performing Schoenberg’s “Ode to Napoleon” (with the guest narrator Paula Robison), Nono’s “Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima” and Helmut Lachenmann’s “dal Niente.” At 6 p.m., Teatro of the Italian Academy, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, at 117th Street, Morningside Heights, (212) 854-2306, counterinduction.com; free. (Steve Smith)
Barbara Hannigan (Monday) A superb, stylish soprano closely associated with the avant-garde, Ms. Hannigan demonstrates something of her range in a pairing of Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 and Chausson’s “Chanson Perpetuelle,” with a striking team of collaborators that includes the cellist Anssi Karttunen and the pianist Pedja Muzijevic. At 7:30 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com; $20 in advance or $25 at the door. (Smith)
Making Music: Kaija Saariaho (Monday) Carnegie’s Hall’s Making Music programs feature music by and conversations with a selected composer. The next one presents Ms. Saariaho, the acclaimed Finnish composer who has lived in Paris since 1982, in the program “Voix, Espace” (Voice, Space). All of the works involve the combination of voices from the Solistes XXI ensemble and electronic sounds. Visualizations by the video artist Jean-Baptiste Barrière will highlight the palpably visual overtones and colors of Ms. Saariaho’s sensual music. At 6 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $30. (Tommasini)
Ursula Oppens and the JACK Quartet (Sunday) The fine pianist Ms. Oppens, long a champion of new music, joins the virtuosic young JACK Quartet, also vigorous promoters of contemporary fare, for Nancarrow’s “Two Canons for Ursula” and String Quartet No. 3, as well as two works by Charles Wuorinen: his “Oros” (in its New York premiere) and Piano Quintet. At 7:30 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com; $20. (Schweitzer)
John Teske is a Seattle-based composer and instrumentalist. His most recent release, Wheel, features multi-faceted compositions for the double bass alone and accompanied by one other instrument.
The suite Five Pieces for Double Bass, performed by the composer, opens the release and provides it with its center of gravity. Arranged as five separate tracks, the suite brings out different sides of the instrument’s character. It begins with sustained notes drawn from the bass’s middle register, colored with microtonal variations. Continuing in the middle range, the sound moves to a chromatic pizzicato that opens out to a lyrical arco tinged with a slight melancholy. The suite ends with a kind of essay on the lowest string, an E string detuned to D, played with different bow articulations giving way to harmonics. The harmonics create a microtonal effect, in a sense bringing the suite back around to the beginning.
The remaining tracks include one more piece for solo double bass followed by duo settings with cello, clarinet and another double bass. The duet for clarinet and bass employs percussive and extended techniques for both instruments, while Phrala, for two basses, is a pulsing piece whose minor thirds and seconds gives it a vaguely Middle Eastern flavor.
All in all a nice take on contemporary chamber music.
Ethan Iverson-Sam Newsome Duo (Friday) Sam Newsome has lately made a specialty out of the soprano saxophone solo recital, working with original material as well as music by the titan of that format, Steve Lacy. He teams up here with Mr. Iverson, the pianist in the Bad Plus and a serious student of jazz history; their rapport is sure to make knowing allusion to Lacy’s work with the pianist Mal Waldron. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 989-9319, corneliastreetcafe.com; $25 cover, includes one drink. (Chinen)
Ingrid Laubrock Orchestra (Wednesday) Ingrid Laubrock is a tenor and soprano saxophonist of experimental temperament, and during her relatively brief time in New York she has rallied many partners to her cause. In this ensemble she gathers a select handful of them: the guitarist Mary Halvorson, the pianist Kris Davis, the trumpeter Shane Endsley, the accordionist Ted Reichman, the cellist Chris Hoffman, the bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Tom Rainey. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village, thestonenyc.com; $10 cover. (Chinen)
Greg Ward’s Phonic Juggernaut (Thursday) “Phonic Juggernaut” (Thirsty Ear) is the potent new album by Mr. Ward, a versatile and enterprising alto saxophonist from Chicago; it’s also the name of this flexible band, with Joe Sanders on bass and Damion Reid on drums. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street, at Spring Street, South Village, (212) 242-1063, jazzgallery.org; $15 cover, or $10 for members in the first set; $10 cover, or $5 for members in the second set. (Chinen)
ARCANA “Emerald” MCD (45th Cycle)
THE FLOATING WORLD “The Apparition” CD (44th Cycle)
PETER BJÄRGÖ & GUSTAF HILDEBRAND “Out Of The Darkling Light, Into The Bright Shadow” CD (43rd Cycle)
GUSTAF HILDEBRAND “Heliopause” CD (42nd Cycle)