Review of Miranda Cuckson and Blair McMillen in New York

Russian and Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke, ...

Source: The New York Times.

The violinist Miranda Cuckson and the pianist Blair McMillen, two brilliant artists who play together frequently, performed two of the three works on their just-released ECM album: the second sonata by Bartok (from 1923) and Schnittke’s second sonata (1968).

In place of Lutoslawski’s Partita, the other piece on the recording, they each played a solo work by important American composers who are, Mr. McMillen said, much missed. He performed “Album Leaves,” a set of inventive, charming piano pieces from 2002 by Steven Stucky, who died in February. Ms. Cuckson played Elliott Carter’s “Four Lauds,” musical tributes to colleagues by this modern master, who died in 2012.

AMN Reviews: Jockel Liess – Fluid Variations (2016; Resterecords)

Jockel Liess focuses on video and sound installations for galleries and festivals, thus his works often have no clearly defined beginning or end. He calls one of his composition techniques “live generative,” in that he is able to improvise within structures of computer-generated sounds. Drawing on the self-similar nature of fractals, these indeterminate pieces are intended to enhance the experience of a viewer who passes through or lingers within such an installation – in a sense, the listener becomes a co-composer as he or she chooses to move or stay put.

In some cases, the audio from a sound installation does not hold up well on its own. Some can be overly-repetitive, focusing on the ambiance of a physical space. This is not the case, however, with Liess’s Fluid Variations.  A single-track, eighteen-minute piece, this “EP” constantly evolves. A stereo recording from a quadraphonic installation, Fluid Variations provides shifting drones in the foreground, and bassy string and brass underpinnings in the background. The overall feel is dark and foreboding, with several layered voices combining to evoke a dark soundscape.

A strong release, and sure to please fans of active ambient music.

A Closer Listen Reviews

Source: A Closer Listen.

Lasse-Marc Riek ~ One Hour As Trees In Finland
Jim Perkins & Tom Gaisford ~ Byrds
Tape Loop Orchestra ~ Go Straight Towards The Light Of All That You Love
William Ryan Fritch ~ New Words for Old Wounds/Clean War
Skadedyr ~ Culturen
Oiseaux-Tempête ~ Unworks and Rarities
Shimmering Moods: Sapphirine Phlant ~ Until The Light Takes Us / Ian Martin ~ Notations of the Form
Eighth Blackbird ~ Hand Eye

NMASS (New Media Art & Sound Summit) in Austin, Texas in June

Source: NMASS (New Media Art & Sound Summit).

COTFG presents: New Media Art & Sound Summit 2016
June 22nd – June 26th, 2016
At Salvage Vanguard Theater (2803 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722)
4-day event including sound art, performances, workshops

NMASS2016 includes performers & projects such as:

Tarana, I Speak Machine, Sound Cycle, GABI, Dana Lyn + Kyle Sanna + Alon Ilsar, Sarah Hennies, Stine Janvin Motland, Graham Lambkin, Dusking, Peter Stopschinksi’s Massacre of Spring, Bardo:Basho, Atop, Cameron Shafii, Alex Keller, Spencer Dobbs + Robin Kathleen Williams, Montopolis, Aqualude, Jen Hill, Cory Allen, Francois Minaux + Laura Brackney, Corey Dargel + Steve Parker, Alien Knife Fight, ERC, BOHM, More Eaze, Troller, Star Cycle, Mongoose, LSJ, ECCS, Dieter Giesler + Randy Reynolds, Dope Dungeon, Concord and more TBA

A Birthday of the Darmstadt Avant-Garde

Source: The New York Times.

To honor the 70th birthday of the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, a three-day festival was held this week at Roulette, in Brooklyn, featuring music of or influenced by the course. The event, presented by the Goethe Institute and the Darmstadt International Music Institute, built on the foundation of the longstanding, valuable series Darmstadt: Classics of the Avant Garde, established by the composers Zach Layton and Nick Hallett. The final concert, on Wednesday, featured the Talea Ensemble and the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in a program that sprawled over three hours, a serving size as uncompromising as the music itself.