AMN Reviews: neoN – neon [Aurora ACD5084]

acd5084-300x300This self-titled CD is the first from Norwegian new music ensemble neon. In addition to its instrumentation of violin and cello, guitar, piano, percussion, flute, clarinet, saxophone and voice, the group includes the composers Kristine Tjøgersen, Jan Martin Smørdal, and Julian Skar, who are represented here by one composition each.

Although differing in ways both subtle and pronounced, neoN’s composers do seem to share an aesthetic of understatement that tends toward an interplay of chiaroscuro, often ambiguous sound colors. The emphasis is on color and sound mass rather than melody; instrumental voices frequently coalesce into timbres that subsume their individual identities into novel aggregate timbres. There is also a tendency toward relatively low, relatively even dynamics with generous use of space.

Skar’s Kunsten å Tvile 2 is exemplary. The work highlights drones comprised of long, almost pitchless tones whose timbres slowly evolve as the drones progress. In a radical shift of mood, Skar breaks up the drones with sudden outbursts of frenetic, wordless vocals. Tjøgersen’s Trending Light 2 opens with a whisper and surges of prolonged aggregate timbres until it too is broken up, in this case by nervously tapped notes on the piano’s lower register. Smørdal’s subtly industrial My Favorite Thing 2 places short phrases on flute over a pacing, machine-simulating rhythm and drawn-out notes on clarinet.

Two pieces by outside composers complete the set. Oren Ambarchi and James Rushford’s Monocots, an episodic piece broken by abrupt stops and silences filled with the sound of water pouring, foregrounds deliberately plucked guitar arpeggios and chords stabbing through astringent planes of sound. neoN also interprets Alvin Lucier’s Two Circles for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and sine waves. Incrementally unfolding over the course of eighteen minutes, the composition’s movement comes from the gradual convergence and divergence of drones as pitches rise and fall, throwing up microtonal beats, pulses and wobbles as overtones collide and separate.

http://www.ensembleneon.no

Daniel Barbiero

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All About Jazz Reviews

Wadada Leo Smith

Source: All About Jazz.

Wadada Leo Smith
America’s National Parks (Cuneiform Records)

Yes
Yes: Tales from Topographic Oceans (Definitive Edition) (Panegyric Recordings)

Taylor Ho Bynum
Enter the Plus Tet (Firehouse 12 Records)

WorldService Project
For King & Country (RareNoiseRecords)

Jonathan Finlayson
Moving Still (Pi Recordings)

Rova Channeling Coltrane
Electric Ascension (Rogue Art)

Cortex
Live In New York (Clean Feed Records)

This Week in New York 

Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

S.E.M. ENSEMBLE
In conjunction with Paula Cooper Gallery’s major exhibition of Sol LeWitt, the S.E.M. Ensemble will perform an evening of compositions by Alvin Lucier and Petr Kotik. The concert will take place within the Gallery’s main space, where LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, with their vigorous broad strikes, are currently exhibited.
Tuesday, October 11 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 advance, $20 at door
Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, New York, NY

CURATED BY MEREDITH MONK: DAVID BEHRMAN’S REINVENTIONS
John King and Cleek Schrey join David Behrman for the first time in a performance of works by Behrman.
Thursday, October 13 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15-$25
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

CONCERT 3 | NEW [COMPLEXITY] BRITISH INVASION
Pianist Augustus Arnone performs the music of Michael Finnissy.
Thursday, October 13 at 9:00 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY

MACE (MANNES AMERICAN COMPOSERS ENSEMBLE) PERFORMS MAZZOLI AND SCHOENBERG
Founded by Mannes faculty composer Lowell Liebermann and conducted in the 2016/2017 academic year by Alan Pierson and David Fulmer, MACE (The Mannes American Composers Ensemble) will perform the music of Missy Mazzoli and Schoenberg.
Friday, October 14 at 7:30 PM
Free
Ernst C. Stiefel Concert Hall, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Taylor Ho Bynum’s Rank Sentimentalist at Freedom Works Reviewed

English: Taylor Ho Bynum, Moers Festival 2007

Source: JAZZ RIGHT NOW.

One of multi-instrumentalist and composer Taylor Ho Bynum‘s great talents is picking the right people to work together in an ensemble such as his long-standing sextet or his ambitious PlusTet. With Rank Sentimentalist, he has done it again–bringing cellist Marika Hughes, guitarist Evan Patrick (previously working under the name Evan O’Reilly, from Bynum’s first sextet lineup), bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Chad Taylor. The result was a deeply complex improvisational unit that covered vast stretches of musical territory at Freedom Works on Friday night.