5049 Records Podcast Episode 131 – Dan Kaufman 

Source: 5049 Records.

Originally from Wisconsin, Dan Kaufman is a Brooklyn based guitarist, songwriter and journalist who has led the band Barbez since their inception in the late 90s. His music is a brilliant and thoughtful amalgamation of avant rock, Eastern European folk music and contemporary classical with a strong literary component. Their sixth album, “For Those Who Came After: Songs of Resistance From the Spanish Civil War” comes out on Important Records on October 6th, 2017. In addition to his musical output, Dan has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the New Yorker. He is currently working on a book entitled “Divide and Conquer”, that traces the dark history of Wisconsin’s transformation from a progressive state where labor unions flourished, to the modern day Conservative nightmare state.

New Focus Recordings Releases

Source: New Focus Recordings.

Longleash (violinist Pala Garcia, pianist Renate Rohlfing, cellist John Popham) is a piano trio named after a covert CIA operation during the Cold War to disseminate American avant garde art. The ensemble focuses on contemporary repertoire, and their debut recording, Passage, is a wonderfully refined and colorful survey of some of the best new piano trio repertoire of the last several years, including music by Christopher Trapani and Clara Ionnatta. The works on this release posit a new “common practice”, as composer Nils Vigeland discusses in his liner notes, — an emerging language for instrumental writing that integrates unconventional playing techniques into the fabric of composition for even the most standard of classical instrumentations.

New Morse Code (cellist Hannah Collins and percussionist Michael Compitello) is an intrepid duo with a penchant for creative programming, collaborative projects, and precise, communicative performances. Their debut release, Simplicity Itself, features works written for them by several of the most recognizable names among younger active composers, Caroline Shaw, Robert Honstein, Paul Kerekes, and Tonia Ko, as well as guest appearances by pianist Timo Andres and violinist Katie Hyun. The release has an infectious joy to it and a great shape bookended by Honstein’s pieces.