Avant Music News Top 10 Posts of 2017

English: Muhal Richard Abrams, moers festival 2009

This list is an estimate of the most popular posts of 2017, based on web traffic. It does not include shares, syndicated reads, and various other measures of popularity. Note that this list is necessarily biased toward albums released in the earlier part of the year.

    1. Avant Music News Best of 2016: Part II – Albums of the Year
    2. ECM’s Early Avant-Garde Recordings
    3. AMN Reviews: John Zorn – The Garden of Earthly Delights (2017; Tzadik)
    4. More on the Death of Ana-Maria Avram
    5. Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2017
    6. Avant Music News Best of 2016: Part I – Honorable Mentions
    7. RIP Muhal Richard Abrams
    8. RIP Z’EV
    9. RIP Ana-Maria Avram
    10. AMN Reviews: Mary Halvorson Quartet – Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32 (2017; Tzadik)

JOY ON FIRE and Heterodyne at An die Musik LIVE! January 11

On January 11, 2018, An die Musik LIVE! hosts JOY ON FIRE and Heterodyne.
JOY ON FIRE formed in 2009 in Baltimore, as SuperSharpShooter. When Chris (drums) joined the band in 2013, and Anna (sax) and John (bass) moved to North Carolina, they changed the name to JOY ON FIRE and released their self-titled debut album. Now based in New Jersey, and with the release of Fire with Fire, their second album and first with PROCRASTINATION RECORDS, JoF tours from Burlington to New Orleans, with frequent stops in Maryland, both for gigs and for recording at Mobtown Studios in Baltimore, where the group is currently working on its third record, Hymn.
Heterodyne is an improvisational project; its core performers are Maria Shesiuk (synthesizers and processed vocalizations) and T. A. Zook (NS Design Omni Bass, strung as a basscello). Although it is essentially a duo, when complex schedules permit, it  performs with Patrick Whitehead on quarter-tone flügelhorn and trumpet; Bob Boilen on ARP synthesizer; Doug Kallmeyer on bass; Jerry Busher on drums; 2017 DC Jazzies’ “Best Alto Saxophone” winner Sarah Hughes on sax; Leah Gage on drums; Sam Lohman on drums; Amanda Huron on drums; and Dan Gutstein, spoken word. Links to free downloads of Heterodyne’s sessions and performances are posted at https://goo.gl/SK7Hqz ;  https://goo.gl/zM3Y2R ;  https://goo.gl/SRTZqD ; https://goo.gl/V9tbkN ; and https://goo.gl/gtMCe2 .
An die Musik LIVE! is located at 409 North Charles Street (2nd Floor) in Baltimore MD.  Doors are at 8pm and admission is $10 in advance/$13 at door/$8 full-time student with ID.

Michael Hersch’s On the Threshold of Winter in Chicago, January 18 & 20

Source: Ensemble Dal Niente.

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
2433 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL
Tickets $30 General /$20 Student

CHICAGO: Ensemble Dal Niente presents Michael Hersch’s searing masterpiece On the Threshold of Winter, a gripping meditation on death based on the harrowing final poems of the Romanian poet Martin Sorescu, written after the poet won the nobel prize and was diagnosed with liver cancer in the same year. For the third installment in the STAGED series, guest soprano Ah Young Hong joins Dal Niente to reprise her role as the monodrama’s “lone, blazing star” (The New York Times) in this searing, unflinching confrontation of the human journey.

Hersch first encountered Sorescu’s The Bridge in 2010, as he lost a friend to cancer while undergoing cancer treatment himself. He created his own libretto based around Sorescu’s verses and composed the opera around it. Hersch’s music exhibits dark, fragile textures and quietly complex seriousness. Here, he stitches together poems of pain and death into an emotionally affecting and enduring musical experience. Dal Niente’s staging will be the work’s third performance, and will include newly designed projections by Maxwell Bowman.

On the Threshold of Winter is scored for soprano and an ensemble of eight musicians playing flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, violin, cello, and percussion (including drums, chimes, crotales, cymbals, gongs, vibraphone, anvil). To find out more about the opera including a video trailer for the original production, go to http://www.thresholdopera.com/