Whether by design or by accident, the three Scott Wollschleger compositions performed on the trio Bearthoven’s American Dream album capture, in their spare beauty, the pervasive sense of uncertainty and disorientation so characteristic of recent years. This may not simply be something imagined: Wollschleger himself sees them as expressing an often contradictory set of emotions—“doom, optimism, hopelessness, and the sublime.” Perhaps as a result, the collection is pervaded by an elegiac, haunted atmosphere, an impression conveyed by the fragmentary and understated nature of much of the music and made explicit by the title of the final work in the trilogy: We See Things That Are Not There.
Gas Station Canon Song, the opening piece for solo piano, captures this mood in a concise manner. It’s a short work made up of brief phrases, dissonances that sound like stumbled-upon “mistakes,” and an artfully halting pace. Hearing Karl Larson’s performance is like listening to someone reaching for a memory that won’t quite crystallize. The five-movement American Dream for the full Bearthoven trio of Larson, double bassist Pat Swoboda and percussionist Matt Evans continues and expands on the atmosphere established by Gas Station Canon Song. American Dream is very much an ensemble piece of collective sound rather than a work with sharply defined figure and ground relationships; it frequently features instrumental combinations of novel colors, such as when piano and percussion fuse to mimic the sound of a toy piano. The final track, We See Things Are Not There for piano, vibraphone, and crotale, is in mood a fitting complement to the opening track and serves to bookend the collection nicely.
Source: In On the Corner.
Human Feel – Gold (Intakt Records)
Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance Records)
Layale Chaker & Sarafand – Inner Rhyme (In A Circle Records)
Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow & Bobby Previte – You Don’t Know The Life (Rarenoise Records)
Greg Ward – Stomping Off From Greenwood (Greenleaf Records)
Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.
Miller Theatre’s Pop-Up Concerts continue with Either/Or performing the music of Richard Carrick.
Tuesday, January 29 at 6:00 PM
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY
NICK DUNSTON: ATLANTIC EXTRACTION/THE FLOOR IS LAVA!
Bassist and composer Nick Dunston will give the first concert of his year-long Van Lier Fellowship at Roulette featuring Atlantic Extraction, a newly formed quintet, and the world premiere of The Floor is Lava!. The composition, written for five double basses, embodies its childhood game namesake, indulging imagination, obsession, devotion, and playfulness while reflecting Dunston’s high regard for asymmetry and extremity.
Wednesday, January 30 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
COMPOSERS NOW FESTIVAL OPENING EVENT
Hosted by Founding Artistic Director Tania León, the concert features performances of music by Balinese musician/composer Gusti Nyoman Darta, emerging composers Yusei Hata and Yuri Lee, composer Laura Kaminsky, composer/performer Joseph Keckler, composer/pianist Major Scurlock, and percussionist/composer Samuel Torres. The fourth annual Composers Now Visionary Awards will be presented to composers Laura Kaminskyand T.J. Anderson.
Thursday, January 31 at 7:00 PM
The National Opera Center, Marc A. Scorca Hall, 330 7th Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY
URSULA OPPENS 75TH BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE
Ursula Oppens performs solo piano works written for her by Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, and Tobias Picker (world premiere). The program also includes Ravel’s String Quartet performed by the Cassatt String Quartet.
Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 PM
Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY
Source: Taran’s Free Jazz Hour.
This episode features Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake, Muriel Grossman, Ivo Perelman, Devin Gray, Ingrid Jensen, and others.
Source: Relative Pitch Records.
James Brandon Lewis
An UnRuly Manifesto
In The Action
Tomeka Reid/Filippo Monico
Guillermo Gregorio/Brandon Lopez