The Best New Ambient Music on Bandcamp: March 2019 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from February 15 through March 15, including a serene vocal-centric album that hits particularly close to home, and one which samples the sounds of merging black holes.

AMN Reviews: Post-Haste Reed Duo – Donut Robot! [Bandcamp]; Lori Freedman – Excess [Dame cqb 1923]

The technical innovations of the past sixty or so years have given instrumentalists and composers a vast and diverse set of resources to draw on in creating new music both written and performed. Just how vast and diverse is something best seen in the context of music for solo performers or very small ensembles. Two releases for reeds–one for reed duo and one for soloist–provide good examples.

Donut Robot! is the second release from the Post-Haste Reed Duo, the Portland, Oregon duo of saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoonist Javier Rodriguez. Both are instructors—Fredenburg teaches saxophone at Portland State University, while Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the Lionel Hampton School of Music at Idaho State University—as well as performers; they’re also dedicated to presenting new music for their instruments. In fact, all of the pieces on Donut Robot! were commissioned or inspired by the Post-Haste Duo. The album opens with the title track, Ruby Fulton’s lively, contrapuntal sound portrait of mechanical processes cycling through smooth function and complete breakdown. Drew Baker’s First Light, for bassoon and soprano saxophone, is a spatial work that has the two instrumentalists standing in close proximity while playing parts separated by microtones. The piece develops as a thick-textured, slowly descending pattern of oscillating tones that take on the quality of the falsetto human voice; the closely-spaced pitches effectively fuse into something approaching pure timbre. Michael Johanson’s Soundscapes was partly inspired by a residency the composer spent in Noepoli in Basilicata. The three-movement work begins with lively, intertwining lines for both instruments; moves to a slow, wintry section notable for its use of multiphonics; and culminates in a quick-paced movement built on unison rhythms in changing time signatures. Snapshots, a shorter, four-movement composition by Takuma Itoh, contains an eclectic mix of extended techniques, chance-derived orchestration of repeating figures in overlapping pulses, and a very concise homage to Charlie Parker at the finale. Donut Robot! also contains Edward J. Hines’ Hommage: Saygun et Bartok en Turquie 1936, a piece that draws on his engagement of Middle Eastern musical traditions, and Andrea Reinkemeyer’s movingly austere, hymn-inspired In the Speaking Silence, a piece dedicated to the memory of the composer’s mother.

In contrast to Donut Robot!, which cleaves to a mean between technical experimentation and more conventional modes of playing, Lori Freedman’s Excess furnishes exactly what its title promises: a program of music for bass and contrabass clarinets that pushes instrumentalism to its outer edges. Freedman, originally from Toronto but now based in Montreal, is known as an improviser as well as a composer and performer of new work; it is in this latter capacity that she appears on Excess, some of whose works were written for her. Each embodies the notion of excess in its own way, whether in the quick shifts over extremes of register and dynamics of Brian Ferneyhough’s Time and Motion Study I (1977), or in the expressive excess of Richard Barrett’s Interference (2000) for contrabass clarinet, voice and kick drum. In opening the recording with the confrontational sounds of Interference, Freedman seems to throw down a challenge to the listener to stay with the recording and hear her out. Persistence will be rewarded. Paul Steenhuisen’s 2015 composition Library of Fire, for bass clarinet, was composed for Freedman and alludes directly to her skills as an improviser: the piece was created out of transcriptions of some of her recorded improvised performances. The growls, shrieks and half-articulated, half-breathy sounds of Paolo Perezzani’s Thymos (2014), for contrabass clarinet capture the emotional immediacy and drive of the ancient Greek concept of the thumos, that human faculty thought to be responsible for prodding a person to take up a challenge and grapple with it in a spirited way. As to Freedman’s challenge to the listener, this virtuoso set shows it to be something worth meeting.

Daniel Barbiero

This Week in New York


Wet Ink Ensemble celebrates 20 years of music making in NYC and around the world with a concert celebrating the work of the ensemble’s four composer members—Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Kate Soper, and Eric Wubbels. The concert will feature a retrospective look at “classics” of Wet Ink‘s repertoire, including Alex Mincek’s From Nowhere to Nowhere and Kate Soper’s Door, and new sounds including Sam Pluta’s binary/momentary iii for solo cello featuring Mariel Roberts and the world premiere of a new work for Wet Ink‘s core septet of composer-performers by Eric Wubbels.
Monday, April 1 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Violinist Rebecca Fischer makes her Pop-Up debut with a girl-power program of solo violin works by seven contemporary composers, two of which were written expressly for her. Music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Lisa Bielawa, Paola Prestini, Jessie Montgomery, Shih-Hui Chen, Missy Mazzoli, and Suzanne Farrin will be performed.
Tuesday, April 2 at 6:00 PM
Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY

RighteousGIRLS, a piano and flute duo who explore beyond the acoustic medium, expand their sonic world with a program that highlights immersive multi-track layering, field recordings, improvisation, and electronica.
Tuesday, April 2 at 7:00 PM
Metropolis Ensemble, 1 Rivington Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY

IFCA and Hypercube join forces to present the music of Iranian female composers. The program includes three commissions for Hypercube along with works by IFCA founding members. Inspired by the poetry of the well known Iranian female poet, Forough Farrokhzad (1934–1967), Another Birth is the second full concert curated by IFCA.
Wednesday, April 3 at 8:00 PM
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Paola Prestini’s weeklong residency at The Stone continues with Francesca de Pasquale, Ian Rosenbaum, Jonah Sirota, and Jeffrey Zeigler performing works by Prestini and Andy Akiho.
Wednesday, April 3 at 8:30 PM
The Stone, The New School Glass Box Theatre, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Paola Prestini’s weeklong residency at The Stone continues with Eve Gigliotti, Gyan Riley, Jeffrey Zeigler, Os Vocal Ensemble performing works by Prestini and Eve O’Donnell.
Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 PM
The Stone, The New School Glass Box Theatre, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Marianne Schroeder performs Galina Ustvolskaya’s 12 preludes and piano sonatas 1 – 6 as part of the Blank Forms series.
Friday, April 5 at 8:00 PM
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 346 West 20th Street, New York, NY

Paola Prestini’s weeklong residency at The Stone continues with Rebecca Fischer performing works by Prestini and Matthew Fuerst.
Friday, April 5 at 8:30 PM
The Stone, The New School Glass Box Theatre, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Kettle Corn New Music presents piano duo HereNowHear in a concert of premieres by Loren Loiacono, Emily Cooley, and Walter Zimmermann, with George Crumb’s Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos Book IV) completing the evening.
Saturday, April 6 at 7:00 PM
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY

Paola Prestini’s weeklong residency at The Stone concludes with the Nelson Patton duo performing works by Prestini and Nelson Patton.
Saturday, April 6 at 8:30 PM
The Stone, The New School Glass Box Theatre, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY

Freq Reviews

Source: Freq.

Damo Suzuki and Paul Woods – I Am Damo Suzuki

Ni – Pantophobie

Maja SK Ratkje – Sult

W/V – W/V

Liles / Maniac – Darkening Ligne Claire

Machinefabriek With Anne Bakker – Short Scenes

Das Rad – Das Rad / Beck Hunters – Has It Been Found?

PFM (live at ULU )

Catherine Sikora and Brian Chase Tour Ireland This Week

Source: The Journal of Music.


Irish Tour
Wed 3rd April: The Spirit Store, Dundalk. 8pm €12

Thurs 4th April: Sonic Lab, Queens Uni, Belfast. 1.00pm free

Thurs 4th April: The Sofa Sessions at The Hole in the Wall, Kilkenny. 8:30pm free

Fri 5th April: Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh. 8pm. €12

Sat 6th April: Visual Carlow. 8pm €12/ €10

The Fumbally Stables, Dublin 8
Sunday 7th April
Tickets: 18 a/v from

Following on from their superb performance last year as part of the Spectrum festival, Note are very happy to present the powerful duo of Irish saxophonist Catherine Sikora and acclaimed American drummer Brian Chase (best known as a member of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) with their Irish tour of their new album untitled: after (Chaikin Records).

This is a pairing of two distinguished voices working at the forefront of modern experimental music. Collectively they have performed with luminaries such as John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Coleman, and Eric Mingus, among more.