Source: New World Records.
STUART SAUNDERS SMITH: PALM SUNDAY
In four of the works presented here, specifically Thicket (2010), Family Portraits: Self (in 14 Stations) (1997), Palm Sunday (2012), and Among Us (2007), Smith calls upon the performer to provide the musical dynamics, articulations, and phrasing to the traditionally notated pitches and rhythmic structures he provides. This charge extends the performer’s contribution well into the realm of composition.
JOHN J. BECKER: SOUNDPIECES 1-7
Becker could be briefly summarized as a confluence of dissonance and Catholicism. He became known as one of the leading proponents of a style invented by musicologist/composer Charles Seeger (1886–1979), who had been one of Cowell’s mentors, known as dissonant counterpoint, an idiom in which the traditional rules of counterpoint were reversed to produce maximum dissonance rather than consonance.
SHIH-HUI CHEN: SILVERGRASS & OTHER ORCHESTRAL WORKS
Her earlier work is characterized by intense modernist sonorities, polyphonic layers, yearning angular melodies, and firm control of orchestral timbre and structure. It is the profound balance between her earlier modernist sensibility, with its rigorous control of polyphonic layers and structural design on the one hand, and her search for the inner self with materials distinctly different from Western tradition, that marks her accomplishment as a 21st-century composer.