Recent Releases From New World Records

Source: New World Records.

Starting with his music of the 1960s and early 1970s, with works such as For 1, 2 or 3 People (1964), the Prose Collection (1968–71), and Changing the System (1974), Christian Wolff (b. 1934) quietly re-invented chamber music. He created music in which the activities of the performers— timing, cueing, assembling and selecting materials—were foregrounded. Although to some extent these activities were always a part of classical music, Wolff opened them up for creative decision-making by the musicians themselves.

Tom Johnson (b. 1939) is a key figure in the contemporary music scene whose voice as a composer is instantly recognizable. A major champion of minimalism in the 1970s as a writer, he remains one of its most important adherents as a composer, although the word ‘minimalist’ does not cover everything that his music does. The characteristic elements of repetition and sparse material are there, but his extensive use of mathematics and, especially, counting, makes him unique. Johnson relies on more than counting, using algorithms, combinatorics, juggling, and tiling techniques, among other things. Johnson is as radical as Eliane Radigue or Phill Niblock, but he is also interested in sounds that can be enjoyed in the moment, and in this sense, he is a true heir of Feldman, who was one of his teachers.