AMN Picks General

AMN Picks of the Week

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Calibration (2007, free-form rock/fusion/psych)
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Absense Makes the Heart Grow Fungus (2008, free-form rock/fusion/psych)
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Old Money (2008, free-form rock/fusion/psych)
Bob Ravenscroft – CrossCurrents (2008, jazz)
Black Moth Super Rainbow / The Octopus Project – The House of Apples & Eyeballs (2006, modern rock / improv)
Gustavo Jobim – Piano (2005, solo piano / electronic manipulation)
The Flatlands Collective – Maatjes (2009, free jazz)
The Bad Plus – For All I Care (2009, jazz)
Matthew Shipp – Harmonic Disorder (2009, free jazz)
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Winterwood (2009, jazz)

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Merzbow – Dead Leaves
Dead Leaves title may suggest an organic, melancholy and doomy outlook but the three tracks inside are quite the opposite- with each been a great long, jittering and shifting electro noise attacks which are splattered here and there with melodic hints, rhythmic chugs and sonic chops.

Matmos – The West
This is a reissue of 98’s third album from the often abstract and odd sound obsessed electrionca duo of Matmos. With the whole album finding the pair in a surprisingly approachable, Organic and harmonic mood- with little of the ‘look how clever we are’ edge to the work that sadly permeates much of the pairs work.

Andrey Kiritchenko – Misterrious
Andrey Kiritchenko is a fairly prolific Ukrainian based musician who since 2001 has released over 20 albums- which have seen him dip his sonic toe in the genres such as: electrionca, folk, electro acoustic & drone works. Misterrious finds him offering up a collection of atmospheric often fragile yet harmonic piano pieces; that are lined with field recording elements and touches of guitar, glockenspiel, mouth harmonica, auto-harp, Tibetan bowls.

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Composers and Computers Work in Harmony at Georgia Tech

An article discusses Georgia Tech’s new computer music center.

A glove that helps you learn to play piano, a robotic marimba player that can jam with your band, a program to turn your cellphone into a portable music mixer, and an aquarium that musically accompanies the fish.

You are unlikely to encounter any of those devices at a typical music school or even an elite conservatory. But they all exist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which opened the Center for Music Technology in November. There, composers, computer programmers, and engineers are collaborating on projects to change how performers and audiences use technology to make and experience music — and perhaps to give new music a greater attraction for classically oriented ears.

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Performances Reviews

The Bad Plus in St. Louis Reviews

The Bad Plus
Image by jerrroen via Flickr

A recent show from The Bad Plus, gets some noise.

The audience present for the 8:30 p.m. Bad Plus set last evening leaned more toward curious observers than diehard fans. It was difficult to suspect the sort of crowd that would take interest in the piano, bass, and drum trio, and even harder to guess what aspect of the group appealed to whom. Some seemed to favor the band’s groove-heavy material, nodding their heads when Reid Anderson‘s limber upright-bass figures coalesced with Dave King‘s propulsive beats in a way that has drawn comparisons to the similarly marketed jazz/jam band crossover trio Medeski, Martin and Wood. Others appeared to be more moved by Ethan Iverson‘s piano work, which recalled the classical-influenced phrasing of Iverson’s peer Brad Mehldau, particularly when the group pushed into ballad territories.

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All About Jazz Reviews

Photo of Paul Bley, recording solo piano in 20...
Image via Wikipedia

From All About Jazz:

Paul Bley
Barrage (ESP Disk)
Reviewed by Lyn Horton

05-Jan-09 Alexander von Schlippenbach
Piano Solo ’77 (FMP Records)
Reviewed by Henry Smith

03-Jan-09 Avishai Cohen
Flood (Anzic Records)
Reviewed by J Hunter

03-Jan-09 Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet
Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (Hatology)
Reviewed by Troy Collins

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Stanford Lively Arts Event: Songs of Ascension

Meredith Monk and others play at Stanford.

Songs of Ascension
featuring: Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble; Todd Reynolds Quartet and Guests; Ann Hamilton, visual media; members of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble

October 18, 2008
Saturday / 8:00 pm
Memorial Auditorium

$25–60 (Adult) | $13–30 (Stanford Student)

Commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts, Songs of Ascension is the latest in a long line of major works for an ensemble of voices and instruments by MacArthur “Genius Award” recipient Meredith Monk. Fusing movement, vocalization, and imagery into an organic and powerfully communicative whole, Monk explores musical and spatial motifs that highlight rising sound and movement to convey the spiritual or otherworldly. With the architecture of a cathedral or tower as a metaphor, and historical grounding in the devotional practices and rituals that evoke ascension, Monk draws inspiration in the processionals of Buddhist stupas, Moses’ journey up the 4000 steps of Mt. Sinai, and the Tawaf around the Ka’Bah in Islam. Monk is joined by her own ensemble plus multimedia artist and fellow MacArthur honoree Ann Hamilton, a string quartet directed by the genre-weaving violinist and Ethel co-founder Todd Reynolds, and members of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.

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New World Records Releases

Telharmonium, Thaddeus Cahill, 1897.Image via Wikipedia New material from New World Records:

September 2008

Michael Byron: Dreamers of Pearl
Composer(s): Michael Byron

Michael Byron (b. 1953) was a pupil of James Tenney, and later, of Richard Teitelbaum. The body of music he has composed over the past thirty years has been harmonically rich, rhythmically detailed, and increasingly virtuosic. Dreamers of Pearl (2004–05) evinces a sensitivity for the sound of the piano, a sensibility of extended playing/listening, and an interest in repetition and change through gradual and seemingly clandestine processes that transform and extend what we hear.

Gordon Mumma: Music for Solo Piano (1960-2001)
Composer(s): Gordon Mumma

Gordon Mumma (b. 1935) is best known for his pioneering role in the development and evolution of electronic and live-electronic music. The piano has played a significant if underestimated role in his career. With a few notable exceptions, this collection by pianist Daan Vandewalle marks the first commercial recordings of Mumma’s music for solo piano composed over more than forty years. It provides an important new perspective on his work as a composer.

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