23
Jul

Flux Quartet Delivers a Reference Recording of Feldman’s String Quartet No. 1

Flux Quartet Feldman's String Quartet No. 1

The FLUX Quartet have masterfully laid claim to the complete string quartets of Morton Feldman, becoming legends of new music along the way. They famously premiered the integral six-hour version of String Quartet No. 2 and later recorded it as part of Mode Records’ excellent Feldman Edition (in 1999 and 2002, respectively). It stood to reason that there would eventually be a follow up to complete the cycle, and it has arrived, well worth the wait a dozen years later.

The new release, featuring Feldman’s String Quartet No. 1 (1979) with Structures (1951) and Three Pieces for String Quartet (1954-56), presents a less daunting listening task than the earlier one, and yet there is much that is epic and unprecedented in it. The set contains the full program spread over two CDs and uninterrupted on a bonus DVD, and is accompanied by composer Linda Catlin Smith’s well-informed, expressive and illustrative essay exploring the idea of Feldman as a “speculative composer.” She has a wonderful way of describing the many exquisite sounds on this recording, and distilling her insights on the mysterious realm of this music and its creator.

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22
Jul

5 Questions to Tobias Picker (Composer)

On July 20, 2014, the Glimmerglass Festival presented the premiere of a new version of composer Tobias Picker and librettist Gene Scheer’s An American Tragedy, originally commissioned by and premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005. Nine performances in total will be presented until August 9. We asked Picker five questions…

You have said that you knew the Dreiser novel, An American Tragedy, had to be your subject when the opportunity to write an opera for the Metropolitan Opera arose. What was it about the story that made it a particularly good subject, a good pairing, for the Met’s commission?

I felt it was the greatest story for the greatest  American opera company because it goes to the heart and the heartbreak of the ‘American Dream’.  The gap between rich and poor during the Great Depression, is no less relevant today than it was just before the Great Depression when Dreiser wrote the novel. At the core of the story is a doomed love triangle with an unconventional conclusion. A poor boy from the Midwest with dreams of making a success of himself goes about it completely the wrong way in large part due to a rigid fundamentalist upbringing. He makes terrible mistakes and pays the ultimate price. An American Tragedy is the dark side of the American Dream.

Tobias Picker - Photo by Harry Heleotis

Tobias Picker – Photo by Harry Heleotis

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21
Jul

This week: concerts in New York (July 21 – July 27, 2014)

The Knights

The Knights

The Knights perform music by Gyorgy Ligeti, Bela Bartok, Sufjan Stevens, Ljova, and Igor Stravinsky.
Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 PM
Free
Historic Naumburg Bandshell, Concert Ground, Central Park, New York, NY
..:: Website

SoSI in NYC

So Percussion (photo credit: Janette Beckman)

So Percussion (photo credit: Janette Beckman)

So Percussion with guests Matmos, Kid Millions, and Brian Chase.
Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30 PM
Tickets $12
Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website

Hitomi Honda, piano

Program to include J.S. Bach English Suite No.3 in G minor (BWV 808), as well as some works by living composers, including a piece by Brian Erickson.
Wednesday, July 23 at 7 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Cliff Kerr: American Debut

Pianist/composer Cliff Kerr makes his American debut.
Wednesday, July 23 at 8:30 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Gold Bolus Recordings release party

Gold Bolus Recordings throws a release party with performances by the artists that will cover avant-opera, geographically generated vocal minimalism, chamber pop, immense drones with oboes, and more.
Saturday, July 26 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $10
JACK, 505 1/2 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website

She, After

Daniel Felsenfeld

Daniel Felsenfeld

Daniel Felsenfeld’s opera, She, After follows two famous literary characters: Nora from Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play, “A Doll’s House,” and Alice from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Only, these operas start where the traditional stories – the ones we’re familiar with – end. Nora has just left her husband, and Alice has grown old and is trapped in Wonderland. What will happen next? What will become of these women, after?
Saturday, July 26 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $25, $20 students/seniors
Scholes Street Studio, 375 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY
..:: Website
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16
Jul

5 questions to The Westerlies (New Music Brass Quartet)

Following the release of their debut album “Wish The Children Would Come On Home”, The Westerlies made their way back to the west coast from New York for the summer, and celebrated Canada Day with a performance at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. We asked 5 questions to The Westerlies.

The Westerlies

The Westerlies

How has geography influenced your music and your musical approach?

The four of us grew up in Seattle which is a very laid back, nature-oriented place. This has certainly shaped us as individuals, and in turn our music reflects the environment in an organic way. On the other hand, we all moved to New York to study music and it is a really intense city - super busy, super exciting, but chaotic. New York is essentially the opposite of Seattle, so our music comes from and is informed by these polar extremes of our living experience.

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14
Jul

This week: concerts in New York (July 14 – July 20, 2014)

SyndaKit | Elliott Sharp

SyndaKit is an algorithmic composition, an instruction set for a self-organizing system based on bird flocking, the way RNA molecules combine and reproduce, the lateral transmission of data  in African drum choirs, and the computer game “cellular automata” also known as “artificial life.”  SyndaKit creates organisms that groove in unison, that need to mutate and transform, that become static and decay.
Wednesday, July 16 at 7 PM and 9 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Stephane Ginsburgh, piano + Kurt Ralske, video

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman

The music of Morton Feldman.
Thursday, July 17 at 7 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

Jessica Meyer, violist & composer

Spectrum presents a preview of Jessica Meyer’s solo show entitled “Sounds of Being”: a surround-sound sensory experience where the music allows the listener to access a certain series of feelings framed by personal stories and anecdotes.
Thursday, July 17 at 9:30 PM
Tickets $15, $10 students/seniors
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
..:: Website

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