Posted by Caitlin Smith »
One of the most pleasing aspects of listening to solo string repertoire, from Bach to Bartók, is its intimacy—one can be alone in a quiet room with only the performer and composer. Absent other distractions, one becomes aware of every detail of the small sounds an instrument and its performer make in the process of producing the sounds notated on the page. This experience is aptly demonstrated by a new recording from Kim Kashkashian, Kurtág/Ligeti: Music for Viola. Kashkashian is an experienced performer, who has soloed with many orchestras, including Chicago, Cleveland, Berlin, Milan, London, Tokyo and Vienna, has been recorded eight albums for ECM, and teaches at the New England Conservatory. Music for Viola is a release of elemental music from a performer who displays the utmost confidence and attention to detail.
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Posted by Thomas Deneuville »
I am really excited to announce a new feature on this blog: a video series. Inspired by the amazing French blog/webzine La Blogothèque, I’ve decided to start hanging out with new music peeps and bring my Nikon along. We will talk about music, New York City, cats, #OWS, etc. and always record a live performance.
The first hang out took place on Dec. 1st at the Masters and Pelavin Gallery where Janus Trio was performing part of a concert series curated by Ron Tucker. Great people, great place, great music by Cameron Britt (at 5:08), and everything in full HD 1080p.
Who would you like to see featured next? Post a comment below, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+…
Thomas Deneuville, the founder and editor of I Care if You Listen, is a French-born composer living in NY. Follow him on Twitter: @tonalfreak
Posted by Thomas Deneuville »
Amanda Baker, Beth Meyers, and Nuiko Wadden.
Janus, “named after janus, the Roman god whose double-faced image peers into the past and future”, is a Brooklyn based ensemble formed in 2002 featuring Amanda Baker on flutes, Beth Meyers on viola, and Nuiko Wadden on harp.
Around the time the CD came out (November) I had seen a bunch of posts on Twitter and Facebook but I didn’t have any time to investigate and give it a listen. Fail.
Getting Janus’s debut CD “i am not”, last week, felt like bringing the sheep back inside the sheepfold before the first snow. A first listening brought up names like The Books or some toy miniaturists like Klimperei, or Pierre Bastien (notably on am not (Blank): II. am). By the next listen (on headphones) I could really enjoy the depth and the personality in Janus’s music.
In nine tracks by various composers (Caleb Burhans, Jason Treuting, etc.), Janus weaves a highly evocative tapestry of sounds and words, from shyly festive moods (Under the rug) to troubled reminiscences (Beware of).
I am usually very suspicious of electronics in chamber music (more about this later), but I am glad to admit that they are integrated with great taste and quite organically (Drawings for Meyoko). They add a vibrant emotional layer on a music that already carries a lot.
Some might argue that certain themes are too obvious, but I see spontaneity and a touching simplicity.
I could say more but I’d rather let your make your own mind by listening to some excerpts here.
Have a warm winter with Janus…