Friday: Locrian Plays JLA

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John Luther Adams

Locrian Chamber Players’s mission is clear: they play the very newest contemporary classical fare: selections must have been written in the last decade to be programmed. This time out, the focus is on the music of John Luther Adams, including his setting of the late Alaskan poet John Haines’s “Cosmic Dust,” performed by the group’s regular vocalist, mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (Anonymous Four, Ekmeles), and the New York premiere of the string quartet “untouched” (2015). “Fortunate Ones,” by the group’s director, David MacDonald, will receive its world premiere. The program also includes music by Adrienne Albert, Aaron Alter, Caroline Mallonee, and Andrew Lovett. As is Locrian’s custom, you will find out more about these composers, but only if you stick around: program notes aren’t distributed until the end of the show.

Event:

Friday, August 25 at 8PM
10th Floor Performance Space, Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive,
New York, NY 10027
(212) 870-6700

The concert is free. A reception will follow.

 

Program:

John Luther Adams- Untouched***
John Luther Adams- Cosmic Dust Poem
Adrienne Albert- Daydreams***
Aaron Alter- Introspective Blues No. 1***
Caroline Mallonee- Clock It***
Andrew Lovett- Fortune’s Will
David Macdonald- Fortunate Ones*

* World Premiere ** U.S. Premiere *** New York Premiere

Performers:
Anna Elashvili and Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Miranda Sielaff, viola; Greg
Hesselink, cello; Andrew Rehrig, flute; Emily Wong, piano; Jacqueline
Kerrod, harp; Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano

 

RIP John Abercrombie (1944-2017

 

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The extraordinary jazz guitarist John Abercrombie, has died at the age of 72. A player equally comfortable in acoustic and electric settings and in the roles of leader and accompanist, Abercrombie played in a variety of styles, encompassing free jazz, fusion, and standards. He was a consummately versatile, tasteful, and imaginative musician.

A large body of his work was recorded, from 1974, by ECM Records. His last release, Up and Coming,  playing in his regular quartet with Marc Copland, Joey Baron, Drew Gress,  was released earlier this year by the label. Other prominent collaborations include his Gateway trio recordings with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, duo recordings with fellow guitarist Ralph Towner, and his appearance on Charles Lloyd’s recording “The Water is Wide.”

August 22: Noteworthy Music on YouTube

Video of the Telegraph Quartet in a fantastic performance of one of my favorite pieces by Anton Webern.

LCD Soundsystem just couldn’t stay broken up…

The National’s new album, Sleep Well Beast, is out September 8th.

Carson Cooman has another volume of organ works out now on Divine Art.

Man Forever’s Play What They Want is out now on Thrill Jockey.

Last weekend in Tanglewood, we saw the Nashville Symphony’s conductor Giancarlo Guerrero beat the Boston Symphony in a thrilling version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. 

Kiasmos’s Blurred EP will be out in October on Erased Tapes.

Sad I missed Quatuor Bozzini’s August New York performances (Tanglewood two-body problem), but was glad to be kept up to speed by Steve Smith in the Log Journal.

Tanglewood FCM 2017 Highlights (Pt. 1)

Nathan Davis, “The Sand Reckoner.”
Photo: Hilary Scott.
  • This year’s Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood (in Lenox, Massachusetts) was curated by three youngish stars of the new music community: pianist Jacob Greenberg (ICE), cellist Kathryn Bates (Del Sol Quartet), and violist Nadia Sirota (Q2, ACME). Each planned a chamber music concert, consisting of commissioned new works and contemporary repertory selections. The curators combined forces with the BSO in selecting pieces for the festival’s finale, an orchestra concert conducted by Stefan Asbury and Vinay Parameswaran.
  • Commissioned works included vocal pieces by Nathan Davis and Anthony Cheung, a string quartet (with copious use of water-filled glasses and glass bowls) by Kui Dong, and Clip, a chamber ensemble work by Nico Muhly (for which I contributed program notes). These showed a diversity of musical approaches. Davis and Cheung took postmodern textual compiling as the jumping off point for stylistically varied and technically demanding singing. Dong revelled in glassine textures, both in the strings and with the water glasses themselves, while Muhly presented one of his most rhythmically intricate works to date, in places extending the language of post-minimalism towards the polyrhythms of late modernity.
George Lewis with the performers of “Anthem.”
Photo: Hilary Scott.
  • A standout on the concert curated by Greenberg on Thursday, August 10th was Columbia University professor George Lewis’s first appearance at Tanglewood (at age 65). Noteworthy for his work with AACM and a catalogue of compositions encompassing facets of concert music, jazz, improvisation, and electronics, Lewis was represented by Anthem, a 2012 piece originally written for Wet Ink Ensemble. At Tanglewood, Wet Ink’s vocalist Katie Soper, herself a prominent and creative composer, delivered a supersonic performance of a part written in Sprechstimme to Lewis’s own text about TV talking heads and subversive political commentary. Teddy Poll conducted, Greenberg contributed electronics, and the rest of the players, to a person impressive, were mostly guest musicians from ICE. Imaginatively scored and surpassingly energetic, Anthem was a rousing closer to FCM’s first evening.
Fromm Players perform
Johnston’s String Quartet No. 4, “Amazing Grace.”
Photo: Hilary Scott.
  • Friday afternoon featured a program of string quartets curated by Bates. A detailed and fine-tuned performance of Ben Johnston’s microtonal Fourth String Quartet by the Fromm Players (for which I was fortunate to contribute program notes) loomed large, but Bates introduced other fine pieces to Tanglewood audiences as well.
  • Croatoan II for string quartet and percussion by Moritz Eggert, supplied the proceedings with a welcome dose of humor, treating the mystery of a disappearing colony of early American settlers with more whimsy than tragedy. Percussionist Tyler Flynt, using what Bates described as a “suitcase’s worth” of hand percussion instruments, made the quick changes both in tempo and instruments seem effortless. Rene Orth’s Stripped (2015), a piece written in memory of the trumpeter Alex Greene, her Curtis classmate, began with noise-based sound effects and traversed an imaginative pathway to soaring harmonics. Although it didn’t quite gel in the Tanglewood performance, Terry Riley’s G Song is an attractive deployment of all manner of scalar patterns and jazzy cadence-points (look for Del Sol Quartet’s next CD to hear it more authoritatively rendered).
Eggert’s “Croatoan II.”
Photo: Hilary Scott.
  • Violinist Cameron Daly and cellist Chava Appiah performed Lei Liang’s Gobi Canticle, a piece that incorporates material and techniques from Mongolian string music. Liang visited the Nei Monggol region in 1996 to learn more about its music-making. This is deftly demonstrated in Gobi Canticle, which is at turns gently lyrical and boldly dramatic in cast.
  • I was most pleased to be introduced to the work of Jack Body (1944-2015), the recently departed New Zealand composer whose works synthesize ethnomusicology and composition. The wonderfully fleet and attractive Flurry (2002), in a version for three string quartets, opened Friday’s concert. Led by Bates, this all-too-brief work was immediately encored. One was glad to have the chance to hear it again and, unlike some encores, the performance was just as strong the second time around.
Kathryn Bates leads three string quartets in a performance of
Jack Body’s “Flurry.”
Photo: Hilary Scott.
  • Later this week I will be writing more about FCM, as well as the BSO concerts that coincided with the festival. The article will appear on both my blog and Sequenza 21.

Save

Elliot Root – “Stay” (YouTube audio)

Eliot
Photo: Matthew Simmons

Elliot Root’s debut album Conjure is out August 25th via E.R./Thirty Tigers. Check out a YouTube audio stream of the lead off single “Stay,” and mark your calendar for one of the tour dates, below.

ELLIOT ROOT on TOUR
* with Rainbow Kitten Surprise

August 11

Boulder, CO

Non-Comm Radio Summit
August 25

Clinton, MS

Red Brick Roads Street Festival
September 2

Nashville, TN

Live on the Green
September 16

Bristol, TN

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival
September 29

Aspen, CO

Wheeler Opera House
October 1

Memphis, TN

1884 Lounge*
October 2

Jackson, MS

Duling Hall*
October 4

Baton Rouge, LA

Varsity Theatre*
October 5

New Orleans, LA

Tipitina’s Uptown*
October 10

Tulsa, OK

The Vanguard*
October 11

Lawrence, KS

Granada Theatre*
October 12

Columbia, MO

Blue Note*
October 17

Pensacola, FL

Vinyl Music Hall*
October 19

Tuscaloosa, AL

Druid City Music Hall*
October 20

Knoxville, TN

The Concourse at the International*

Friday: Bandcamp Supports Trans Rights

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Today (Friday August 4, 2017), Bandcamp supports Trans rights with 100% of their proceed to the Transgender Law Center. There is a list of participating labels on their homepage, or you can just dig out your BC wishlist and get to shopping!

The Dream Syndicate: “Glide”

The Dream Syndicate - by Chris Sikich

The Dream Syndicate. Photo: Chris Sikich.


How Did I Find Myself Here?,  The Dream Syndicate’s first LP since 1988 will be released via Anti on September 8th.

 

THE DREAM SYNDICATE – 2017 TOURING SCHEDULE:

Sept 29 Portland, OR – Star Theater

Sept 30 Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern

Oct 14 Oslo – Rockefeller

Oct 15 Göteborg – Pustervik

Oct 16 Stockholm – Kägelbanan Södra Teatern

Oct 18 Copenhagen – VEGA

Oct 19 Hamburg – Uebel & Gefährlich

Oct 20 Bonn – Rockapalast Crossroads Festival 2017

Oct 21 Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg

Oct 22 Groningen—Vera

Oct 23 Amsterdam – Bitterzoet

Oct 24 Paris – Centre Barbara Fleury Goutte-d’Or (FGO)

Oct 25 Turin – Spazio 211

Oct 26 Milan – Magnolia Segrate

Oct 27 Bologna – Locomotiv

Oct 28 Zurich—El Lockal

Oct 30 London – The Lexington

Oct 31 London—The Lexington

Nov 01 Leeds – Brudenell Social Club

Nov 03 Leuven – Het Depot

Nov 04 Athens – Gagarin

Dec 01 Somerville, MA—ONCE

Dec 02 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

Dec 03 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups

Dec 04 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall

Dec 05 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line

Dec 06 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway

Dec 07 Nashville, TN – High Watt

Dec 08 Atlanta, GA – The Earl

Dec 09 Relaigh, NC – Stag’s Head

Dec 10 Richmond, VA – Capitol Ale House

Dec 15 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theater

Dec 16 San Francisco, CA – Independent