Thursday: Sarah Cahill plays Harrison at LPR

Pianist Sarah Cahill appears at LPR on April 6th at 7 PM as part of her tour celebrating the music and birth centenary of composer Lou Harrison. She and I touched base earlier this week as she was preparing for her trip to the Northeast.

 

Hi Sarah. Thanks for taking time to talk with Sequenza 21. Which was the first Lou Harrison piece you played? When were you first aware of his music?

 

I don’t remember the first piece I played, but I became interested in him because of my fascination with Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford and that circle of early 20th century American experimentalist composers.  And in the Bay Area, where I live, there’s a profound affection and devotion to Lou Harrison everywhere.  He taught at Mills College for many years, and lived fairly close by, in Aptos, and worked with many musicians I’m close to, including Larry Polansky, Robert Hughes, Jody Diamond, Willie Winant, Phil Collins, Julie Steinberg, and many others.

 

What was it like working with Harrison on his pieces? Tell us about the piece that you premiered.

 

I premiered a piece called Festival Dance for two pianos, with the pianist Aki Takahashi, at Cooper Union in 1998.  It’s a piece Lou Harrison wrote in the 60s and had never been played.  He was such a gracious person, always kind-hearted and relaxed.  He wanted us to emphasize the melodic line.

 

At LPR, you will be playing ‘Party Pieces.’ What was the collaborative process like in this composition – how did the “exquisite corpse” concept play out in the musical domain?

 

Lou Harrison, Virgil Thomson, John Cage, and Henry Cowell met frequently in Lou Harrison’s loft on Bleeker Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in about 1944 or 1945.  Lou Harrison explains it best: “Each composer present would write a measure, fold the paper at the bar line and, on the new fresh sheet, put only two notes to guide the next composer in his connection.  The next composer would write a bar, fold at the bar line and leave two more black spots and so on.  It seems to me that we would begin simultaneously and pass them along in rotation in a sort of surrealist assembly line and eagerly await the often incredible outcome.”  Last month I visited the Lou Harrison archives at UC Santa Cruz, with Lou’s great friend, composer/conductor/bassoonist Robert Hughes, and made copies of some of the manuscripts with my cell phone.  I’ll give copies to the audience at my concert on Thursday evening.

 

What are some of the other pieces you are playing at LPR?

 

I’m starting with two unpublished Lou Harrison pieces, Range-Song and Jig, that pay homage to his teacher and friend Henry Cowell, who was in San Quentin at the time, with Cowell’s famous chord clusters.  Then a movement of Cowell’s own Rhythmicana, dedicated to Johanna Beyer, so then I’ll play a short piece from Beyer’s Dissonant Counterpoint.  That will lead to the Conductus from Harrison’s Suite which he wrote while studying with Schoenberg (with a twelve-tone row).  Then a short piece by James Cleghorn, who was Harrison’s friend who suggested he take classes from Henry Cowell.  His son Peter Cleghorn will be in the audience to introduce that piece.  Then a pair of pieces, both composed in 1946 for a performance by the choreographer Jean Erdman: Lou Harrison’s The Changing Moment, not heard in New York since 1946, and John Cage’s Ophelia.  Both compositions reveal some of the emotional disturbance and identity crisis that affected both composers at the time.  Then a movement of Frank Wigglesworth’s Sonatina, and ending with the wonderful Summerfield Set that Harrison composed in 1988.  At LPR I have to stick to a sixty-minute program– otherwise I could go on and on and on with Lou Harrison and his circle, because there are lots of fascinating connections.

 

Tell us about the concerto? What was Harrison’s approach to orchestration in this piece primarily Western in conception, or does it incorporate non-Western instruments/allusions/tuning, etc.?

 

Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto is one of the great concertos of the 20th century.  It’s gorgeous and epic and should be played a lot more often.  The piano is retuned in a Kirnberger tuning, as are sections of the orchestra.  There’s a great battery of percussion.  

 

What else is going on for you this season?

 

Later in the year I’m playing Lou Harrison’s great Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan a few places around the country, and also playing a program of his piano works on three different instruments– equal tempered piano, tack piano, and piano in Werckmeister 3– in Tokyo and Fukuoka, at the invitation of the extraordinary composer Mamoru Fujieda.  I’m learning Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for next year, and Takemitsu’s Quotation of Dream (Say Sea, Take Me!) to perform at Interlochen in July.  And next month I’ll get to play Lou Harrison on Maui and the Big Island, along with Tania Leon, Ruth Crawford, George Antheil, and many others, at the invitation of a marvelous composer, Robert Pollock, who runs a concert series there.

Thanks again.

Thank you!

Sarah Cahill’s April-May 2017 Lou Harrison Tour Schedule

(Fall 2017 Lou Harrison tour dates will be announced in May 2017)

 

Solo Recital | Le Poisson Rouge | NYC
April 6, 2017 at 7pm
Link: http://lpr.com/lpr_events/lou-harrison-centennial-sarahcahill-april-6th-2017/

MicroFest North: Iconoclasts at 100 | Center for New Music | San Francisco, CA
May 7, 2017
Link: http://centerfornewmusic.com/calendar/

FULL: Harrison | Berkeley Art Museum | Berkeley, CA
May 10, 2017 at 7pm
Link: http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/program/full-2017-music-performance

Lou Harrison Centennial Celebration | New Music Works | Santa Cruz, CA
May 14, 2017 at 3pm and 7pm
Link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2721368

Solo Recitals | Ebb and Flow Arts | Hawaii
May 20-21 2017
Link: http://ebbandflowarts.org/

Moon Duo: “Lost in Light” (Soundcloud)

Moon Duo - Jasmine Pasquill

Moon Duo’s Occult Architecture, Vol.2 is out on May 5th, 2017 via Sacred Bones.

Moon Duo Tour Dates:
Sat. March 11 – Mexico City, MX @ Festival NRMAL
Wed. Mar. 15 – Newcastle, UK @ Northumbria University
Thu. Mar. 16 – Manchester, UK @ Band On The Wall
Fri. Mar. 17 – London, UK @ Heaven
Sat. Mar. 18 – Paris, FR @ Le Trabendo
Sun. Mar. 19 – Nancy, FR @ L’Autre Canal
Mon. Mar. 20 – Zurich, CH @ Plaza
Thu. Mar. 23 – Budapest, HU @ A38
Fri. Mar. 24 – Graz, AT @ Orpheum Extra
Sat. Mar. 25 – Vienna, AT @ Chelsea
Mon. Mar. 27 – Leipzig, DE @ UT Connewitz
Tue. Mar. 28 – Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
Wed. Mar. 29 – Copenhagen, DK @ Pumphuset
Thu. Mar. 30 – Oslo, NO @ Bla
Fri. Mar. 31 – Stockholm, SE @ Kagelbanan
Sat. Apr. 1 – Gothenburg, SE @ Pusterviks
Mon. Apr. 3 – Groningen, NL @ Vera Club
Tue. Apr. 4 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Noord
Wed. Apr. 5 – Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar
Thu. Apr. 6 – Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
Fri. Apr. 7 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Sat. Apr. 8 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
Fri. Apr. 21 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Sat. Apr. 22 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
Sun. Apr. 23 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Tue. Apr. 25 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
Wed. Apr. 26 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Thu. Apr. 27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
Fri. Apr. 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Sat. Apr. 29 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Sun. Apr. 30 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Thu. June 8 – Ravenna, IT @ Beaches Brew
Sat. June 10 – Barcelona, ES @ Unload Club
Mon. June 12 – Bilboa, ES @ Kafe Antzokia
Tue. June 13 – Madrid, ES @ Caracol
Wed June 14 – Biarritz, FR @ Wheels and Waves Festival
Thu. June 15 – Montpellier, FR @ Le Rockstore
Mon. June 19 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix
Tue. June 20 – Brussels, BE @ Les Ateliers Claus
Sat. June 24 – Sat. July 1 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
Fri Aug. 18 – Parades De Coura, PT @ Parades de Coura

WHY? – “Proactive Evolution ” (Soundcloud)

yoniwolf_mohlhean_8337
Yoni Wolf of WHY?

The band WHY?’s latest LP, Moh Lean, came out this past Friday on Joyful Noise.
WHY?’s first release in four years, it supplies a shot of optimism during times that surely need it.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
03/16 – Cincinnati, OH – The Woodward Theater
03/17 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
03/18 – Minneapolis, MN – The Cedar Cultural Center
03/19 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge
03/21 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
03/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
03/23 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
03/24 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
03/25 – Vancouver, BC – VENUE
03/26 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
03/28 – Eugene, OR – The WOW Hall
03/29 – Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre
03/30 – San Diego, CA – The Irenic
03/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent
04/01 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
04/02 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
04/04 – Dallas, TX – Trees Dallas
04/05 – Austin, TX – Mohawk Austin
04/06 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
04/07 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
04/08 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
04/09 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
04/11 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
04/12 – Washington, DC – Black Cat DC
04/13 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
04/14 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
04/15 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
04/17 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
04/18 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
04/19 – Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme
04/20 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
04/21 – St Louis, MO – The Ready Room
04/22 – Madison, WI – UW Union South

Tickets at www.mohlhean.com

Francois Couturier and Anja Lechner at Greenwich Music House (Concert Review)

anja-and-francois-at-greenwich-house
Anja Lechner and François Couturier Greenwich House, NYC February 18, 2017. Photo by Claire Stefani

 

Francois Couturier and Anja Lechner

Greenwich Music House

New York

February 18, 2017

By Christian Carey

 

Five Things to Like About Francois Couturier and Anja Lechner in duo performance

 

  1. Versatility — These are two musicians who are able to play in a plethora of styles: classical, jazz, world music, et cetera. I first interviewed cellist Anja Lechner for a Signal to Noise feature about the bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi. I was impressed with her versatility then and remain so today. Pianist Francois Couturier is an eminently qualified performing partner for Lechner.
  2. Ensemble — Even though most of their set consisted of composed pieces — Couturier had sheet music on the piano throughout — the improvisational directions that they took the works featured a plethora of surprises and sharp turns into different musical terrain. The duo hardly needed to look at each other to turn on a dime into a new section or tempo.
  3. Variety — The concert included pieces by Couturier, with the back-to-back presentation of Voyage and Papillons creating a swirl of timbres and techniques. Federico Mompou also featured prominently, with renditions of three of his works on the program, including Soleil Rouge, a sumptuous encore. Komitas, Gurdjieff, and a transcription of an Abel piece originally for viola da gamba were other offerings. But the standout was Anouar Brahem’s Vagues, a work that the duo had previously performed with the composer. It brought out a tenderness and poise that was most impressive.
  4. Technique and effects — Both Couturier and Lechner demonstrated abundant performing ability. However, conventional playing was just a part of their presentation. The duo used a host of effects, Couturier playing inside the piano, Lechner supplying all manner of harmonics, pizzicatos, and alternate bowing techniques. This gave the abundant lyricism of their performance just the right amount of seasoning.
  5. Tarkovsky Quartet CD — Happily for those who missed this intimate event, or for those who heard it and want more, Couturier and Lechner appear as members of the Tarkovsky Quartet (which also includes soprano saxophonist Jean-Marc Lerché and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier) on a new ECM CD, Nuit Blanche.

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Temples: “Certainty” (SoundCloud)

Temples - Volcano
Temples – Volcano

Temples’s album Volcano is out March 3rd via Fat Possum Records. Check out lead-off track “Certainty” below.

They are also extensively touring (dates below).

TEMPLES TOUR DATES:
(new shows in bold)
Wed. Feb. 22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
Fri. Feb. 24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
Sat. Feb. 25 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s *
Sun. Feb. 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre *
Tue. Feb. 28 – Felton, CA @ Don Quixote’s *
Wed. Mar. 1 – Nevada City, CA @ Miners Foundry Cultural Center *
Thu. Mar. 2 – Pomona, CA @ Glass House *
Fri. Mar. 3 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s *
Sat. Mar. 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent *
Sun. Mar. 5 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern *
Thu. Mar. 9 – Tijuana, BC @ Black Box *
Fri. Mar. 10 – Las Vegas, NV @ Neon Reverb Music Festival @ Plaza Hotel & Casino *
Sat. Mar. 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Downtown Phoenix [VIVA PHX] *
Sun. Mar. 12 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf *
Tue. Mar. 14 – Thu. Mar. 16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
Fri. Mar. 17 – Dallas, TX @ Trees *
Sat. Mar. 18 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live *
Sun. Mar. 19 – San Antonio, TX @ Burger Records Hangover Fest @ Paper Tiger *
Sun. Mar. 26 – Newcastle, UK @ Riverside
Mon. Mar. 27 – Sheffield, UK @ Leadmill
Tue. Mar. 28 – Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
Thu. Mar. 30 – London, UK @ Brixton Electric
Fri. Mar. 31 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
Sat. Apr. 1 – Derby, UK @ 2Q Festival
Sun. Apr. 2 – Birmingham, UK @ Institute 2
Tue. Apr. 7 – Cologne, DE @ Gebaude 9
Wed. Apr. 8 – Munich, DE @ Strom
Thu. Apr. 9 Prague, CS @ Palac Akropolis
Fri. Apr. 10 – Berlin, DE @ Festaal Kreuzberg
Sat. Apr. 11 – Hamburg, DE @ Knust
Sun. Apr. 12 – Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset
Sat. Apr. 18 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
Sun. Apr. 19 – Tourcoing, FR @ Le Grand Mix
Mon. Apr. 20 – Lausanne, CH @ Le Docks
Tue. Apr. 21 – Zurich, CH @ Plaza
Wed. Apr. 22 – Lyon, FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne
Fri. Apr. 24 – Paris, FR @ Elysee Montmartre
Mon. Apr. 27 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity Centre
Wed. Apr. 29 – Leeds, UK @ Live at Leeds
Mon. May 8 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
Wed. May 10 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
Thu. May 11 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
Fri. May 12 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees
Mon. May 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Tue. May 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thu. May 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Fri. May 19 – Sun. May 21 – Madrid, ES @ Tomavistas Festival
Fri. July 28 – Sun. July 30 – Naeba Ski Resort, Japan @ Fuji Rock Festival

* = Desert Daze Caravan

Jens Lekman: “What’s That Perfume You Wear?” (Video)

Jens Lekman Photo: Ellika Henrikson
Jens Lekman
Photo: Ellika Henrikson

Jens Lekman has announced his new album, Life Will See You Now, will be released on February 17th via Secretly Canadian. He’s shared a video of the leadoff single, “What’s That Perfume You Wear?” and is touring in support of the recording, both in the United States and Europe (dates below).

 

Jens Lekman Tour Dates
Thu. Feb 23 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Downstairs)
Fri. Feb 24 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Sat. Feb 25 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
Mon. Feb 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Tue. Feb 28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Fri. Mar. 3 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
Sun. Mar. 5 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Wed. Mar. 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
Thu. Mar. 9 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
Fri. Mar. 10 – Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center for the Arts
Sat. Mar. 11 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
Mon. Mar. 13 @ Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall
Wed. Mar. 15 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Thu. Mar. 16 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Fri. Mar. 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sat. Mar. 18 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Sun. Mar. 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tue. Mar. 28 – Dublin, IE @ Whelans
Wed. Mar. 29 – London, UK @ Oval Space
Thu. Mar. 30 – Leeds, UK @ The Brudenell Social Club
Fri. Mar. 31 – Manchester, UK @ Band on the Wall
Sat. Apr. 1 – Glasgow, UK @ St. Luke’s Church
Mon. Apr. 3 – Stockholm, SE @ Vasateatern
Tue. Apr. 4 – Uppsala, SE @ Uppsala Konsert & Kongress
Wed. Apr. 5 – Malmo, SE @ KB
Thu. Apr 6 – Copenhagen, DK @ Studie 2
Fri. Apr. 7 – Orebro, SE @ Orebro Concert Hall
Sat. Apr. 8 – Gothenburg, SE @ Pustervik
Sun. Apr. 9 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee