Out today via Nonesuch, Freedom Highway, the new recording by Rhiannon Giddens.
Receiving the Approaching Memory
Aisha Orazbayev, violin; Mark Knoop, piano
Another Timbre CD 96
Another Timbre’s 96th CD is devoted entirely to Bryn Harrison’s “Receiving the Approaching Memory,” a violin-piano duo lasting nearly forty minutes. Throughout its duration, the piece consists of overlapping spirals between the violin and piano, corruscating gently but emphatically. The piece is divided into five sections. While each has a similar gestural language, the pitch material starts with a regular circulation of the total chromatic and, with each section, gradually has the parts drop shared notes until, by the end, only two pitches (C and F) are held in common. While these common tones might suggest glancing against tonality (they form a fifth), Harrison instead sets up “shadow selves” among the increasingly impoverished means. The thinned texture points up the repetitive nature of the gestures rather than any sort of pitch consolidation. As such, it is a fascinating and often beautiful work. Harrison is fortunate in his advocates: violinist Aisha Orazbayev and pianist Mark Knoop play with accuracy, musicality, and indefatigable stamina. Recommended.
From the Archives
Composer and electronic musician Tod Dockstader died in 2015 and dementia truncated his work in the electronic studio even before that. However, he left behind over 4200 unreleased sound files. Justin H. Brierley has compiled the best of these into a selection of pieces From the Archives that Starkland has released on CD.
The collection is compelling. It is clear that Dockstader’s remaining work wasn’t unfinished snippets. Rather, these are compositions that gel seamlessly, like the sonorous Super Choral and ceremonially percussive Chinese Morf. While many of these pieces seem deadly in earnest, elsewhere there is also the characteristic playfulness with sound for which Dockstader is well known. I’m particularly fond of the layering of bells, unpitched percussion, creaking steps, and static bursts on Anat Fort and the thrumming and scraping of Big Jig; Mystery Creak and Creak Creek further this exploration of electroacoustic sounds at play. Todt 1 and Todt 2 work with shimmering overtones and what sounds like rockets preparing for liftoff. Piano Morf is the most epic-scaled of the included pieces and features a plethora of sounds, both pianistic and fantastic in inspiration. All in all, it proves to be a most suitable valediction for an imaginative creator. From the Archives suggests that even Dockstader’s backup files are well worth taking to heart.
Tift Merritt’s next LP, Stitch of the World, is out on 1/27 via Yep Roc Records. The leadoff single, “Heartache is an Uphill Climb” (embedded below) was released today.
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