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ATTN:Magazine » Review: Philip Blackburn – Ghostly Psalms

ATTN:Magazine » Review: Philip Blackburn – Ghostly Psalms | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

I can imagine that to be in the presence of the “Duluth Harbor Serenade” recording session must have been a most surreal experience. While the harbor’s sonic fingerprint usually manifests over the course of a day – conducted by the ritualistic, day-to-day triggers upon which each sound resounds in the fulfilment of its duty – this piece condenses the location’s most distinctive sounds into a bustling eight minutes. Between 3:00pm and 3:08pm on Labour Day 2011, operators of these sounds were permitted to produce them as they pleased, while a flash mob of musicians paraded the streets and merged into the soundscape. The end result was like a scene-setting sequence from a Hollywood film; ellipsis squeezes out chronology and brings sonic identity into a single point, amounting to a chorus of noise that splashes out a mental image of its place of origin. The rapid-fire ring of bridge alarms quivers across the breathy calls of ship horns, pressurised expulsions of steam and the spluttering acceleration of motorised engines, while streams of weather blend in with the constant babble of conversation. There’s something beautiful about how this musical dilution arises in real time and without composer intervention. While the situation itself feels fantastical and out of proportion, there’s a warming authenticity that arises from the fact that the people of Duluth Harbor are the players at work, coaxing its breath cycle into being.

 

From here, this collection of works descends into dream, with time and location swirled into indistinction. The 50-minutes of “Ghostly Psalms” stems from an actual from an actual recurring anxiety dream from 1982, described by Philip Blackburn as follows:


“This memorable one…was about crawling uphill through a rocky desert with a crystalline trickle of clear water flowing uphill, entering a fortified mediaeval village (like Conques, perhaps) on the hilltop through a culvert, and walking into the abbey while voices played all around.”


This dream is sonically manifested as an eternally morphing combination of strings, voices, organs and other abstract unidentifiables; the listener is guided between them and caught awkwardly in the fluid formation and dissipation of its shadowy dream-shapes, as the familiar is bent out of recognition and thrust into the company of those sounds that are utterly alien in form. Blackburn’s justifications for choosing each textures, along with his interpretation of their effects, are laid out in full in the album’s accompanying booklet. Personally I find it easier to be consumed by the immediacy of the piece without Blackburn’s carefully assembled preconceptions – for the first listen at least, I found it beneficial to be left always questioning, but without the time to discover the answers nor even formulate the questions themselves. The piece is evocative of a dream-like logic (illogic, perhaps), through which objects and states are free to mutate without cause or consequence. Voices gather and babble into panicked ascents, string drones overhang like thin streaks of grey cloud, while faint ghosts of woodwind and brass make wispy entrances and disappear without leaving a trace nor imprint.

 

The five minutes of “Gospel Jihad” takes the collection to its conclusion, in a bizarre contrast of language. One choir strips sound of its rhythmic content, gliding in streams of gaseous harmony around the backdrop; up and across cathedral walls, circulating around wood-beamed ceilings. The other spits words and celebrates their harsh punctuations and emphases, with phrases shot out in yells so that they collide like reactive particles. The former feels cleansed and unified, while the latter is restless and in the process of deconstruction.


The sonic range covered across this selection of works is eclectic, and I find my emotional response to it to be equally so. Some of its material sends impulsive pangs of anxiety and excitement, while other sections skim across my surface without so much as a ripple so show for it. But such an inconsistency feels strangely appropriate for such a mercurial work; Ghostly Psalms is forever fading and emerging, with its only constant being its eternal state of transformation.

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Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: Philip Blackburn, Ghostly Psalms

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: Philip Blackburn, Ghostly Psalms | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

It gives me the uncanny feeling of hearing medieval through baroque sacred music in a kind of haunted dreamscape, where there are floating worlds of sonic residues, once a part of a musical whole but now destined to float through space, still ethereal yet disjointed, separated in their demise from their original home, wandering the aural spaceways in search a resting place. This of course is a personal interpretation. But regardless of what the music may associate to you and resonate with you personally, it is eloquent and linear in a very original way and it lays out in your listening present with dramatic impact.

 

The cumulative effect is coherent, discursive, and complex in ways that allow repeated listenings to reveal the whole little-by-little, with connections becoming more apparent and complexes of sounds unveiling new and richer musical meanings the more one listens. These are some of the most compelling soundscapes I've heard in a long time. It is new music that has learned from the past 100 years of aural experimentation and creates finished works that use the vocabulary of sound color in masterfully expressive ways. Very recommended. 

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Musical Pointers: Odyssey

A really great discovery from Philadelphia; a flutist whose natural musicality flows through all these commission, mostly from their "valued colleagues and friends"; good composers virtually unknown in UK, a humbling thought.

 

The programme is interesting throughout, well contrasted, not a dud amongst them.

I guess the original intention was to make a single CD, but there were some they felt they couldn't leave out...

 

The composing idioms cover a range of today's, with nothing too "far out modernistic". There are solos amongst the duos.

 

Mimi takes advanced techniques in her stride without fuss; flutter tonguing, pitch bends, key clicks, tongueless attacks - and foot stomps. Her pianist makes a good contribution, even though he is somewhat overshadowed by his young partner. The over-riding impression is of a musician at ease with herself, not needing to prove anything.

 

Very special; look it out and enjoy. Unsurprisingly, Mimi Stillman has a substantial presence on YouTube; try a younger Mimi with cello and piano (Charles Abramovic) in the latter's "Beasts"; exhilarating !.

 

Peter Grahame Woolf

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“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova - My Big Gay Ears

“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova - My Big Gay Ears | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Two years ago I interviewed conductor Jeannine Wager and subsequently wrote on this site what seems to still be the only complete account of the last years of composer Eleanor Hovda (1940-2009). During our conversation Wager, her companion of 20 years, was forthcoming but obviously still grieving.

 

She told me that she would soon be leaving their Arkansas home and was planning to begin archiving Hovda’s studio in New York City and that a series of CD releases was planned.

 

Having spent several years calling on and attempting to assist the heirs of composers who died of AIDS, I knew that Wager’s intentions were good, but the task ahead of her was enormous. The emotional burden of losing a loved one prematurely can make the work of addressing their artistic legacy feel insurmountable. My more recent career direction as a real estate agent also continues to regularly bring me face to face with how difficult it can be to deal with years and years of belongings, whether your own or someone else’s. We all have so much stuff!

 

Well, cheers to Wager and Philip Blackburn of Innova Recordings who have produced a definitive and seemingly complete tribute to Hovda and her music. “The Eleanor Hovda Collection” is an elegant four-CD set that brings together:

26 pieces of music, including many archival recordings but also recordings that were previously released on multi-composer collections from a variety of other labels;
various short essays by the composer on the music at hand plus remembrances by her closest colleagues, including Wager, oboist Libby Van Cleve, guitarist Jack Vees, choreographer Nancy Meehan, and flutist and conductor David Gilbert;
some fun archival photos;
and, most amazingly, pdf versions of most of the scores.


The collection seems like a definite summation of Hovda’s career, but in her biographical essay Wager says that Hovda was very prolific and that the CDs represent only a fraction of her compositions. Nevertheless, there’s more than enough here to savor and assure that Hovda’s legacy endures.

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Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: Benjamin Broening, Recombinant Nocturnes for Two Performers on Pianos, Duo Runedako

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: Benjamin Broening, Recombinant Nocturnes for Two Performers on Pianos, Duo Runedako | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Benjamin Broening, Recombinant Nocturnes for Two Performers on Pianos, Duo Runedako

Benjamin Broening gives us in his work Recombinant Nocturnes (Innova 784) a long series of meditative, spacious, night reveries for two performers on one, two and four pianos and a subtle use of electronics. His music has something in common with mid-to-later Messiaen and George Crumb in its use of gently repeating, transforming, non-insistent motives surrounded by sustain-pedaled luminous darkness in expressive pianistic sound and cavernous pedal resonance.

 

Duo Runedako performs the work with sensitive and dynamically brilliant execution. Ruth Neville and Daniel Koppelman work as one with results that charm the ear. There are 13 noctural emissions in all and they vary from the quietly mysterious, with quasi-Asian inside-the-piano dampening punctuations, to the dramatically powerful. This is the music of night magic, of exotically perfumed flowerings in unseen glades.

 

It is music of beauty performed with sureness, with poetic conviction and gestural grace.

 

This is well-worth having! It is music of special appeal.

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Talking Drums | Some Day Catch Some Day Down

Talking Drums | Some Day Catch Some Day Down | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

...from the Italian:

 

The Innova Records reissue Catch Some Day Some Day Down , released in 1987 and here reproduced by the addition of nine bonus tracks - which in turn were published on tape two years ago with the title of Talking Drums - in mp3 format.


The Talking Drums, then. We are in the area of Africa: pulsating rhythms, bright colors, flavors and hypnotic melodies important. Ingredients well in evidence in the initial "Odo Bra," which spirited piece especially felt by the aroma of jazzy horns David Bindman, and a sort of funky junction due to the low flexibility of Wes Brown. But the music of the ensemble is also adorned with many choirs, handclaps and melodic guitar by Robert Lancefield, more than any other instrument that-- in the vast armory proposed in this album - it seems a sharp tightening knot between tradition and a ' expressiveness current, modern. In the lineup - including the various moments of interest - are also the traditional Ewe tribe, an ethnic group widespread in West Africa, between Togo and Ghana. Songs rearranged with great skill, where you can find interesting and just the overall sound more faithful to their guidelines. Pieces that push the dance, another basic element of the creed of the Talking Drums and fundamental experience for those who wish to approach this kind of sound.

 

The file containing nine tracks mp3 music released on the same flavor, but it's still praised the restoration work done to these songs especially for the benefit of lovers of the genre and in particular the followers of Talking Drums.

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Philip Blackburn - Ghostly Psalms | Classical review: Time Out Chicago (5 stars)

Philip Blackburn - Ghostly Psalms | Classical review: Time Out Chicago (5 stars) | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Philip Blackburn goes big, big, big and sensual on the astronomic Ghostly Psalms. By Doyle Armbrust

 

Ghostly Psalms would be best delivered by a 50-foot-tall orchestrion, plopped in the center of the city, not by CD. The exemplary recording and production give that impression anyway. From the opening herald of a conch shell onward, listeners will find the walls swelling outward.

 

Composer Philip Blackburn describes the piece in his liner notes as a “Universe Cantata” inspired by a dream. While the experience is often phantasmic, Blackburn grounds the illusions with familiar, earthly timbres, such as that of the cello or human speech. Take the eighth section, “Scratch I-Ching,” in which nuns of the Sisters of Notre Dame each play a disembodied organ pipe in a human rhythmicon. The experience is wonderfully disorienting, trancelike without dissolving into meditation.

 

Section one, “Jungle Litany,” features sprechstimme in five languages, while “Draw On, Sweet Night” uses EEG and EKG sensors to trigger snippets of Hildegard von Bingen by brainwave and muscle movement. The devices may sound cerebral, but the listening experience is decidedly organic, if blissfully overwhelming.

 

“Duluth Harbor Serenade” is just as immense as the record’s titular piece, a living symphony of lift bridge alarm bells, rail horns and chain saws. It captures what Blackburn does most compellingly—draw focus to the terrestrial music that surrounds us.

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NewMusicBox » Sounds Heard—Eleanor Hovda: The Eleanor Hovda Collection

NewMusicBox » Sounds Heard—Eleanor Hovda: The Eleanor Hovda Collection | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

As varied in scope as this collection of compositions is, Hovda’s primary intent—to explore the outskirts of the sonic possibilities inherent in instrumental sound and how they relate to the physical world—is clearly expressed in every piece. One of her main interests was, as she put it herself, invoking “the sound around the sound.” That is, the partials, harmonics, etc. which emerge above (or below) and beyond an actual notated pitch. Accordingly, her pieces are often sonic visualizations of natural phenomena and of physical movement energized by the timing of human breath.

 

And wait, it gets better! A special treat is in store for those who purchase the hard copy box set. Three of the four CDs are also loaded up with .pdf scores of most of the pieces (scores from the Coastal Traces music were dubbed too cryptic to be included), not to mention extensive liner notes by Hovda, with commentary by a number of the musicians. The handwritten and typed—as in with a typewriter—scores are at once wonderfully revealing and abstruse. They are quite enough to make, as Robert Carl’s Fanfare magazine review states, “…musical theorists sputter in frustration at the challenge of the evanescent perfection of art.”

 

The Eleanor Hovda Collection is a beautiful and substantive portrait of a brilliantly original musical mind deserving of a prominent place in music history. I encourage you to pick up this recording and spend time in Hovda’s unique sound world. Rest assured that you’ve never heard anything like it.

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NewMusicBox » The Kindness of Strangers

NewMusicBox » The Kindness of Strangers | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

In my opinion, Eleanor Hovda is a fantastic candidate for the composer most deserving of far greater recognition than she has received. I have long admired her sonic landscapes, which have never failed to grab my attention, even when I’ve been listening to compilation CDs in the background while administering to other tasks, and I was saddened to hear about her death in 2009. She left behind a relatively small catalog of works, but all of the ones I’ve heard have been of the highest quality and I’m very happy that Innova Records recently released a 4-CD compilation of her music.

 

I’m working on a guitar quartet right now, and, as usual, I began by listening to several examples of contemporary quartets. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet’s recording of Hovda’s striking 1992 piece, Armonia, blew my mind with its beautifully constructed sounds in an entirely engaging form. I wanted to study this piece further, and so I went online to try to purchase its score. I was saddened to find that it wasn’t available through any distributor that I could locate, nor was it in my local libraries.

 

Next, I went to the website for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, who had commissioned the piece, and sent an email through their “Contact” link. I also posted a query on the wall for the Facebook group “Eleanor Hovda—Remembering” asking if anyone knew how I could purchase the score. Within a very short time, several people offered to ship me free copies, and less than a week later the score arrived in my mailbox. Sure enough, studying it has proven to be extraordinarily fruitful.

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Draai om je oren - Jazz & meer - Weblog

Draai om je oren - Jazz & meer - Weblog | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

...Multiple listenings do both pieces righteous, only then can all that audio information actually can beprocessed. This is music for headphones, to completely drown yourself in and then end with a quiet "Amen" to enjoy twenty minutes of silence in a room with four white walls and a plant.

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New Sounds - New Releases, January 2012

New Sounds - New Releases, January 2012 | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

It's the most wonderful time of the month - time for new releases show on New Sounds! John Schaefer carefully sorts through the stacks, bins, and boatloads of new CDs, downloads, LPs, cassettes (!)

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Nuove Musiche: Recensione di Ana di Ana Milosavljevic, innova Recordings, 2010

Nuove Musiche: Recensione di Ana di Ana Milosavljevic, innova Recordings, 2010 | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

...each time we make a tour of the "surrounding" to hear something new and interesting bubbles in the pot, especially for contemporary music...A decisive breakthrough, a pleasant surprise for those who (like me) had been standing to Laurie Anderson and Mark Feldman.

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textura: The Eleanor Hovda Collection

textura: The Eleanor Hovda Collection | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Innova has done adventurous listeners a great service in issuing this illuminating and definitive four-CD overview of Hovda's work, and also for supplementing the discs with extensive liner notes so that the listener eager to gain the fullest insight into the individual works is able to do so...

 

There's an exquisite level of craft and imagination on display throughout the set, and Hovda's wilfully outsider sensibility is exemplified in rich, textural compositions that allude to and in many ways anticipate drone, microsound, and soundscaping genres. It's a revelatory collection in the way it so thoroughly documents Hovda's artistry and body of work, and shows how she looked beyond the notated page so as to incorporate the physical dimensions of bodily experience into her compositional thought-process. And how exhilarating it must have been for the performers she called on to collaborate with her, especially when she asked them to bring so much of their entire being into the realization of a work, as opposed to their technical command only. In fact, the only regrettable thing about the collection is that Hovda isn't alive to see it. Any composer would be thrilled to be honoured with so definitive a homage.

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PARTCH Enclosure 8 Classical Music Reviews - February 2012 MusicWeb-International

PARTCH Enclosure 8 Classical Music Reviews - February 2012 MusicWeb-International | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

...Originally, I had concluded that Tourtelot’s and Partch’s imagination and inventiveness somehow shone through the production’s “nine murky minutes”. Not any more, they don’t! The murk has been thoroughly banished, the film has come up as bright and shiny as a brand-new pin, and it is now a fully-qualified, bona fide, card-carrying, unreservedly astonishing experience.

 

Read more: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/Feb12/Partch8_innova399.htm#ixzz1nnvz3cnc

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Articles: Making Overtures: The Emergence of Indie Classical | Features | Pitchfork

Articles: Making Overtures: The Emergence of Indie Classical | Features | Pitchfork | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Over the past decade, indie-classical has grown past the point where it's some miraculous new fruit on pop culture's Big Tree. It's a high-functioning cottage industry now, complete with its own roster of independent labels (New Amsterdam, Innova, Cantaloupe, Bedroom Community), familiar names (Nico Muhly, Hauschka, Owen Pallett, and Missy Mazzoli of Victoire, to name a highly visible few) and a round-the-clock PR department.

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Arcane Candy » Blog Archive » Prism Quartet – Dedication

Arcane Candy » Blog Archive » Prism Quartet – Dedication | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Dedication is an apt title for a CD full of pieces by a myriad of composers dedicated to the Prism Quartet for their 20th anniversary in 2004. I was surprised as punch that they’ve been around since 1984. That’s a long-ass time–longer than George Orwell’s nervous system if you laid it all out end to end! Mostly inhabiting the one to three-minute range, these songs range all over the musical feed lot. From lightweight, bouncy and spiffy lines to homely, held tones that segue on a train-flattened quarter into a briar-filled sour patch. From perky and melodic to shrill foghorn blasts to lilting cartoon morning music, the Prism Quartet manhandles it all like the seasoned pros they are.

 

What with its quiet drones and super low-key atmosphere, my favorite track is, predictably enough, Matthew Levy’s “Meditations,” Too bad it’s only a couple of minutes long. Another good one is Frank Oteri’s “Seeming Partial,” which is the perfect soundtrack for some poor sap whose wife just dumped him right after he lost his job and got diagnosed with a brain tumor. This CD comes complete with a thick-ass booklet featuring notes on all of the pieces and composers. Regarding the front cover design, four out of five gangster rappers surveyed commented, “Aw, hail naw! That photo look dope as f%$# with they faces chopped off like that and re-pasted at the bottom.” I find myself very much in agreement. Who knows what the Prism Quartet has in store for their 30th anniversary coming up in 2014? Hopefully, a 74-minute rendition of James Tenney’s “Saxony.”

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Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: MC Maguire, Nothing Left to Destroy

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: MC Maguire, Nothing Left to Destroy | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Mixology, MC style, has come of age as an avant art form. It's come quite a distance from the disco days when a dj could get a couple of recordings going in synch and augment one finished production with another, or with the same disc on a second turntable. Not to take away from those days and the subsequent early development. It could be cleverly done. But it wasn't art. Not then. Today you have DJ Spooky and other sophisticated mixologists who aspire and sometimes attain the status of composer, even "serious" composer.

 

MC Maguire, with the aid of his CPU (read computer) has most assuredly catapulted over the top of dance music to create two full length concertos on Nothing Left to Destroy (Innova 813). It's a melange of collage materials, acoustic, natural, electronic, noise, music as a kind of orchestra pitted against violinist Benjamin Bowman for "The Discofication of the Mongols" and against flautist Douglas Stewart for "S'Wonderful (That the Man I Love Watches Over Me)."

 

These are madcap juxtipositions of the aural kitchen sink avec soloist. The first piece starts with a "slower" quasi-modal tonal centered violin part and a soundscape that ever-transforms in virtuoso sound manipulation sequences. It gets more and more frenetic as it goes along, more and more there is the CPU orchestra as contrarian, even antagonist to the soloist. It's a fascinating listen.

 

The piece for flute and CPU bears some relation, now covert, now somewhat overt, to some old pop standards (hence the title). It is busy and turbulent, with the beauty of the flute part making itself known over the trashcan aesthetics of the CPU virtual orchestra.

 

The music may come out of a DJ stance, but its principal forbear I suppose you could say is John Cage and his live and tape manipulated collage pieces consisting of various prerecorded "found objects"--in his 1950's electronic mix pieces, and in the second phase, with live collaging beginning notably with "Variations IV." But I suppose you could also say John Cage (aided by his often-assistant David Tudor) was the first MC!

What counts in the end is the finished work--the two pieces presented for us on this disk. They are noisy, chaotic, anarchic but not formless. And in their own way they are beautiful.

 

Recommended for the Gyro Gearloose in everybody. Welcome to the future?

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REVIEW: Guy Klucevsek’s “The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour” | This Is Book's Music

REVIEW: Guy Klucevsek’s “The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour” | This Is Book's Music | Difficult to label | Scoop.it
The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the songs on this album was “Italian dinner music”. That’s what I think of when I hear music played this way on an accordion, and Guy Klucevsek is someone who is in tune with the instrument of his choice.

 

The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour (Innova) is an album that covers a lot of musical territory by doing it in a minimalistic way. There are Slovakian songs here, a song done in honor of exotica legend Martin Denny, and even a bit of classical. My unfamiliarity with this style of music might be obvious in this review, but what I did enjoy was how he played in a manner that sounded happy, romantic, and at times playful, especially in the 87 second “Gimme A Minute, Please (My Sequins Are Showing)”, which reminded me of a lot of the interesting records from the late 50′s/early 60′s that might’ve been categorized as “world”, “exotic”, or “weird”, but you bought it because it represented the kind of sounds you’d never hear on the radio.

 

While Klucevsek does bring in a number of musicians and singers into the proceedings, the title suggests that these are facets of him and what he enjoys playing and listening to. Let’s hope this tour goes worldwide.

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THORVALDSDOTTIR Rhizoma: MusicWeb-International

THORVALDSDOTTIR Rhizoma: MusicWeb-International | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

This is the debut monograph of Icelandic composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir (anglicised in most non-Icelandic contexts as Thorvaldsdottir, or Thorvalds for short). She is half a generation younger than Björk Guðmundsdóttir - plain 'Björk' in pop parlance - and writes music a thousand times more interesting whilst being subject of approximately one millionth of the hype - no sign of the Brodsky Quartet on this CD...

 

And yet, by the third listen-through, at least with headphones, what seemed like tundra bleakness or black smoke begins to turn warmer and lighter. This is subtle, rich, atmospheric, meditative - almost transcendental - music of uncommon beauty, predominantly piano and slow-moving, that does not yield its abundant, elaborate secrets to a first audition - and never will to a drive-by ear...

 

With intense, persuasive performances all round, this is a disc offering unusual but ultimately substantial reward for the more adventurous listener.

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Hovda, Eleanor | KFJC On-Line Reviews

A review site created by the DJs and staff of KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills, California...

 

the shape of a changing tone, active energy
moving in place, that is also beautiful, the
sounds were chosen with a great deal of care,
notational directions, did not inhibit energy
flow, space between sounds (or movements
or objects) sounds around the sound, move
in “breath” or “process” timing, inhale as
well as exhale melodically for energy flow,
the conductor’s main responsibility is
ensemble flow, dynamic and energy balances
and non-balances, sonic sculpture created
by the string quartet, the “mind and body
energies”, audience: humming, a sound,
once found, should be used again and again,
invisible, like the floor, the light, the space
around, layer sonic textures and energies,
figure-of-eight energy shapes drawn by the
body in space, information in score then
the sound material is already there, long,
speculative conversations, musician,
theorist, and writer, unplanned “like the
wind”, define only part of Eleanor Hovda,
who’s work is presented as anthology;
across these discs, works made for various
ensembles later performed as well as on here,
by Jeannine Wagar’s Prism Players, California
Ear Unit, and more, in addition to Eleanor’s
own proficiency in piano innards, and bowed
cymbal. Humble yet Miss Hovda was a
master writer for every instrument used, as
she made a serious study of each. And the
vocal work wowza, cd 2 track 2 Diamondia
Galas step aside. If Phil Niblok is like Sol
Lewitt, Eleanor Hovda is the deKooning of
renewed perspectives on classical music.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly Adam

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Starkland: Guy Klucevsek "Multiple Personality" CD

Starkland: Guy Klucevsek "Multiple Personality" CD | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

This “Multiple Personality” CD does indeed reflect an exceptionally wide range of influences and inspirations, Guy’s ever-fertile imagination, his effective arrangements, impeccable musicianship, and genuine musical pleasures from start to finish.

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Prism Quartet and Music From China at Weill Recital Hall

Prism Quartet and Music From China at Weill Recital Hall | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Anyone unfamiliar with the Prism Quartet, a Philadelphia saxophone ensemble, and Music From China, a New York group formed to preserve and promote traditional Chinese music, might assume that they had precious little in common. But these industrious ensembles, both founded in 1984, share a mission to expand their repertories and an insatiable hunger for new music. Considering the proliferation of Chinese-born composers in Western concert music, perhaps it was inevitable that their paths would cross.

 

Prism and Music From China toured together in 2009 and documented their shared repertory with “Antiphony,” a noteworthy album on the Innova label.

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What KFJC has added to their library and why...

What KFJC has added to their library and why... | Difficult to label | Scoop.it

Lots of innova content lovingly heard and described: A review site created by the DJs and staff of KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills, California...

 

"Enjoy this aural adventure that celebrates the coexistence of ambient sound and human creation."

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What is the “Sound” of Duluth? | Reviler

What is the “Sound” of Duluth? | Reviler | Difficult to label | Scoop.it
Philip Blackburn captures the atmosphere of the taconite city in a way no rock band ever could...

 

Not to sound like an old saw . . . but this is a perfect realm for experimentalism—like the combination of found-sound manipulation and abstract choral music of Philip Blackburn. Blackburn is a UK-born “environmental sound artist” who’s been doing much of the album production work for the fabulous and under-appreciated innova record label based in St. Paul. After about 20 years with innova, the label is releasing what amounts to Blackburn’s “debut album,” Ghostly Psalms (due out February 28). The lead-off track from the album is “Duluth Harbor Serenade,” an 8-minute wander along the shore of Lake Superior and the up the cobblestone avenues of the taconite city.

 

“Duluth Harbor Serenade” is a montage of found sounds mingled with immersive public performances in the city. (Watch the video below.) The shrill bellows of fog horns, piercing wail of ambulance sirens, and tolls of church bells comingle with the laughter of school children, buzzing chainsaws, an impromptu street-corner choral arrangement, lapping waves, and random loud instruments played and recorded simultaneously throughout the city. According to innova, the composition was “heard over several miles.”

 

Blackburn’s serenade is, I think, the perfect example of music capturing the “sound” of a city.

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