Jerry was nice enough to ask if I’d maybe post here once a week, each time sharing a few links to sites where I’ve encountered composers and performers offering excellent work to listen to online. Forgive the length, but once the pleasantries are out of the way in this post, the rest will be to-the-point.
Why me? Besides being a composer lo these past 30-something years, and having a life-long receptivity to music from across the temporal and cultural spectrum, since I first got online in the mid-90s I’ve actively pursued new work that composers and performers have been kind (and forward-thinking) enough to put up on the web for all to hear. Some will be “names” most people know from their CD store or radio, but many aren’t. Here I am out in the wilds of Seattle, but the beauty of the web is that we don’t have to let geography, your CD store and the gods of the mysterious Land of Marketing boss us around so much anymore.
Waiting for the “imprint” of some label or publisher before you deign to listen, especially dealing with the living, is such a waste of your own all-too-precious initiative. A multitude of excellent musicians are hard at work around the world, right now; tricks of place, time or circumstance keep many of them off your radar, but I can help rectify that a little if you give these links a chance. You only have to bring open ears attached to an open mind.
One request: don’t ask me to mention or “review” your music, site or link. By the time I give a recommendation here, my reviewing is done; if I’m telling you about it, that means I’ve listened to what’s there and truly enjoyed what I heard. Not that you have to agree with my opinion, by any means! But if you never take the time to listen, you’ve passed up the chance to decide anyway.
Rozalie Hirs (Netherlands)
(From the main page, choose “New Composition” and then “MP3” and “Multimusic”.) Though Rozalie has cracked her 40s (b.1965) and seems busy enough on her side of the Atlantic, she doesn’t get much exposure on our side. It’s a shame; pick any of these to hear and you’ll find beautifully poised work, full of play and color.
Erel Paz (Israel)
(The main page has a direct link to MP3s and scores.) Erel’s a little younger (b. 1974) than Rozalie, but keeps up a bit more dialog with the Romantic and Classic. But not strictly “formula”; there’s an idiosyncrasy that I find pretty appealing.
Matt Ingalls (US, CA)
Follow the “sound” link on the main page, and you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of listening! Matt (b.1970) is one of those Bay-Area powerhouses that seems to pop up all over the new-music scene. A phenomenal clarinetist as well as composer and improvisor, you’ll find plenty to hear from him in all of these roles.
OK, that oughtta hold ya for a week or so… Enjoy.