Thursday: John Cage Day at MoMA

I’ve been greatly enjoying Third Coast Percussion’s new CD/DVD release on Mode. John Cage: The Works for Percussion 2 captures some of Cage’s early music in which he assisted both in the development of the percussion ensemble but also formulated a musical aesthetic in which rhythm took primacy over pitch; “noise” became a welcome part of music’s sonic spectrum. Third Coast’s rendition of the Constructions (particularly the First Construction “in Metal”) and their beautifully filmed, lighthearted yet earnestly delivered version of Living Room Music are can’t miss contributions to the spate of Cage releases in his centennial year.

As luck would have it, we still haven’t worked out that “cloned reviewer” thing. On Thursday, August 9th, I’m heading up to the Berkshires to Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music. Down here in New York at MoMA, Third Coast are the featured performers for the museum’s “John Cage Day.” At 6:30, they will perform a set in the Sculpture Garden that features the New York premiere of Renga: Cage: 100, a group of short (5-7 seconds) pieces commissioned by Third Coast to celebrate the Cage centennial. Works by Augusta Read Thomas, David Smooke, Paul Lansky, and many others are fleetingly featured!


So Percussion plays Steve Mackey (Video)

So Percussion

Steve Mackey: IT IS TIME

Cantaloupe CD/DVD

CA21076

RELEASED: 09/27/11

So Percussion’s latest recording (a CD/DVD set) is out this week on Cantaloupe.

IT IS TIME features the music of Steve Mackey. Mackey decided to make a four movement suite in which each movement serves as a “mini-concerto” for a different member of So Percussion. In addition to solo turns, there’s also plenty of formidably scored ensemble interactions. The piece has a diverse instrumentation, employing found objects, traditional instruments, metronomes, and more exotic components such as steel drums.

Indeed, it seems to include everything but the kitchen sink (as evidenced by the video below!). One is glad that the package includes a DVD, as this is a piece that is a feast for the eyes as well as a bedazzling battery for the ears.

IT IS TIME is a meditation on the ephemeral nature of our existence. The fleet-footed passage of time is underscored by its metronomic pulse-driven memento mori. But rather than allowing this trope to become too melancholic, Mackey instead chooses an affirmative celebration of polyrhythmic activity, underscored by So Percussion’s ebullient virtuosity.

MP3: Steel Drums

Golijov's La Pasión

For those who think that DG’s days of deluxe packaging are over, one only need check out one of today’s releases, Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión segun San Marcos to realize that, given the right project, the imprint is up for going all out. The box includes the debut 2xCD studio recording of a revised edition of the work alongside a handsomely filmed semi-staged version on DVD. (A trailer for the film is below).


Premiered in 2000 (a live recording was released by Haenssler), La Pasión is an ebulliently eclectic composition. Golijov blends a number of styles: Latin American, Afro-Cuban, and postmodern contemporary classical. Catholic iconography, liturgical dance, and Yoruba rituals all play a role in the work’s visual and aural melange.

Golijov Pasion

Voltaic – release information; screenings

Exciting news just in from Marni at Sneak Attack:

Björk’s DVD/CD/VINYL recording Voltaic, is being released in the U.S. by Nonesuch Records on June 30 (One Little Indian in the UK, and Universal worldwide.)

This June and July, the Paris concert from Voltaic: The Volta Tour will be screened nationwide in the U.S. Beginning on June 17 the more than 15 screenings will lead up to Voltaic’s release.   Below are the confirmed screening dates and you can download the poster here.

Available in five different physical configurations, Voltaic is a lovingly packaged celebration of the past two years of activities surrounding Björk’s Volta (2007).

Find more info about Voltaic here.

CONFIRMED SCREENINGS

June 17 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater

June 19, 20 Anchorage, AK Bear Tooth Theater

June 20 Philadelphia, PA 941 Theater

June 23 New York, NY School of Visual Arts Theater

June 23 Los Angeles, CA The Montalban Theater

June 23 Madison, WI The Orpheum Stage Door

June 23-28 Oxford, MS The Amp

June 23-28 Lake Geneva, WI Geneva Theater

June 24 Minneapolis, MN The Trylon Microcinema

June 26, 27 Seattle, WA Northwest Film Forum

June 26, 27 San Francisco, CA The Roxie

June 26, 27 Bellingham, WA Pickford Film Center

June 26, 27 New Orleans, LA Zeitgeist Arts Center

July 20 Austin, TX Alamo Drafthouse Ritz

(More dates to be announced at Cinema Purgatorio)

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