Vicissitude by Maps is out July 8, 2013 on Mute. Teaser track below.
The ensemble loadbang gave a masterclass and did a recording session on April 13, 2013 at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey.
In the video interview below, The Knife discuss their creative process and their new album Shaking the Habitual (out now via Mute).
loadbang is a group with whom I’ve been pleased to collaborate: they premiered my microtonal piece “Prayer” last year at Greenwich Music House. With an instrumentation that has little precedent – baritone voice, bass clarinet, trumpet, and trombone – they are quintessential self starters, and have developed a fast expanding repertoire by commissioning colleagues and creating a number of works themselves. I’m very excited that they will be visiting Westminster Choir College this weekend to give a masterclass/reading session to the students in my orchestration class (Saturday, April 13, 9-11 AM in the Playhouse; open admission).
Collectively and individually, the group’s members are involved in myriad creative endeavors. Vocalist Jeffrey Gavett has appeared in operas, oratorio, and concert works as a soloist. He also leads the vocal ensemble Ekmeles, who specialize in unusual repertoire, ranging from just intonation works by Johnson to Gesualdo in Vicentino’s archicembalo tuning. Trombonist William Lang also plays in the group Guidonian Hand and, as a soloist, recently had a very successful performance at The Stone, playing Bach transcriptions, Kurtag, Xenakis, Frith, and his own compositions.
I’m particularly taken with composer/trumpeter Andy Kozar’s recent CD release on the end … (available via Analog Arts). It features a deconstructed and hypervirtuosic Mass setting for loadbang, which revels in fractured lines and angular counterpoint. It also makes considerably good use of Gavett’s extensive range, particularly focusing on his countertenor-like falsetto register.
P’o (Kuei) &/or Hun (Shen) features Lang, both playing with tremendous facility and, upon occasion, frantically vocalizing himself, alongside a string quartet comprised of Ruby Chen, Miranda Cuckson, Denise Stillwell, and Mariel Roberts. The strings play the role of foil for the trombone’s hyper-kineticism, supplying Lang’s Globokar-esque histrionics with a stern witness, Invisibility Interlude is a brief charmer featuring Kozar on piano and toy piano. One part Eno-flavored ambience and one part Cage’s In a Landscape, I hope he creates a concert version of the piece.
The title track features Kozar, this time on trumpet, performing with guitarist Kobe Van Cauwenberghe. This multi-movement work plays with sustained tones, sounds effects, noise, the occasional scream in the midst of unnerving silences, angular instrumental dialogues, and sudden gusts of avant jazz soloing. With a quickly evolving textural palette and pointillist conception, it reminds one of Derek Bailey’s more Webernian explorations mixed with fragmentary glimpses of Don Cherry’s playing.
Transatlantic Ensemble, consisting of Imani Winds clarinetist Mariam Adam and pianist Evelyn Ulex perform at Le Poisson Rouge on Friday, April 12th at 7:30 PM. They are joined by guest artists flutist Valerie Coleman, also of Imani Winds, and bandoneon player JP Jofre; the opening act is the out folk-pop duo Christy and Emily.
I’ve been greatly enjoying Transatlantic Ensemble’s recent CD Crossing America (Eroica, 2012). It features three pieces by Paquito D’Rivera, as well as works by Jeff Scott, V. Coleman, Richard Padron, and Miguel del Aguila. The music deftly combines elements of jazz, concert music (both contemporary and traditional), and several varieties of folk and popular music from Latin America. What’s more, the composers give both Adam and Ulez sizzling riffs and undulating rhythms upon which to groove: a supple, joyous concoction.
Below, check out Jofre’s quintet in full on tango mode.
Mariam Adam, clarinet; Evelyn Ulex, piano
With special guests Valerie Coleman, flute and J.P. Jofre, bandoneon
Opening Act: Christy and Emily
Friday, April 12, 2013, 7:30 PM (Doors 6:30)
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY
Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 day of show, available online at lepoissonrouge.com, LPR’s box office, or by calling (212) 505 – 3474.
Paquito D’Rivera – Cape Cod Files
1. Benny at 100
4. Chiquita Blues
Miguel del Aguila – Pacific Serenade
Jeff Scott – Toccata
Valerie Coleman – Portraits of Langston (with Valerie Coleman, flute)
1. Danse Africaine
2. In Time of Silver Rain
3. Parisian Cabaret
4. Harlem Summer Night
5. Le Grand Duc Mambo
J.P. Jofre – Primavera (with J.P. Jofre, bandoneon)
J.P. Jofre – Tango Suite (with J.P. Jofre, bandoneon)
Standish/Carlyon’s LP Deleted Scenes is out on May 15th via Felte.
On Monday April 8 at 7:30 PM at Symphony Space, loadbang and pianist Kathleen Supove appear as part of the Cutting Edge Concerts series. There’s musical exploration on the menu, but also a bit of jocularity. Featured pieces include Victoria Bond’s work The Page Turner, in which Supove will take on the role of an errant page turner who wreaks havoc on a performance. loadbang premieres Hannah Lash’s
Eight Songs for a Stone Prince, with texts selected from drunken phone calls by everybody’s favorite royal bad boy, Prince Harry. Doug Gibson’s Fanfare for the Common Audience is another work with an interesting text source, in this case a letter to the New York Philharmonic from an irate audience member who is tired of them programming infernal “modern music” (perish the thought!). The concert also includes works by Reiko Fueting, Andy Akiho, and Alexandre Lunsqui. (Ticket info here).