Archive for the “New Amsterdam” Category

For those of you keeping track, this week’s episode is the second of three highlighting violists. Last week, Elizabeth Weisser; this week, Nadia Sirota. Nadia has some good advice for musicians: it may sound obvious, but that thing that makes you unique is the thing that makes you special. Not only is this good advice for performers but it’s good for composers to remember as well. The more we can embrace our “craziness”, the more comfortable we can be with ourselves. Musicians on the podcast talk a lot about working and collaborating with composers, but Nadia actually has some suggestions for making these relationships work in mutually respectful ways. Nadia also has a new CD, first things first, which will be released on New Amsterdam Records on Tuesday, May 19 (Steve had a nice pre-release-party-post last week).

Looking ahead, the week of May 31 will feature violist John Pickford Richards, and during the month of June I’ll be talking with pianist Seda Röder and conductor/composer Brad Lubman.

May 31 also happens to be the annual Bang on a Can Marathon in New York City– are there any musicians you would like me to try and track down for an interview? I will also be in Chicago in early June – is there anyone in the second-city I should be in touch with? If you have suggestions please email them to:

podcast@jamesholt.net

And for those of you new to the show, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes by clicking here, point your blog-readers here, or find it on InstantEncore by clicking here.

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You can only keep a secret society secret so long, and with our old S21 pal Darcy James Argue‘s new CD release that time has come.  Infernal Machines is out now on New Amsterdam Records, and to celebrate the kick-off DJA’s Secret Society will be performing the music from the CD Friday at Galapagos Arts Space (16 Main St. @ Water St., Brooklyn / Door – 9pm, Show – 10pm, $10).

Troy Collins advance-reviewed it at AllAboutJazz.com:

Drawing inspiration from classic stalwarts like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra as well as pioneering post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise, Argue tastefully incorporates electric guitars, Fender Rhodes and electric bass into traditional big band instrumentation, extending the innovations of such visionaries as Don Ellis, Gil Evans and George Russell.
Straddling the pastoral opulence of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra and the visceral brio of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra and Satoko Fujii’s various big bands, Argue has succeeded at creating a magnificent chimera. His harmonically rich blend of contrapuntal horn voicings, atmospheric electronic textures and post-minimalist rhythms surpass the early fusion experiments of his predecessors, yielding a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless.
A masterful tunesmith, his dramatic sense of pacing borders on the cinematic, and his instinct for arranging multiple voices into colorful pitch sets exudes kaleidoscopic detail worthy of Ellington.

Drawing inspiration from classic stalwarts like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra as well as pioneering post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Tortoise, Argue tastefully incorporates electric guitars, Fender Rhodes and electric bass into traditional big band instrumentation, extending the innovations of such visionaries as Don Ellis, Gil Evans and George Russell [….] Straddling the pastoral opulence of Maria Schneider’s Orchestra and the visceral brio of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra and Satoko Fujii’s various big bands, Argue has succeeded at creating a magnificent chimera. His harmonically rich blend of contrapuntal horn voicings, atmospheric electronic textures and post-minimalist rhythms surpass the early fusion experiments of his predecessors, yielding a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless.

If you want to get primed and pumped beforehand, New Amsterdam is letting you stream the whole CD online. The musical cast is stellar, the pieces are grand, the recording immaculate. Way to go Darcy; here’s to many more words like those above, now and in all the Machines to come.

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Almost everyone in and around the New Amsterdam Records scene has been written up by us. Many are good and long-time visitors, contributors and pals of S21. But screw that; the real reason we follow this crew is that they’re an awesome bunch of composers and performers, with a fresh, open and energetic approach to this whole art-music thingy-ma-jingy. They’re proving it again this May, with… Aww, just let the poster tell you:

Makes a nice prelude to the BOAC “oldsters” Marathon, dontcha think?

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