Eighth Blackbird Shacks Up in 'Lonely Motel'

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Can one call recording that is selections from a larger theater work a “concept album?” Or is such a term redundant when every theatrical recording is more or less conceptual in its inherent unifying themes? Read on for more about an album at the center of this debate, and grab a free download for this week only of the track Addiction.

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Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Rhizoma Bridges the Gap Between Mystic and Mythic

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

If, as the adage goes, every snowflake is different, then every note in Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s intricate debut album, Rhizoma, is equally unique. Grab a free download for this week only of the track Hrim.

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A French Quartet Dives Head-First into American Music

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Diotima Quartet delivers a trio of American works from the last century, painting a varied portrait of our age-old new-music scene.

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The Lincoln Trio Aims Less at Girl Power and More for Sonic Power

Monday, October 17, 2011

With works by Lera Auerbach, Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower and more, tokenism and affirmative action go out the door on the Lincoln Trio's all-female composers disc, Notable Women. Read on for more and to grab a download of Higdon's "Fiery Red."


yMusic Tempers Indie and Classical with 'Beautiful Mechanical'

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Clarice Jensen's fiery cello line that kicks off the opening track you get the sense listening to Beautiful Mechanical that you're sitting in some funky loft kitchen listening to your best friends engage in an impromptu jam session. That's not to say that yMusic doesn't infuse their debut album with a great deal of work and backbone -- that's an obvious fact from the first lines as well. However, the collaborative cabal makes it all look so effortless and off-the-cuff that it's certain to rouse that rare balance of admiration and envy.


'It is Time' for So Percussion and Steve Mackey

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

So Percussion's latest recording for Cantaloupe Music does for time what the quartet did for cities in 2009's Imaginary City.


Pain is Pleasure with itsnotyouitsme

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With their third studio album, itsnotyouitsme treads deeper into the realms of Gavin Bryars and John Luther Adams. Read on for more provocatively-titled songs and ambient shoegazing, andgrab a free download for this week only.


Rachael Elliott Falls into an Atmospheric Solo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rachael Elliott, a founding member of Clogs and one of the sharpest executors of new-music currently on the scene, didn't have to look far when it came to assembling her debut album Polka the Elk, which features three tracks by fellow bandmate Padma Newsome cozied up to tracks by Tawnie Olson and David Lang. Learn more and grab a free download for this week only. 


Steve Reich's WTC 9/11: How Good is Too Good?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here’s the problem with Steve Reich’s newest work to hit recording WTC 9/11: While you want it to be good as a means of doing justice to the tragic events it musically marks, t’s also hard to see the piece turn out to be too good, because listening to a work of such cathartic and unsettling power has to be, like a bottle of Scotch old enough to vote, a judiciously parsed-out experience both to ensure potency and minimize the raw feeling you’re left with at the end of this 16-minute work.

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The Discreet Charm of Jody Redhage

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It takes about a full minute before you first hear Redhage sear into her instrument on the opening track, I Dreamed I Was Floating, which starts with an atmospheric ambient sound that carries the listener into a seamless 47 minutes of tracks commissioned and curated by Redhage, representing a cavalcade of bright young composers including Anna Clyne, Wil Smith and Derek Muro. For this week only, grab a free download of the song A Thousand Tongues by Missy Mazzoli.


Michael Gordon's 'Timber' Speaks Softly and Carries a Loud Stick

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How exactly do you keep a composition for six 2'x4's from sounding stiff? Find out how Michael Gordon does just that, and get a free download from his new CD this week only.

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The Grit and Grace of Tan Dun's Martial Arts Trilogy

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tan Dun is one of those mercurial composers that’s impossible to pin down—is he a film composer (see: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)? A maestro of opera (see: The First Emperor)? An Eastern musician blending western idioms (see: Ghost Opera, performed by the Kronos Quartet with Wu Man)? A symphonist (see: the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s performance of his Water Concerto)? Read on to nab a free download of the title track from the film The Banquet, as performed by Lang Lang.


The Absolute Ensemble Goes Multiculti with Arabian Nights

Monday, August 15, 2011

Q2's Album of the Week relives a 2007 Town Hall concert that bridges East and West, old and new, courtesy of the Absolute Ensemble and Kristjan Järvi. Read on to get a free download.


A Stunning Menagerie from Arlene Sierra

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

At times, composer Arlene Sierra’s catalog reads more like an inventory of the Museum of Natural History with titles like Insects in Amber, Cricket-Viol, Cicada Shell and Birds and Insects, Book 1. Even her inclusion in the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural CONTACT! series in December of 2009, Game of Attrition, was based on Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Likewise, Sierra’s works are full of feline cunningness, birdlike chirps, beastly savage turns and serpentine seduction.


Continuum: Symphony at Night

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Q2's Album of the Week features works by March Schädler, Matthias Frommelt and Jürg Hanselmann, representing the tiny European principality of Liechtenstein.

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Puzzle Muteson: En Garde

Monday, July 25, 2011

English singer and guitarist Puzzle Muteson runs the gamut from Damien Rice to Richard Wagner without ever losing his own earnest individuality. Read on for more about Q2's Album of the Week and get a free download.


NYU Steel Plays Philip Glass

Monday, July 18, 2011

Glass meets steel in the Steinhardt Percussion Program’s NYU Steel, an ensemble that is devoted entirely to steel pan music, incorporating music by composers such as So Percussion’s Jason Treuting, Edgard Varèse and Philip Glass into the usual fare of Trinidadian music in honor of their singular instrument’s provenance.

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Arnold Dreyblatt's 'Resonant Relations'

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A visual aspect dominates the works of the American-born, Berlin-based composer Arnold Dreyblatt. Notes conspire to form textures and colors that bring touches of multimedia to one specific medium over the course of deliberate and meditative repetitions. Unsurprisingly, Dreyblatt is also a visual artist.


Joseph Schwantner's Chasing Light...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Pulitzer laureate Joseph Schwantner sits in the 20th-century somewhere at the crossroads of Debussy and Steve Reich, dipping his brush equally in lush orchestral colors and non-Western forms of percussion to create eclectic soundscapes, a sample of which can be heard on his latest CD for Naxos.