Christopher Tignor's Portrait of a 20-Something Kid

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Composer/violinist Christopher Tignor has worked with a healthy cross section of the new-music community, from Brooklyn Rider string quartet to electroacoustic violinist Todd Reynolds to the conductor-less string orchestra A Far Cry. He also leads two critically acclaimed instrumental "rock" ensembles, Slow Six and Wires Under Tension (whose latest album was released just last month). Tignor's music draws from both the rock and classical worlds, marrying chamber music instrumentation with electronics and sampling software that he manufactures himself.

Christopher Tignor writes the following of his Mixtape:

Nine times out of ten if you're at the bar and Louis Andriessen comes up, you're speaking with a former student of music (and you're probably one yourself). Though I grew up playing a lot of music, my initial indoctrination into the rarefied world of modern art music was a bit less, well...supervised. Wandering through the isles of Tower Record's Classical section (a now-lost beautiful and isolated oasis) or nearby Other Music's "Out" section (still with us), I'd look for names I'd overheard, take a glance at the cover and track titles, head to the counter with I knew not what (classical record cover imagery is generally quite impoverished) and take the gamble. It was a beautiful time of discovery as record shopping so often is.

Through this ad-hoc method and quite a few evenings hovering over WNYC's New Sounds, I discovered a wide-range of music, much of which I couldn't connect to at all, some of which really blew my hair back, and even a bit it's taken me years to happily grow into. So this list is a very personal - and very abridged (sorry Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories) - portrait of a 20-something kid wandering around the city, doing that young artist hustle, working jobs, building a band, and just trying to make sense of it all in this most incredible of cities. It's a particularly accessible collection, speaking through those emotionally tangible truths that initially invited me in. I hope it finds its way to new young guns, and to the young gun in all of us.


Arvo Pärt - Fratres (1980 version for piano and violin; Gidon Kremer, violin)
György Ligeti - Etude for Piano 15, "White on White" (Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano)
Olivier Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time, mvmt V "Praise to the eternity of Jesus" (Albert Tetard, cello; Daniel Barenboim, piano)
Leoš Janáček - Violin Sonata mvmt. I (con moto) (Christian Tetzlaff, violin)
Anton WebernLangsam Satz (Emerson String Quartet)
John Adams - Light over Water, Part III (John Adams, synthesizers)
Aerial M - AASS