On Chaos

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This week's episode of The New Canon is all about chaos, and an attempt to find order within chaos, as we check out new recordings from So Percussion, the Eclipse Quartet, Yungchen Lhamo and Anton Batagov.

So Percussion recently unveiled "neither Anvil nor Pulley," a work for laptop/percussion quartet and turntable by Dan Trueman. Mixing turntables, microphones, video game controllers, drums and laptops, among other tools, the piece is an exploration of what it means to be a musician in the digital age. The recording is available exclusively via digital download.

Works by three pioneers of American experimentalism—Frederic Rzewski, James Tenney and Zeena Parkins—are performed by The Eclipse string quartet and percussionist William Winant on a recent disc from New World Records. Rzewski's contribution, Whimwhams, is a fully-notated attempt to bypass the conscious mind and tap into the ecstatic, spontaneous energy of free improvisation.

Our album of the week is "Tayatha," a collaboration between Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo and Russian pianist Anton Batagov. Described as a modern vocal cycle about finding peace in the middle of a crazy world, the seven songs mix European tonality with intricate, traditional Tibetan vocals. Stream the whole album here, all week!