An Affinity for Infinity

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On today's episode of The New Canon, we check out music by Victor Kissine recorded by the Kremerata Baltica on ECM; the Latvian Radio Choir singing Rautavaara's gorgeous choral works; and the latest release from saxophonist-composer Sam Hillmer.

The Subtle Body Wears a Shadow is a new album from the minds of composer-saxophonist Sam Hilmer, known for his work with the Brooklyn-based avant jazz ensemble Zs, and producer Chris Taylor (of the indie rock outfit Grizzly Bear), known collectively as Diamond Terrifier. Hilmer’s distinctive saxophone noises are electronically manipulated and shrouded in samples and effects over the course of the four movement work. The third track, Triple Gem, ends with a quote from the Bodhicaryavatara, an eighth-century Sanskrit text that inspired the album.

Two concertos and a duo composed by Victor Kissine for the Kremerata Baltica are featured on Between Two Waves, an ECM New Series release. All three pieces are inspired by the sea the borders Kissine's home town of Saint Petersburg. The last piece on the album, Barcarola, is a single-movement chamber concerto that unfurls in waves, featuring percussionist Andrei Pushkarev and violinist Gidon Kremer.

Einojuhani Rautavaara's sacred choral works are performed by the incredible Latvian Radio Choir, conducted by Sigvards Klava, on our album of the week. One of Finland's most notable composers, Rautavaara's self-described "affinity for infinity" lends itself to sacred works. The highlight of this over-all gorgeous album is his six-movement Missa a cappella. You can stream the whole album on our album of the week page!