The Mechanics of Escapement

New recordings from Caleb Burhans, Phyllis Chen and Conrad Tao

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Monday, July 22, 2013

On today's episode of The New Canon, hear music from Caleb Burhan's debut album, featuring Alarm Will Sound, The Trinity Wall Street Choir, and the Tarab Cello Ensemble. Also on tap are selections from Phyllis Chen's latest release of toy piano music and selections from "Voyages," the debut album from composer-pianist Conrad Tao.

A member of Alarm Will Sound, ACME, Wordless Music Orchestra and the ambient duo itsnotyouitsme, Caleb Burhans is at the forefront of the rising class of young classically-trained musicians as at home in the rock and electronic worlds as in the classical music realm. "Evensong," his debut release as a frontman, effortlessly brings together his background as a church chorister with his experience in the rock clubs and concert halls of New York City. Stream it in full all this week.

At only 19, composer-pianist Conrad Tao is already making waves: his debut album "Voyages" was recently released on EMI and he's in the midst of a commission for the Dallas Symphony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination. His Vestiges consists of four miniature meditations on glass bottles, perforated paper, porcelain figures and being itself.

Composer, pianist and multimedia artist Phyllis Chen releases her third album of toy piano music in August. "Little Things" includes a recording of The Mechanics of Escapement by composer Nathan Davis. Composed for toy piano and clock chimes, the music is at once meditative and unnerving and, as the composer described in his program notes for the piece's 2008 premiere, "explores the fragile athleticism of playing an instrument."

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