Here’s an update from artists we’ve met this year on the American Highway. Pianist and radio-host Guy Livingston brings us music by Christopher Culpo, Donal Fox, Evan Hause, Vanessa Lann, and other musicians we love who’ve been featured in past episodes.
Are you looking for Christmas gifts for your friends and enemies? Here’s the chance to hear new albums from up-and-coming artists like Sophie Dunèr, Jeff Zeigler, Gene Pritsker and Ann Moss! Buy ‘em at your local record shop, wrap ‘em up in shiny paper, and surprise your family!
Sara Fishko‘s Film: The Jazz Loft
The film is now available on demand through iTunes, Amazon, etc (for rent or purchase).
Sophie Dunèr, singer & songwriter
Jeff Zeigler, cellist
Jeff features in The Colorado with music by Paola, JL Adams, Glenn Kotche and Shara Nova. That disc features performances with Glenn and Roomful of Teeth. He also just released music for The Crucible by Philip Glass (on today’s show we hear a sneak preview: you heard it FIRST on American Highways!)
Evan Hause, composer
MELANCOLIA is a musical composition after Albrecht Dürer’s engraving, Melencolia I, one of three large prints of 1513 and 1514 known as his Meisterstiche (master engravings). In medieval philosophy each individual was thought to be dominated by one of the four temperament types. Melencolia I is a depiction of the intellectual condition. In Dürer’s print, the winged personification of Melancholy is seated dejectedly with her head resting on her hand. She holds a caliper and is surrounded by tools associated with Geometry, the one of the seven liberal arts through which Dürer hoped to court perfection in his own work. As described by Dürer biographer Erwin Panofsky: “Winged, yet cowering on the ground–wreathed, yet beclouded by shadows–equipped with the tools of art and science, yet brooding in idleness, she gives the impression of a creative being reduced to despair by an awareness of insurmountable barriers which separate her from a higher realm of thought.” The duration is 20:15. The form is 20 one-minute sections based on tempo ratios I derived from the magic square in the engraving. It draws on elements of composed music, musique concrete, electronic music, improvisation, environmental music, etc. and, as you remember, I had musicians in some cases mail me their recordings of passages I sent them. In other cases I went and recorded them in a neutral site, had them in my home studio, etc. Great fun, and a process I intend to continue in later works. —E.H.
Ann Moss, singer
Ann Moss is not only a great cook, and a marvelous conversationalist, she’s a gifted singer. Her new album Love Life has just been released on Bandcamp.
Tony Macaluso, activist and radio producer
Consider subscribing to the new weekly, 4-minute podcast about poetry in America today that Tony and the WFMT Radio Network are making with the Poetry Foundation: PoetryNow. Poetry on the radio/podcast, especially contemporary poetry that ponders the world today, is all-too rare, so subscribing will help us keep this going for years to come… It also airs WFMT in Chicago every Saturday after the opera broadcast (around 3:30pm). – T.M.
Julia Wolfe, composer; and Lisa Moore, pianist
Ingrid Lee, performance artist
“I graduated in July with my piece “On Legibility”, a performance lecture on biometric legibility where I manipulate a mask of my own face to the point of illegibility. I am currently reworking this piece for upcoming performances in December and January. I’m also working on an online version of my thesis “The Poetics and Politics of Erasure.” Every time someone reads this text, several words are randomly deleted or replaced by a synonym. This keeps occurring until we are left with a blank page. I’m also thinking about a new installation consisting of rooms that acoustically erase or alter the human voice in some way.” – I.L.
Chris Culpo, composer
My orchestral piece MURMURATIONS was just rebroadcast by RF. On tonight’s episode of American Highways, we hear movement 4. Chris writes, “I have a new quartet. It’s an evolution of my trio Fresh Frozen. We are now piano, Achille Succi cl, bass cl, and sax alto, Salvatore Maiore cello, and Massimo Morganti, trombone and euphonium. But we have not yet recorded. I am composing a commission for dance for this quartet based on a series of Norman Rockwell paintings and the paintings themselves are based on the Four Freedoms; objectives set by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a speech he gave on January 6, 1941. The Four Freedoms will be premiered by the Albany Berkshire Ballet in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum.” – C.C.
And on Sunday February 26, the Ensemble Aleph and the Ensemble Nomos will premiere a new composition for two cellos and marimba titled An Aberrant Patch of Blue. The concert will be at the Théatre de l’Aquarium in Paris.
Vanessa Lann, composer
Vanessa has 2 performances this week:
Lather. Rinse. Repeat, for bass clarinet quartet (2015)
November 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm
Venue: Intro in Situ, Maastricht
This work was commissioned for the second edition of Basklarinet Festijn, a mini-festival focussing on new music for multiple bass clarinets
Stap verder – for big band (2016) WORLD PREMIERE
DAVID KWEKSILBER BIG BAND under the direction of David Kweksilber
December 1, 2016 at 8:15 pm
Venue: Jurriaanse Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam
This work was written on request from the amazing David Kweksilber Big Band, whose members are equally at home making mind-blowing improvisations and performing cutting-edge contemporary notated music.
The African hocket technique of ‘one player, one note’ was the inspiration and structural basis for Stap verder.
Alanna Battat, composer and pianist
Alanna sent in this funny photo. From a real catalog!
Meanwhile, in this talented family, her son, Nathan, wrote the closing jingle for tonight’s show.
Gene Pritsker, composer and performer
New CD…Groove Possessed: Hear two tracks on tonight’s show!
Donal Fox, composer and performer
TIP! The Beethoven theme he transformed for the Silver Fox (on tonight’s program) is from the Scherzo of Beethoven Sonata, No. 12 in Ab Flat, Op 26.
And on December 3 and 4 you can hear Donal performing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., celebrating the work of artist Stuart Davis: In Full Swing.
Three podcasts that I recommend
The New Yorker Radio Hour
The first half hour is a phenomenal interview with Paul Simon about the creative process of song-writing…
This is quite an astounding, sad, and inspiring story of the African-American women who computed the trajectories for the Apollo moon landing.
Listen to the Fishko Files on WNYC every week – she’s thought-provoking, profound, and musical.
And an article about John Zorn and Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim
Theme Music :
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984)
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101.
Sophie Dunèr, vocals; Guy Livingston, piano
Belleville Demo recording
Music for the Crucible
Jeffrey Zeigler on Cello and Miranda Cuckson on Violin; Michael Riesman, Producer.
Orange Mountain Music
The Silver Fox by Donal Fox, Dedicated to Horace Silver
Donal Fox, piano, composer, arranger; John Lockwood, double bass; Dafnis Prieto, drums and percussion.
Live performance, June Swaner Gates Concert Hall, Denver Colorado, April 2, 2015
Cold As I Am
Lisa Moore, pianist
Cantaloupe Music 21115
Murmurations: 4th movement
Orchestre Nationale de France
France Musique 2015, unreleased
Lennon/McCartney (arr. Grimmett)
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Ann Moss, solo vocals; with Chanticleer: William Fred Scott, Music Director
Evan Hause, prepared piano, mandolin, banjo, guitars, basses, drums, percussion, pipe organ, piano, ocarina; Maureen Hurd, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Holland Jancaitis, pipe organ; Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, trumpet; David Nadal, Moog; Rebecca Ehren, soprano, mezzo-soprano voices; Tim Brown, baritone voice; Josh Michal, horn; Paul Brantley ; cello Miles Brown, contrabass; Michael Harley, bassoon, contrabassoon; Angela Space, alto saxophone.
Nathan Rantala, electronics