On the Record is a weekly column meant to round up details about new and pending recordings of interest to the new-music community: contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined, on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of upcoming release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon and other online record stores, social-media posts, and similar resources. Dates cited correspond to U.S. release of physical recordings where applicable, and are subject to change. These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to email@example.com.
The Greening of David Garland
“If it’s not possible for popular music to reach the heights of the great classical masters, it seems no one has told David Garland.” That’s a quote from Sean Ono Lennon, and it rightly tops Garland’s Bandcamp page. Garland likely is best known for Spinning on Air, the smart, wide-ranging program about the creative impulse that he produced and hosted for 28 years on WNYC-FM, and continues to create now as an independent podcast.
What you might not have known is that Garland is also a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter of abundant, disparate talents. All of the releases on his Bandcamp page are worth investigating; one, Control Songs (originally released in 1986), is among the foundational documents of New York’s downtown music scene, and features such guests as Meredith Monk, John Zorn, and Guy Klucevsek. A more recent project available free of charge, the 2014 three-track EP Time Out of Joint, showcases Garland’s “extended guitar,” an acoustic 12-string instrument modified by his son, Kenji Garland, to produce rich, loamy feedback.
That this special instrument has continued to inspire Garland is evident from the opening moments of “Color Piece,” the lead-off track from his newest release, Verdancy. The four-CD collection is due to arrive on March 20—not coincidentally, the vernal equinox—via Garland’s new label, Tall Owl Audio. The set will be available in digital formats, and in a gorgeously designed physical package designed by Garland’s wife, Anne Garland, featuring the composer’s own leafy photo collages.
The album’s title alludes to another potent inspiration that contributed to Garland’s new music: his move from New York City to a more verdant environment in the Hudson Valley. “These elements have deeply changed my music,” Garland says via e-mail, referring to both the guitar and his new home. “I feel connected to what I’ve done before, but I’m in a new, unexplored musical world, bushwhacking new paths, seeking beauty and danger, building new structures that suit the landscape.”
In addition to modified guitar, Garland performs on a wide variety of instruments, ranging from piano and analog synthesizer to ocarina and bowed psaltery. “But also important is the clarinet, an instrument I started playing a few years ago because I love its woody sound,” he mentions in an essay provided with the album’s press materials.
Garland recorded Verdancy in his home studio, which he describes as “a little building full of instruments and records on the edge of the woods near my home.” A sense of place permeates the album, intentionally so: “A couple pieces include natural sounds I recorded simply by opening the studio windows.” For one piece, “Wave After Wave,” Garland recorded his guitar in a local cave. “I wanted to indulge in and create for listeners a kind of sonic space and musical journey that take us away from technology’s splintered, accelerated pace,” he notes.
Like most of Garland’s recorded oeuvre, Verdancy is rich in guest performers, many of them his Hudson Valley neighbors. Iva Bittová, the brilliant Czech vocalist and violinist, makes several appearances throughout the set, including a striking performance in the sole non-Garland composition: an arrangement of Monteverdi’s Lamento della Ninfa. Among the further friends and neighbors who lend a hand are bansuri flutist Steve Gorn, Buke and Gase vocalist Arone Dyer, drummers Otto Hauser (Cass McCombs, Vetiver) and Adam Pierce (múm, Mice Parade), composer-pianist Kyle Gann, and – providing lyrics for one song and a vocal cameo on another – Yoko Ono.
As for matters of musical style, Garland is blunt: “Sorry, I’m not going to help you much here,” he writes. “A lot of music these days seems retro-this or retro-that, imitating very specific attributes of clear antecedents. I don’t do that.” He cites as heroes and fellow travelers a pantheon of distinctive artists – Robert Wyatt, Brian Wilson, Sufjan Stevens, John Zorn, Meredith Monk – “but they’ve inspired me to try to think as creatively as they do, rather than to try to sound like them.”
Verdancy will be released on March 20, and is available now for pre-order in a variety of digital formats and on CD on Bandcamp. Seven further three-hour installments will follow throughout 2018.
The Versatile, Virtual Graham Lambkin
Graham Lambkin, an English performer and sound artist formerly of esteemed lo-fi avant-rock cabal the Shadow Ring, announced late last year that Kye Records, the label he launched in 2001, would cease operation after releasing its 50th LP, HH by Gabi Losoncy, issued in November. But Lambkin – whose most recent solo project, the inscrutable and magisterial Community, came out in 2016 simultaneously as a single LP on Kye and an extended two-CD set on Erstwhile – this week launched a Bandcamp page. Available now are five of his Kye albums (including the groundbreaking, influential 2007 LP Salmon Run), plus a new anthology, No Better No Worse (Vol 1), compiling unreleased tracks spanning the years 2001 to 2017. A second volume is promised later in 2018.
Anne Guthrie Goes for the Brass Ring
Nearly four years have passed since Anne Guthrie, a Brooklyn-based French-horn player, sound artist, and acoustician, released one of 2014’s most critically acclaimed albums: Codiaeum Variegatum, a collection of six mysterious, beguiling aural constructions issued on vinyl by the reliably edifying Cincinnati label Students of Decay. It’s not as though Guthrie hasn’t kept busy since: she and her husband, bassist and electronic musician Billy Gomberg, have welcomed a new son and released three duo projects under the name fraufraulein, and lately are preparing for a cross-country move to San Francisco at the end of January. But this week Guthrie finally announced the impending arrival of her next Students of Decay LP, Brass Orchids, due on vinyl March 23 in an edition of 300 copies. Described as “an entrancing collage of new and old sounds drawn from a variety of beguiling sources,” including “posthumous contributions from the artist’s grandfather, a jazz pianist; obsolete media palimpsests (some vanity, some necessity); tap dancing on a peeling floor,” the album can be pre-ordered via Forced Exposure.
The Epichorus – Najara (National Sawdust Tracks)
Aaron Jay Kernis – Dreamsongs: Three Concertos – Paul Neubauer, Joshua Roman, Royal Northern Sinfonia/Rebecca Miller (Signum)
Ondrej Adámek – Sinuous Voices – Roméo Monteiro, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain/Daniel Kawka (Aeon) Lea Bertucci – Metal Aether (NNA Tapes) Pablo Santiago Chin – Three Burials – Dalia Chin, Eliza Bangert, Ensemble Dal Niente/David Cubek, Orquesta Sinfónica de Heredia/Walter Morales (New Focus) Lara Downes & Friends – For Lenny (Sony Classical) Roger Doyle – Heresy: An Electronic Opera (Heresy) ☆ Eva-Maria Houben – Breath for Organ (Second Editions) Helmut Lachenmann – Got Lost; String Trio; Serynade – Yuko Kakuta, Yukiko Sugawara, Trio Recherche (Wergo) Third Coast Percussion – Paddle to the Sea (Cedille) Erkki-Sven Tüür – Illuminatio; Whistles and Whispers from Uluru; Symphony No. 8 – Lawrence Power, Genevieve Lacey, Tapiola Sinfonietta/Olari Elts (Ondine)
John Luther Adams – All That Rises – JACK Quartet (Cold Blue) Michael Adkins Quartet – Flaneur (hatOLOGY)
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet – Landfall (Nonesuch) John Beckwith – Instrumental Works, 2006-2016 – various artists (Centrediscs) Samuel Blaser with Marc Ducret & Peter Bruun – Taktlos Zürich 2017 (hatOLOGY) William Brittelle – Without Chasms (New Amsterdam; subscription-only) Sarah Buechi – Contradiction of Happiness (Intakt) Markus Eichenberger & Daniel Studer – Suspended (hatOLOGY) Christopher Fox – Headlong – Heather Roche (Metier) Shinya Fukumori Trio – For 2 Akis (ECM) Peter Garland – Moon Viewing Music (Inscrutable Stillness Studies #1) – William Winant (Cold Blue) Michael Hersch – Images from a Closed Ward – FLUX Quartet (New Focus) Alice Ping Yee Ho – The Mysterious Boot – Susan Hoeppner, Winona Zelenka, Lydia Wong (Centrediscs) Nicolas Masson Quartet – Travelers (ECM) Myra Melford Trio – Alive in the House of Saints, Part 2 (hatOLOGY; reissue) Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton – Music for David Mossman (Live at Vortex London) (Intakt) George Perle – Orchestral Music (1965-1987) – Jay Campbell, Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot (Bridge) Elena Ruehr – String Quartets Nos. 1-6 – Stephen Salters, Cypress String Quartet; Borromeo String Quartet (Avie) Andy Sheppard Quartet – Romaria (ECM) Norma Winstone – Descansado – Music for Films (ECM)
Mark Applebaum – Speed Dating – Takao Hyakytome, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players/Eduardo Leandro, Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble/Terry Longshore (Innova)
The Crossing – If There Were Water (Innova) Dolce Suono Trio with Lucy Shelton – American Canvas (Innova) Duo Damiana (Molly Barth & Dieter Hennings) – castillos de viento (Innova)
Fossil Aerosol Mining Project – August 53rd (Helen Scarsdale) Michael Gordon – Sonatra – Vicky Chow (Cantaloupe Music) ☆ Dave Liebman/Tatsuya Nakatani/Adam Rudolph – The Unknowable (RareNoise) ☆ Bobby Previte – Rhapsody (RareNoise) Subtle Degrees – A Dance That Empties (New Amsterdam/NNA Tapes)
Michael Daugherty – Dreamachine; Trail of Tears; Reflections on the Mississippi – Evelyn Glennie, Amy Porter, Carol Jantsch, Albany Symphony Orchestra/David Allan Miller (Naxos) Olivia De Prato – Streya – works by Samson Young, Victor Lowrie, Ned Rothenberg, Taylor Brook, Reiko Fueting, Missy Mazzoli (New Focus) Ensemble Musikfabrik – Kreutzungen – works by Vassos Nicolaou, Johannes Schöllhorn, Gérard Grisey, Dieter Mack (Wergo)
Sebastian Fagerlund – Stonework; Drifts; Transit – Ismo Eskelinen, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu (Bis) Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette – After the Fall (ECM) Olivier Messiaen – Catalogue d’oiseaux – Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Pentatone)