On the Record rounds 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Album of the week
Andrew McIntosh We See the Flying Bird/Five Songs
Estelí Gomez, soprano; members of Yarn/Wire
Although Andrew McIntosh is a key member of the cosmopolitan new-music community thriving now in Los Angeles, his music often evokes the wide-open spaces and unhurried pace of his small-town roots at the edge of the northern Nevada desert. Active as a composer, a violinist, and a Baroque violin specialist, McIntosh is the co-founder of Populist Records, a small, independent label that has helped to document the Los Angeles scene. Populist has issued important recordings featuring such composers as Nicholas Deyoe, Chris Kallmyer, and Scott Worthington; performers like trombonist Matt Barbier, violinist Andrew Tholl (the label’s co-owner), and cellist Ashley Walters; and the ensembles gnarwhallaby and wild Up.
We See the Flying Bird, at 10:13 the EP’s epic track, presents a cool, shimmering oasis of mostly metal percussion – a lone xylophone sneaking in shyly among the vibraphones, glockenspiel, triangles, and tuned aluminum pipes. Yarn/Wire’s Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg carry on a relaxed conversation, the score providing a road map liberally marked with expressive indications like legatissimo,warm,quiet, and very quiet.
For Five Songs – miniatures ranging in length from just over one minute to just over two – Antonio and Greenberg are joined by Yarn/Wire bandmate Laura Barger, on Fender Rhodes keyboard and additional percussion, and Roomful of Teeth soprano Estelí Gomez. McIntosh makes a point in the score of not specifying the mallets to be used, but directs the percussionists to minimize attack while emphasizing resonance and clarity of pitch; timpani and sandpaper blocks offer fleeting accents. Each song is a wordless vocalise, Gomez’s crystalline voice wafting and floating over gentle percussive murmurings, like a bird aloft on unseen currents.
The EP is over before you know it… if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself playing it over and over. We See the Flying Bird/Five Songs is available for purchase in a variety of digital file formats, lossless and otherwise, or you can opt for a lovely, swirly 10-inch vinyl record. The physical release is limited to just 200 copies—act fast.
New This Week
Annette Bik – Double Bach … the experience of infinity for mortals – compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, Eva Reiter, Simone Movio, Andreas Lindenbaum, and Bernhard Gander (Col Legno) Robin Holloway – The Lovers’ Well – Clare Lloyd-Griffiths, Kate Symonds-Joy, James Robinson, Simon Wallfisch, Edward Rushton, William Vann (Delphian) Human Feel – Gold (Intakt) Christoph Irniger Pilgrim – Crosswinds (Intakt) Andrew McIntosh – We See the Flying Bird/Five Songs – Estelí Gomez, Yarn/Wire (Populist) New Thread Quartet – Plastic Facts – compositions by Michael Djupstrom, Marcelo Lazcano, Anthony Gatto, and Richard Carrick (New Focus) Oliver Schneller – Phantom Islands – performers include ensemble recherche, Camerata Aberta, Banda Modern, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, and Ensemble Modern (Telos Music) ☆ Laurie Spiegel – Unseen Worlds (Unseen Worlds; first widely available release of 1991 recordings) Morton Subotnick– Vol. 4: Complete Piano Music – Soojin Anjou (Mode)
George Benjamin – Lessons in Love and Violence – Stéphane Degout, Barbara Hannigan, Gyula Orendt, Peter Hoare, Samuel Boden, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/George Benjamin (Opus Arte) Bloor – Drolleries (Astral Spirits)
Anthony Braxton – GTM (Syntax) 2017 – Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble (New Braxton House; 12CD box set due March 15.) Leonie Klein – Gathering Thunders – compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Helmut Lachenmann, Nicolaus A. Huber, Peter Eötvös, and Johannes Julius Fischer (Wergo) Bruce Levingston – Citizen – compositions by Nolan Gasser, William Grant Still, Frédéric Chopin, David T. Little, Augusta Gross, and C. Price Walden (Sono Luminus; more details here.) Joe Lovano – Trio Tapestry (ECM) Karola Obermüller – Karola Obermüller – performers include Camilla Hoitenga, Emanuele Arciuli, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, and Ensemble Musikfabrik (Wergo)
Gil Sansón/Lance Austin Olson – Works on Paper (Elsewhere)
☆ Ryuichi Sakamoto – BTTB – 20th Anniversary Edition (Milan)
☆ David Torn/Tim Berne/Ches Smith – Sun of Goldfinger (ECM)
Sam Ashley & Werner Durand – I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good (Unseen Worlds) ☆ Yevgeny Kutik – Meditations on Family – compositions by Timo Andres, Kinan Azmeh, Christopher Cerrone, Andreia Pinto Correia, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz, Joseph Schwantner, and Gregory Vajda (Marquis Classics) ☆ Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir – Vernacular – compositions by Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Þuríður Jónsdóttir, Halldór Smárason, and Hafliði Hallgrímsson (Sono Luminus)
☆ Amirtha Kidambi’s Elder Ones – From Untruth (Northern Spy)
This week in On the Record, The Necks defy expectation and categorization on 'Three,' their 21st album, new on Northern Spy. Plus dozens of listings for forthcoming releases.
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This week in On the Record: Bandcamp has responded to the current COVID-19 pandemic by waiving its fees for 24 hours, directing more money to artists and labels—here are some new and recent releases to buy today.