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. (Links to Amazon, where used, do not imply endorsement.)
These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to email@example.com.
Back to Bach with Johnny Gandelsman
Known most widely as a stylish and ebullient violinist in the Silk Road Project and Brooklyn Rider, Johnny Gandelsman is also a substantial Bach player: a point made clear by the lucid, personal traversal of the composer’s iconic Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin that he released on his own label, In a Circle, in 2018. Gandelsman funded his self-released recording, which topped the Billboard classical-music chart and landed on numerous year-end lists, with a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Now, he’s turned to the same resource for a sequel: a recording of Bach’s equally monumental Sonatas for unaccompanied cello, arranged for violin. The recording is already underway at Oktaven audiO in Mount Vernon, NY, where – to bolster his instrument’s depth and presence in these normally robust works – Gandelsman is capturing his performances on analog tape. He’ll finish the sessions a few days from now, according to his campaign page, and plays to use a 5-string violin for the first time to perform the Sixth Suite.
Gandelsman is seeking to raise $30,000, and in a day already has secured pledges for just over $4,000. As is the custom for such campaigns, a variety of incentives are on offer, from digital downloads to private house concerts. Go here to follow the campaign, view exclusive videos, and contemplating pledging your support.
My Tuxedo Jacket: Jim James on Decca Gold
Decca Gold, the label that snagged attention – and prompted this column’s reactivation – last week when it announced a forthcoming recording of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth has just put out word about another intriguing new project: The Order of Nature, a collaboration between singer-songwriter Jim James of My Morning Jacket and composer Teddy Abrams, the music director of the Louisville Orchestra, due for release on Oct. 18. According to the label’s announcement:
…with The Order of Nature they’ve crafted a large-scale symphonic suite that has James’ evocative songs as its foundation. Abrams built a grand orchestral house on that foundation, and the result is an explosion of music that boldly synthesizes rock and classical while taking advantage of orchestral music’s inherently cinematic nature.
The project, introduced in April 2018 during the Louisville Orchestra’s annual Festival of American Music (and recorded live in one take on the second night), involves new songs by James and reworked selections from his solo catalog. The cycle is based on what’s described as James’s “fascination with the absence of hate in nature,” with orchestrations and additional material provided by Abrams. One noteworthy footnote, absent from the press release but cited by writer Annette Skaggs in a concert review on arts-louisville.com: James brought to the stage a horsehair bow that had belonged to his late aunt, Betty Olliges Cheeseman, who played bass in the Louisville Orchestra for 28 years.)
One selection from the The Order of Nature, “Set It To Song,” is available now for streaming.
Also online now for is Collaboration, the first segment of a three-part documentary about the project. Ahead of the album’s release, James and Abrams will perform The Order of Nature with the NSO Pops at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 4; further performances are scheduled with the Seattle Symphony (May 12, 2020) and the Colorado Symphony (May 15, 2020). The Order of Nature is available for pre-order now through a variety of outlets.
Northern Spy acquires NNA Tapes
Northern Spy Entertainment, the burgeoning media conglomerate that owns the nearly decade-old eclectic local indie label Northern Spy and the media and marketing operation Clandestine Label Services, announced on Friday that it has purchased another storied indie imprint: NNA Tapes, a Burlington, VT-founded cassette imprint that rapidly outgrew its funky grassroots origins. Founded in 2008 by Toby Aronson and Matthew Mayer, NNA has been responsible for significant projects by an extraordinary range of artists and bands. In a press release, Northern Spy co-founder Tom Abbs explained the move:
We’ve been following NNA for the last decade and have always admired their aesthetic and dedication to forward-thinking music. We take the stewardship of the NNA Tapes catalog very seriously and aim to give the artists the support they need and grow the label. We see clear distinctions between Northern Spy Records and NNA Tapes and aim to grow the labels independently, although on parallel paths.
A partial list of NNA’s most prominent releases includes titles by Oneohtrix Point Never, Nate Young, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Horse Lords, Ryan Power, Tredici Bacci, Battle Trance, Qasim Naqvi, and Lea Bertucci. Many of the label’s contributors, both past and present, lent tracks to Centennial, a brilliant six-cassette anthology issued last year. That collection remains available for streaming and digital purchase on Bandcamp; meanwhile, Northern Spy posted a newly assembled “Best of NNA Tapes” playlist on Spotify.
The first NNA release under Northern Spy ownership will be something of a happy reunion: Guerilla Toss, a funky art-punk band founded in Boston and presently based in New York, returns to the label (after a string of DFA releases) with “Plants.” The project is described as a “disco-post punk-prog rock-epic,” concerning “the old fashioned idea of a woman being crazy, when in reality she just isn’t being heard.” According to the Guerilla Toss Facebook page (where a preview video is posted exclusively), the single is due on Aug. 26, with an EP to follow this fall; watch this column for further details.
UPDATE Aug. 26: The new Guerilla Toss EP, What Would the Odd Do?, was announced this morning, due November 15 in a variety of vinyl, CD, and digital download formats. (No cassette, NNA old-timers.) The first single, “Plants,” is streaming there – and here! – and it’s positively fabulous, an appealing bit of kinetic art rock guaranteed to improve your Monday. Check it out…
New This Week
The Crossing – Voyages – compositions by Benjamin C.S. Boyle and Robert Convery (Innova)
☆ Donnacha Dennehy – The Hunger – Katherine Manley, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Alarm Will Sound/Alan Pierson (Nonesuch)
Fred Frith – Woodwork / Live at Ateliers Claus (Klanggalerie)
Hugar – Varða (Sony Music Masterworks)
Jimmy López Bellido – Symphonic Canvas – Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya (MSR Classics)
Alexander Noice – NOICE (Orenda)
Ellen Reid – p r i s m – Anna Schubert, Rebecca Jo Loeb, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Novus NY/Julian Wachner (Decca Gold) Sirius Quartet – New World – compositions by Gregor Huebner, Fung Chern Hwei, Jeremy Harman, and others (Zoho) ☆ Leo Svirsky – River Without Banks (Unseen Worlds) John Zorn – Encomia – performances by Stephen Gosling and Chris Otto (Tzadik)
(☆ – newly listed this week)
Philip Glass – Symphony No. 5 (“Requiem, Bardo, Nirmanakaya”) – Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Youth Chorus, Novus NY/Julian Wachner (Orange Mountain Music) Nathalie Joachim – Fanm d’Ayiti – Nathalie Joachim, Spektral Quartet (New Amsterdam) Kid Millions & Sarah Bernstein – Broken Fall (577 Records) Michael Leonhart Orchestra – Suite Extracts Vol. 1 (Sunnyside) Julia Wolfe – Fire in my mouth – The Crossing, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden (Decca Gold)
François J. Bonnet & Stephen O’Malley – Cylene (Editions Mego) Ben Melsky – Ben Melsky/Ensemble Dal Niente – compositions by Tomás Gueglio, Alican Camçı, Frederick Gifford, Wang Lu, Igor Santos, and Eliza Brown (New Focus) Various artists – Strain Crack & Break: Music From The Nurse With Wound List Volume One (France) (Finders Keepers)
Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette – The Ambiguity Manifesto (Firehouse 12)
Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell – Common Practice (ECM)
Grey Mcmurray– Stay Up (figureight)
Louis Sclavis Quartet – Characters on a Wall (ECM)
John Zorn – The Hermetic Organ, Vol. 7: St. John the Divine (Tzadik)
andPlay – playlist – compositions by Ashkhan Behzadi, David Bird, and Clara Iannotta (New Focus) Ashley Bathgate – ASH – compositions by Andrew Norman, Christopher Cerrone, Timo Andres, Jacob Cooper, Ted Hearne, and Robert Honstein (New Amsterdam) David Bowlin – Bird As Prophet – compositions by Mario Davidovsky, Alexandra Karastoyanova-Hermentin, Martin Bresnick, George Walker, and Du Yun (New Focus) Caroline Davis & Rob Clearfield’s Persona – Anthems (Sunnyside) ☆ Pauline Kim Harris – Heroine – compositions by Harris and Spencer Topel (Sono Luminus) Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos – Cristal (Sunnyside)
Binary Canary – iterative systems (Carrier) Kris Davis – Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic) ☆ Minor Pieces – The Heavy Steps of Dreaming (Fatcat) J. Pavone String Ensemble – Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher) Michael Vincent Waller – Moments – performances by R. Andrew Lee and William Winant (Unseen Worlds)
Ernest Hood – Neighborhoods (Freedom to Spend; reissue of 1975 Thistlefield release)
Cassandra Miller – Bel Canto; Traveller Song; Tracery: Hardanger; Tracery: Lazy, Rocking – Juliet Fraser, Plus-Minus Ensemble (all that dust) Tim Parkinson – piano music 2015-16 – Mark Knoop (all that dust) Georgia Rodgers – A to B; Late lines – Serge Vuille, Séverine Ballon (all that dust) Karlheinz Stockhausen – Kontakte – George Barton, Siwan Rhys (all that dust)
☆ Jim James, Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra – The Order of Nature (Decca Gold)
Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter 4: Memphis (Constellation)
Mary Halvorson & John Dieterich – a tangle of stars (New Amsterdam) ☆ Jenny Lin – The Études Project, Volume One: ICEBERG – compositions by Iceberg New Music and others (Sono Luminus)
Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash & Tony Orrell – BleySchool (577 Records)
☆ Guerrila Toss – What Would the Odd Do? (NNA Tapes)
This week in On the Record: Check out an immersive collection of contemporary Armenian music, lovingly curated by violinist Movses Pogossian, plus dozens of listings for forthcoming releases.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Pogossian.jpg600900Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2020-01-17 18:00:172020-01-17 18:47:21On the Record: January 17, 2020
Listen to an exclusive preview track from 'One Foot on the Ground Smoking Mirror Shakedown,' a new album by saxophonist Chris Pitsiokos and his CP Unit, coming in February on the Ramp Local label.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/CP-Unit-banner.jpg8001500Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2020-01-15 12:50:072020-01-15 14:47:52New Music Preview: CP Unit
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Alex Dowling, Brunhild Ferrari & Jim O'Rourke, King Crimson, and Melaine Dalibert.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Playlist-Jan-13-2020.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2020-01-13 23:30:242020-01-13 23:59:50Playlist (The Shuddering Breath of Yesterday).
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Catherine Christer Hennix, Erik Carlson, Kate Carr, and Ekmeles.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Playlist-Jan-06-2020.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2020-01-06 17:30:102020-01-06 17:43:56Playlist (A Flourish of Ritual Activity).