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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Album of the week
Julia Wolfe Fire in my mouth
The Crossing, Young People’s Chorus of New York City,
New York Philharmonic, conducted by Jaap zan Zweden Decca Gold; CD, DL
The actual fire starts slowly, almost unnoticeably. There are moments of frenzy, to be sure, but also islands of eerie calm, where time seems to stop, split-second memories telescoped into eternities by adrenaline and trauma. But then time comes crashing back in a cataclysmic rush as the singers describe seeing bodies fall through the air. A nauseating conclusive snick marks the end of the fire, and the work finishes, after a gaunt excerpt from a searing speech from one of the survivors, with a melancholy recitation of the names of the dead.
Julia Wolfe’s oratorio Fire in my mouth registers with intensity, even without its visual and spatial elements, in a New York Philharmonic performance newly issued on the enterprising Decca Gold label, Brin Solomon asserts in a review published on National Sawdust Log earlier today. Read the review in its entirety here.
Katinka Kleijn hits Drag City
Born in the Netherlands and based in Chicago, Katinka Kleijn really gets around, artistically speaking. As a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she’s intimate with the standard symphonic canon; as a longtime regular with the International Contemporary Ensemble, she’s been involved with all manner of modern sounds and styles. Kleijn has performed widely as a featured soloist; collaborated with jazz musicians, free improvisers, and performance artists; and somehow managed to record sessions with David Sylvian and Asia. (Yes, that Asia.)
And now Kleijn can add another distinction to her impressive résumé: she’s a Drag City recording artist, joining the likes of Royal Trux, Will Oldham (who will appear elsewhere in this column—keep watching), Silver Jews, Joanna Newsom, and David Grubbs. On Oct. 11, the storied indie label will release STIR, an album documenting Kleijn’s seven-year-old collaborative partnership with Bill MacKay, a similarly inquisitive, open-minded Chicago guitarist. According to Drag City’s announcement:
STIR is centered on a series of MacKay’s compositions, partially inspired by Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf. You can try following along with the book, but don’t expect any Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz-type moments! The repetition and expansion of themes within borrows from the chamber music world, while the distortions, free play, and edge of much of the work clearly draws from the duo’s avant leanings.
You can check out one brief track, “Hermine,” posted on YouTube with a Timothy Breen video, and on Bandcamp, where you can pre-order the album. If you’re intrigued and want to hear more from MacKay and Kleijn, an entire 46-minute set recorded live during the Chicago Humanities Festival last November is also available for streaming on YouTube.
New This Week
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Bryce Dessner, eighth blackbird – When We Are Inhuman (Secretly Canadian)
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) Steve Lehman Trio with Craig Taborn – The People I Love (Pi Recordings) Michael Leonhart Orchestra – Suite Extracts Vol. 1 (Sunnyside) Andrew Norman – Sustain – Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel (Deutsche Grammophon) Terry Riley – Sun Rings – Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch) 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) ☆ Jennifer Koh – Limitless – collaborations with Qasim Naqvi, Lisa Bielawa, Du Yun, Tyshawn Sorey, Nina C. Young, Wang Lu, Vijay Iyer, and Missy Mazzoli (Cedille) 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) ☆ Sarah Hennies – Reservoir 1: Preservation – Phillip Bush, Meridian (Black Truffle) Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos – Cristal (Sunnyside) ☆ Éliane Radigue – Occam Ocean – ONCEIM (Shiiin) ☆ San Francisco Girls Chorus, The Knights, Trinity Youth Chorus – My Outstretched Hand – compositions by Lisa Bielawa, Colin Jacobsen, and Aaron Jay Kernis (Supertrain)
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) ☆ Bill MacKay and Katinka Kleijn – STIR (Drag City)
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)
☆ Per Störby Jutbring – The Thief Bunny Society (Hoob)
Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter 4: Memphis (Constellation) ☆Saariselka – The Ground Our Sky (Temporary Residence)
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)
Guerilla 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).