All entries by this author

History of String Quartet Music within a String Quartet: Rochberg’s Third

Jan 31st, 2017 | By

I first encountered this when I was 12 or so, at the listening station in the public library. Wanting to hear something a little different (i.e. not the usual pop favored by 12-year olds or the “conventional” classical with which I was familiar), I selected this LP and one of traditional Chinese music.  I found
[continue reading…]

A Shape-Changing Ghost (in the Shell)

Sep 30th, 2015 | By

I found this CD in the same case as the DVD of the TV show. I’d checked it out from the library. I didn’t like the show that much, but the CD was a bonus, and I got my own copy. Most of the music was composed by Yoko Kanno, whom I was familiar with
[continue reading…]

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Do the ‘Works’ Still Work?

Sep 23rd, 2015 | By

This was in my vinyl collection, and after digging it out of storage, I promptly ignored it for several months. Back in the early 1980s, I’d liked some of it. But now, all I could remember about it was huge, blown-up ostentation, grand sonic spectacle based on nothing. Not that the concept was bad, of
[continue reading…]

A (not so) Hidden Message from Funky Winds on the Sea

Aug 19th, 2015 | By

My friend introduced me to this record in college: Seawind, the album, by Seawind, the band.  Though not one of those all-time masterpiece records, it is still unfortunate that it subsequently has been lost to time and obscurity.  This is a cool 1970s/’80s funky music, akin to Earth Wind and Fire, with intricate rhythmic interplay
[continue reading…]

An Intriguing Space Between Noise and Silence

Aug 10th, 2015 | By

I ran across this memorial retrospective set of CDs at a concert of artists who’d worked with Steven Michael Miller.  Since I had not heard of Mr. Miller at the time, I asked about the music.  In the ensuing conversation, I was convinced to buy the CD set.  I wasn’t disappointed. There are eight CDs
[continue reading…]

A Different German Music, Though Maybe Not So Different

Jul 15th, 2015 | By

I think that when I was 12 or 13, my music teacher (composition and classical piano) pulled a fast one on me.  One day I passed by his coffee table, as always, on my way to play the piano.  Sitting on the coffee table that day was a two-record boxed album, the Complete Piano Music of
[continue reading…]

Finnegans (rea)Wake(ning) as Music

May 27th, 2015 | By

Now this is an interesting idea: the “whole wholume” of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake set to music by various musicians, not as a set of songs or an opera but as a single day-long composition.  I’ve listened to about two-thirds of it so far, and it promises to be something greater than the sum of
[continue reading…]

Monolithic Multi-dimensional Metal … Drones …?

May 8th, 2015 | By

This CD, Monoliths and Dimensions, caught me completely by surprise.  I was looking through the online catalogue of the public library and when I came across this, the band’s unpronounceable name, Sunn O))), piqued my interest.  The notes classified it as “drone metal.”  The reader will have to imagine a question mark and an exclamation
[continue reading…]

Indie-Rock, Sō Not As Usual

Apr 29th, 2015 | By

The album is Where (We) Live by Grey McMurray and Sō Percussion.  I came across it at the public library a couple of months ago, in the jazz section.  I had heard some of Sō Percussion’s gamelan-inspired work before, though the cover (a cardboard sculpture of the Brooklyn Bridge against a stark white background) suggested
[continue reading…]

As:Is, As Is

Apr 1st, 2015 | By

Christine Abdelnour (saxophone), Bonnie Jones (electronics), and Andrea Neumann (inside piano) improvised this music, As:Is, together.  The cover art, a picture of their hair, makes them anonymous – none of them sport particularly individualistic hairstyles. That’s all.  There is nothing else about this CD that in any way suggests that the performers might be humans,
[continue reading…]