* Jerusalem: City of the Two Peaces (Hesperion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* McCoy Tyner: Nights of Ballads & Blues (Impulse! CD)
* McCoy Tyner: Inception (Impulse! CD)
* Gateway: Homecoming (ECM CD)
* Marc Johnson: The Sound of Summer Running (Verve CD)
* David Torn: Cloud About Mercury (ECM CD)
* Steven Halpern: Gifts of the Angels (Open Channel CD)
* V/A: The Perfumed Garden: 82 Rare Flowerings…1965-1973 (d.1) (Past Present 5CD)
* Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill (United Artists LP)
* Jane: Jane III (Brain LP)
* Marcos Valle: Vento Sul (Odeon/Light In The Attic LP)
* This Mortal Coil: It’ll End In Tears (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Filigree & Shadow (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Blood (4AD HDCD)
* Boris with Michio Kurihara: Rainbow (Drag City CD)
* Boris: Heavy Rocks 2 (Southern Lord 2LP)
* Boris: New Album (Sargent House CD)
* Locrian: Infinite Dissolution (Relapse LP)
* Matthew Bourne: Moogmemory (Leaf LP/CD)
I was honored to participate in another Indeterminacies event at Zeitgeist Gallery this week, moderating the discussion between the audience and four student composers from the Blair School of Music, each of whom wrote music in response to the artwork of gallery artists, Paul Collins and Ward Schumacher.
All of these young composers presented unique and invigoratingly thoughtful analogs to the paintings on display. Jasper Brey's "Century" for flute, horn, double-bass and percussion, developed an accomplished set of variations based, in part, on recurring colors and motifs in Schumacher's series. "Natural Development" by George Miller took a different approach, with computer music and dance creating an immersive visual and audial space evoking the anthropomorphic trees depicted in Paul Collins's brightly colored yet oddly unsettling pictures. Amy Victoria Thompson's "Concert Pie" was a tour de force musical response to a punning, text-based painting by Schumacher. A seamlessly unfolding catalog of cadences -- from gothic to modern -- represented the text (which reads: "The End is All Importan" -- get it?) while an astonishingly thoroughgoing development of a handful of melodic and rhythmic ideas gave the piece a cohesiveness and emotional heft that reflected the seriousness beneath the artist's joking surface. Finally, Andrew Clark's "Soft Bark" harnessed the inherent narrative qualities of a string quartet to describe the various characters lurking within Collins's deceptively sunny, sylvan scenes. To learn that Mr. Clark is but a freshman was something of a shock!
The handling of musical materials across a variety of approaches and instrumentation was truly impressive -- but their sensitive and committed engagement with the art really blew me away. I tried to get people talking about what was going on -- and each composer was fascinatingly articulate about what they were up to -- but getting the audience involved was hard. Even so, it was clear to me that the capacity crowd was a moved as I was by the music. And perhaps it got them thinking -- if not talking. Regardless, it was a great evening. Young people like this give me hope for the future.
Meanwhile, here at Heeltop Home Studio, the Moogertron 3700 is coming along. I picked up a couple more Moogerfoogers on Craigslist for a great price (and another one came in the mail). It's insane, I know -- but I love it. Soon it will be complete (ha!). Anyway, here's a taste of what I've been up to: