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John Luther Adams: Become Desert

Read "Become Desert" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

American composer John Luther Adams has long felt a connection with the natural environment, and Become Desert marks the conclusion of a trilogy he never intended to create. Become River (2010) was followed by 2013's Become Ocean (Cantaloupe Music, 2014), which won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2014. Become Ocean divided the orchestra into three parts, creating a constantly shifting, dense texture that evoked the motion of ocean waves. Become Desert utilizes space to an even greater ...

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Robert Black: Possessed

Read "Possessed" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Double bassist Robert Black (a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars) became fascinated by the desert landscape around Moab, Utah after an invitation to play at a music festival there. He improvised this entire site-specific environmental duet “on location" over the course of three days in August, 2013. The project was documented with video and photography: the full package includes a surround-sound DVD, CD, and a visual art companion book. The opening track “Hunter Canyon: Dawn" ...

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Sentieri Selvaggi: Plays Gavin Bryars and Philip Glass

Read "Plays Gavin Bryars and Philip Glass" reviewed by John Kelman

In an effort to bring greater attention to composers and ensembles via low-priced digital downloads (hard CDs available only to members of its subscription-only Cantaloupe Club), Cantaloupe Music--the contemporary classical imprint that features projects by new music ensemble Bang on a Can and its members, alongside other modernist ensembles including string quartet Ethel and all-percussion So Percussion--launches its series of EPs with Italian chamber ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi's sublime performance of Gavin Bryars' “Sub Rosa" and Philip Glass' “Façades." For those ...

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Bang on a Can All-Stars: Brian Eno: Music for Airports (Live)

Read "Brian Eno: Music for Airports (Live)" reviewed by John Kelman

When the innovative classical ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars released its version of Ambient music forefather Brian Eno's seminal Music for Airports (Virgin/Astralwerks, 1978) on POINT Music in 1998, it demonstrated how a composition seemingly far removed from the classical sphere could be absorbed into the legitimate canon. And although the studio version is already ten years old, the suite has remained an active part of the group's repertoire, performed as recently as last year at the Bang on ...

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Alarm Will Sound / Michael Gordon: Van Gogh

Read "Van Gogh" reviewed by John Kelman

For its third release on the intrepid new music classical Cantaloupe label, Alarm Will Sound shifts away from its chamber music interpretation of Acoustica: Alarm Will Sound Performs Aphex Twin (2005) to a piece of music that, while not exactly new, has been documented for the first time. Composer and Bang on a Can Artistic Co-Director Michael Gordon wrote this six-part theatrical piece in the late 1980s. First performed in collaboration with video artist Elliott Caplan in the 1990s as ...

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Michael Harrison: Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation

Read "Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation" reviewed by John Kelman

Certain instruments lend themselves more readily to unorthodox tunings. The guitar, for example, is an instrument tailor-made for alteration, with artists like Joni Mitchell creating dozens of altered tunings, encouraging approaches not possible with conventional tuning. Classical pianist/composer Michael Harrison has devised a unique tuning for the far more unwieldy piano that, while it may drive some piano tuners into a career change, yields remarkable and previously unheard of results on Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Evan Ziporyn: Frog's Eye

Read "Frog's Eye" reviewed by John Kelman

In its brief existence, Cantaloupe Music has become one of the most intrepid labels in new music, and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, has emerged as one of its most powerful compositional voices. One test of an artist's worth is his or her ability to take influences and create a new voice by filtering them through a more personal lens, and Ziporyn's previous records for the label--This is Not a Clarinet (Cantaloupe, 2001) ...


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