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Katie Young Featured in Wet Ink: 20, WasteLAnd Music Concert Series

Though composer, improviser, and bassoonist Katie Young is now based in Chicago—the "Third Coast"—she will also be present this autumn on America's other two coasts, featued by two leading new music ensembles. Wet Ink, the venerable new music organization based in New York, is celebrating its 20th anniversary season, and in conjunction, has released Wet Ink: 20, which features Young's like a halo. This sextet, performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, accompanies works by Eric Wubbels, Sam Pluta, Anthony Braxton, Kate Soper, and Alex Mincek, on a masterfully produced album, recorded at Oktaven Audio, mixed by Pluta, and mastered by Matthew Mehlan. In conjunction with the release of the album on September 15th, Young's like a halo will also be released on Score Follower, to give listeners a chance to follow along in a visual medium. 

Young's work is also featured this season by the Los Angeles based WasteLAnd Music, which has programmed Young's works on five of its concerts. Throughout their season, WasteLAnd will perform Young's Puddles and Crumbs, slam creak bzzz, and Underworld (dancing), and at least six other works. On October 5th, WasteLAnd will premiere Young's BIOMES, an extended work for improvising performers using electroacoustic sound, light, video, movement, set design, or other means, which they also commissioned. Follow WasteLAnd on Facebook to keep up to date on their upcoming season! 

Alex Mincek's "Images of Duration" [In Homage to Ellsworth Kelly]" Released on Northern Spy Records

Alex Mincek has long been interested in how humans percieve sound, and how to craft music that plays with perceptual shifts—from slight to drastic. Images of Duration, released recently on Northern Spy Records, continues this compositional thread through elements both monumental and minute: two pianos, tuned 1/4 tone apart, are accompanied by a vast array of ad hoc percussion instruments, performing an hour-long piece that is full of doubles: flatness and dynamism, shallowness and profound depth, slowness and extreme speed. 

Masterfully performed by Yarn/Wire, for whom Mincek composed the work between 2015–2018, Images of Duration is a composition of long duration that is divided into eight sections, each of which presents listeners with new possibiilties for attention, perception, and reaction to sound. Titled with visual descriptors of form and color, these sections present dramatic contrasts in the dimensions of pitch, rhythm, timbre, and dynamics, and yet also maintain a consistent arc throughout the work as a whole. Stream the recording below! 

PSNY Recent Recordings: Part III

We're back with another post featuring recent recordings of works by PSNY composers. This round begins with Mario Diaz de Leon's  Sanctuary, a 2017 album performed by the TAK Ensemble, which contains a unified, album-length piece created in collaboration with the performers. Sanctuary continues Diaz de Leon's exploration of intensities—of timbre, including the extensive use of electronics alongside acoustic instruments and the human voice; of rhythm, contrasting the bubbling arpeggios of electronic instruments to the cycles of breath and bow; and of the expressive possibilities of melody, carefully interwoven between instruments and voices. As Seth Colter Walls wrote in the New York Times, "The edgy electronic timbres can serve a range of compositional functions: contrasting dramatically with the purity of a soprano’s sound, in one moment, before finding, in the bass clarinet, a partner in grain." Check out "Sanctuary" below. 

In 2017, Alex Mincek also released a major album that collects recordings of several recent works, entitled Torrent. Released by Sound AmericanTorrent includes recordings of several works performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and the Mivos Quartet. These works were all composed in the past seven years, and include Pendulum VII, which is available from PSNY. Check out an excerpt below: 

Katharina Rosenberger also released a major album in 2017, Shift, performed by memebrs of Los Angeles's wasteLAnd and Rage Trombones (Matt Barbier & Weston Olencki). Released on famed expeirmental label HatHut records, Shift explores spatialization, long-form improvisation, and modularity, and was immaculately recorded by Tom Erbe at the University of California, San Diego. Check out an excerpt below.  

Scott Wollschleger's Soft Aberration, a major release on New Focus Records, collects beautiful performances of many of the composer's works, perfomed by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, Mivos Quartet, and Longleash trio. Check out an in-depth review at I Care If You Listen, which praises Wollschleger's works such as Soft Aberration, Brontal Symmetry, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World!, America, and String Quarter No. 2 "White Wall."

And finally on this roundup of dedicated composer portrait albums, we're pleased to feature The Music of Fred Lerdahl, Volume 5, released on Bridge Records. The four performances on this album present works from Lerdahl's long career, including Episodes & Refrains (1982), Quiet Music (1994 arr. 2001), Times 3 (2012), and Time and Again (2014). Check out an excerpt of Quiet Music below.

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