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Information Regarding COVID-19

Our New York City office remains closed to protect the health and safety of all of our employees. During this time, we are doing everything possible to minimize disruptions to our daily operations. All employees are working remotely and remain fully contactable. If you have had to cancel or postpone a performance of a work from our catalogue, or are considering live streaming performances or streaming archival material, we are prepared to assist you in facilitating changes. Please direct all questions or concerns to rental@eamdc.com.

Please note:

  • All materials from canceled or completed performances should be returned to our Verona, New Jersey library only.
  • Please do not return materials to our New York office. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for lost materials that are returned to our New York office while it is closed. If materials are lost, we will have to charge the full replacement value.

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Posts tagged 'New Focus Recodings'

Richard Carrick's "lanterne" Released on New Focus Recordings

Richard Carrick has often felt most at home composing music for intimate spaces. In his chamber music, Carrick brings his own sense of virtuosity and structure to the interaction between nimble performers, adding his own meticulous artistry to the act of small-scale musical performance. As a performer himself, and as co-director of the Either/Or Ensemble, Carrick seeks out the precarious nuance and subtlety of live performance, writing works for small instrumental forces that focus both performer and listener to the present moment. 


lanterne, Carrick's latest release with New Focus Recordings, brings several of his works together on an album that celebrates this kind of small-scale intimacy in a time when so many people have been forced into social isolation, and in a time when the reflection made possible by his music is all the more valuable. Though this album was conceived well before COVID, Carrick's music takes on even more meditative power. In the titular composition lanterne, for example, Carrick explores the intricate possibilities of the bass flute, creating a kind of "wall of sound" that emerges from its lower register and climbs rhythmically throughout the instrument's harmonics and even the performer's own voice. The gasping, breathy sonorities of lanterne also emerge metaphorically in Carrick's 2018 string quartet Space:Timewhich imagines the physical barriers of space travel—from the claustrophobia of the interior spaces for humans, to the pull of gravity and acceleration "into the light", as its coda is titled. 

Like many composers, Carrick often works with the musicians for whom he has written many of the works on lanterne both in person and remotely—this latter method involving correspondence including scores, recordings, videos, and voice memos. The ability for Carrick and his collaborators to share sketches, ideas, and sounds together, even though they are not in the same space, enables Carrick to compose works that evoke liveness and virtuosity through careful craft and technique. Carrick often draws inspiration for this refinement of performative gesture from gugak, the traditional music of Korea, which often features highly controlled yet wildly expressive sounds generated on instruments intended for small spaces. On lanterne, three works explicitly incorporate structural and sonic elements from gugak: DangaSeongeum, and sandstone(s), the last of which incorporates traditional Korean instruments put into timbral dialogue with flute, violin, and cello.  

Recorded before the current crisis, but mixed and mastered in the isolation of a global pandemic, Carrick's lanterne is a prescient reminder of the possibilities of smallness and intimacy that emerge from the interaction between composers, performers, carefully crafted as scoee and recording—even in a time when we all must remain physically alone. Check out an interview with Carrick by New Focus Recordings below.

Christopher Cerrone's "Liminal Highway" Released as Album and Film

Back in 2016, Christopher Cerrone continued his innovative exploration of new possibilities for musical composition with a work for the flautist Tim MunroLiminal Highway, for flute and electronics. Originally co-commissioned by Miller Theatre & New Music USA, this work continued to develop into more than a work for live performance: in 2018, Cerrone and Munro teamed up with Four/Ten Media to produce a film of the piece, shot aboard the decaying SS United States—a decomissioned ship that lives in the Philadelphia harbor. 

Like many of Cerrone's works, Liminal Highway takes inspiration from a poem: "Liminal Highway," by John K. Samson, known for his work with the indie-rock band The Weakerthans. In conversation with the Classical Post, Cerrone and Munro discuss the making of the piece, including Cerrone's amateur explorations of the flute, taking inspiration from the world's longest reverberation, and the process of "fixing" a piece in recorded media. In addition to the film, Liminal Highway is also released as an audio recording on New Focus RecordingsLiminal Highway joins many other of Cerrone's works as hybrid works that are simultaneously fixed and open, existing in multiple media yet also begging to be performed live. 

All five movements of Liminal Highway are now streaming on Bandcamp, where the album is also available for sale:

FLUX Quartet Performs Michael Hersch's "Images from a Closed Ward" with Live Video Projection

The music of Michael Hersch often addresses some of the most intense of human emotions and events: loss, suffering, pain, and darkness, what frequent collaborator Patricia Kopatchinskaja calls "this dark side, this shadow and blood." Indeed, the work that inspired Kopatchinskaja to work with Hersch was his 2010 string quartet, Images from a Closed Ward, which emerged from Hersch's encounter with the visual art of Michael Mazur, whom Hersch met in 2000 at the American Academy of Rome. This 13-movement string quartet responds directly to Mazur's gripping series of etchings and lithographs that depict the lives of residents—many of whom were committed against their will—at a Rhode Island mental institution in the early 1960s. 

The isolation, pain, and sorrow of Mazur's work is directly evoked in this masterful string quartet's movements, which transition between what the New York Times has called "creeping dread and desperate urgency." Hersch's gestural language seamlessly moves through texture, timbre, and harmony, using the four instruments of the string quartet as an organic being that convulses and laments, both statically and dynamically. In evoking the pain of disabled people treated with injustice and violence from a broken institutional system, it also allows listeners to imagine possibilities for restitution, justice, and ultimately peace.

A Lithograph by Michael Mazur  A Lithograph by Michael Mazur 

Originally commissioned and premiered by the Blair String Quartet in 2012, Images from a Closed Ward was recently recorded by the FLUX Quartet and released on New Focus Recordings in 2018. In addition to this new recording, the FLUX Quartet has also performed Images from a Closed Ward with a new live video projection, designed by James Matthew Daniel, which superimposes images of Mazur's works, excerpts of poetry, documentary photographs from mental institutions in the mid-20th-century, and other documentation related to those institutions on the performing quartet. The result is an even more powerful event that combines Hersch's sonic language with the visual work and poetry to which it responds, contextualizing and placing the quartet in the middle of a multi-sensory field. 

This video, taken from a performance at Philadelphia's Icebox Project Space, documents the FLUX Quartet's masterful performance of Hersch's work, and serves both as a compliment to their recent recording and also as a standalone work with its own unique combination of audio-visual poetics. Watch the full performance below.

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