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Posts tagged 'The Living Earth Show'

PSNY Recent Recordings: Part I

New Music in America has been booming in recent years, with a new generation of young composers, ensembles, presenting organizations, and record labels contributing to a vibrant community with an increasingly large audience. Though streaming services have become ascendant, recordings and recording projects have come to hold an increasingly important role in new music: they serve as enduring documents of the hard work of composers and performers, letting the music travel beyond the score and the concert hall. 

Over the next few weeks, PSNY will feature the many recent recordings of compositions by our many talented composers, honoring the hard work and ingenuity of the many ensembles and record labels that contribute to the growing communtiy of new music, and indeed carry the music to new audiences across the globe. 

Our list begins with eighth blackbird's 2016 release, Hand Eye, which emerged from a stunning concert program of the same name. For Hand Eye, the multiple-Grammy™-award-winning ensemble paired up with the composer collective Sleeping Giant, which comprises of Ted Hearne, Timo Andres, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Robert Honstein, and Andrew Norman. That concert program, and the resulting album, features Andres' Checkered Shade, Norman's Mine, Mime, Meme, Cerrone's South Catalina, and Hearne's By-By Huey, among compositions by Honstein and Cooper. 

Writing in the American Record Guide, George Adams calls Hand Eye "a gorgeous, delicately constructed sonic mural." Check out eighth blackbird performing the program at Chicago's MCA:

Next, we'd like to feature an album by Ryan Muncy, the stellar saxophonist (who also performed Marcos Balter'sWicker Park on another 2016 record with the International Contemporary Ensemble). Muncy's second solo album, ism, was released on TUNDRA, ICE's in-house recording label, distributed by New Focus Recordings. Alongiside works by James Tenney and Lee Hyla, Muncy teams up with percussionist Ross Karre to perform Erin Gee's Mouthpiece XXIV, commissioned and premeired by Muncy and Karre in 2015. 

Next we'd like to feature two recordings released on New Amsterdam, both of which feature the work of Christopher Cerrone. Vicky Chow's A O R T A features Cerrone's Hoyt-Schemerhorn for solo piano and electronics, bringing her own voice to a piece that has enjoyed many performances since its 2009 premiere. The Living Earth Show's Dance Music features Cerrone's Double Happiness, a work for electric guitar and percussion that they commissioned and premeired in 2013. 

Finally, we'd like to feature an album we previously wrote about in 2016: Adrian Knight's  Obsessions, performed and recorded by R. Andrew Lee and released on Irritable Hedgehog. This long-form work for solo piano emerges from Knight's idiosyncratic and deeply personal musical language. As Knight remarked, "it's probably my most personal piece, because, like life, its trajectory wasn't predetermined. All I knew is that it would have to end." Obsessions resists mediation, and is best listened to completely. Head over to the album's Bandcamp page to take a listen. 

Christopher Cerrone in Los Angeles, Albany, Charleston, and more...

Just after being awarded this year's prestigious Rome Prize, PSNY composer Christopher Cerrone has a slew of performances and premieres throughout the US before heading off to Italy. Last Friday, May 15th, saw the premiere of Cerrone's Four Naomi Songs at EMPAC, as a part of the composer collective Sleeping Giant's residency. Performed by The Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony Orchestra's resident new music ensemble, along with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, Cerrone's songs were accompanied by contributions from the other composers in the collective—which includes Timo Andres, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Jacob Cooper, and Robert Honstein. Check out a preview of the Naomi Songs, with Cerrone, Bleckmann, and Andres, here: 

Coming up next is Cerrone's premiere of The Pieces That Fall to Earth by the LA Philharmonic on May 26th. Commissioned by the LA Philharmonic, the piece is a symphonic setting of poems by Kay Ryan. The premiere takes place as part of the LA Phil's Green Umbrella series and will be conducted by John Adams with soprano Hila Plitmann as soloist. 

Rounding out Cerrone's activities in May, The Living Earth Show will be performing his Double Happiness, along with Timo Andres' You Broke It, You Bought It and Adrian Knight's Family Man at the Spoleto USA Festival on May 28th. Check out the band performing Andres' piece at San Francisco's Mission Science Workshop below. 

The Living Earth Show Perform Knight, Andres on New CD

Adrian Knight and Timo Andres are among several composers whose works have been recently recorded by The Living Earth Show, a San Francisco-based duo of guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andrew Meyerson. Their new CD, High Art, was released on Innova on November 19th, and includes Knight's "Family Man" and Andres' "You Broke It, You Bought It." Already well-reviewed by the SF Examiner and written up in the San Fransisco Classical Voice, the album is The Living Earth Show's recording debut; they have performed the works of Knight, Andres, and others across the country since 2012. Check out the video for "Family Man" below: 

Knight's works on PSNY for guitar include "Bon Voyage" (three guitars) and "Daedaldualism" (guitar, synthesizer, and electronics); other electro-acoustic works include "The Tears" (harp, live electronics) and "Vain Attempts" (piano, electronics). Andres' works on PSNY with percussion include "Crashing Through Fences" (piccolo, glockenspiel, two bass drums) and "Trade Winds" (bass clarinet, piano, percussion, string quartet).  

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