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Posts tagged 'Tzadik Records'

Momenta Quartet Champions Alvin Singleton's String Quartets

Alvin Singleton'sSomehow We Can was commissioned in 1994 by the Eastman School of Music in memory of the celebrated contralto Marian Anderson, and has been recorded and released by Tzadik Records on an eponymous album from 2002. Now, Somehow We Can has become recently celebrated as a repertoire staple by the Momenta Quartet, which has also performed Singleton's earlier quartet, Secret Desire to be Black. On November 19th, Somehow We Can saw its Philadelphia premiere, and as Momenta violinist Emile-Anne Gendron notes, Momenta is dedicated to incorporating this work as an "important addition to the string quartet canon."

The free improviser Eugene Chadbourne writes of Somehow We Can:  "The composer effectively uses the instruments to create an impression of the human voice, sometimes speaking alone, sometimes raised in a kind of aggressive rabble. Wonderful moments of melody float through, bringing to mind Duke Ellington's quote about grey skies being 'clouds passing over.'"

Singleton's work is also becoming a staple of cellist Seth Parker-Woods, who has incorporated Argoru II into his concert repertoire. Parker-Woods will perform the Seattle premiere Argoru II in an upcoming concert on December 9th.

Argoru II, as well as Secret Desire to be Black, will soon be published by PSNY, available as digital and hard-copy editions. Check out Momenta's performance of Secret Desire to be Black below. 

Mario Diaz de Leon: New Album, Residency at The Stone

Mario Diaz de Leon is a composer who explores the dark: dark emotion, dark affect, dark sounds. Equally at home in the world of instrumental composition as he is with metal, noise, and ambient drone music, Diaz de Leon truly embodies the spirit of the collaborative musician of today. In addition to composition, Diaz de Leon also performs under the alias Oneirogen, and has collaborated and performed with Nate Young of the legendary noise outfit Wolf Eyes. These collaborative and genre-crossing projects bring Diaz de Leon into a special category of "composer-performer" that knows no boundaries—neither aesthetic nor social. 

It's no surprise that Diaz de Leon would be connected to John Zorn, New York's Avant-Garde ringleader; his first album Enter Houses Of was released on Zorn's record label, Tzadik, and features performances from members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. Diaz de Leon has continued his close relationship with ICE to produce his latest album, The Soul is the Arena, recently released on Denovali Records. Check out the first track, Luciform, below. 

Writing in Pitchfork, Seth Colter Walls calls the album "the best introduction to his refined feel for instrumental extremity"; in Luciform, Claire Chase's relentless virtuosity rubs up against bass-heavy electronic textures. (Make sure to listen with headphones!). Along with Luciform, the title composition of this album, The Soul is the Arena, will be available for immediate download from PSNY. 

ICEstorm: Joshua Rubin - Mario Diaz de Leon: The Soul is the Arena from ICE on Vimeo.

If you're lucky enough to live in the New York area, Diaz de Leon will be performing the album in its entirety at The Stone on August 11th, along with ICE members Claire Chase, Joshua Rubin and Kivie Cahn-Lipman. This concert kicks of Diaz de Leon's residency at The Stone: a week of concerts that will include collaborations and performances with cellist/noise musician MV Carbon, the violin duo String Noise, Bloodmist, and more. Get there early—the first 50 audience members will receive a free copy of the CD.

Later in the week, on August 15th, the Mivos Quartet will perform Moonblood and Psalterion, two string quartets, and pianist Stephen Gosling will perform Cosmogony, a new work for piano and electronics. More information about the entire week of concerts can be found here.

Keep an eye out for The Soul is the Arena, as well as all five compositions from Enter Houses Of on PSNY soon! 

Tobias Picker on Tzadik Records

Tobias Picker, one of America's strongest composers of the 20th and 21st-centuries, has just released a new CD on John Zorn's Tzadik label, with performances by Sarah Rothenberg and the Brentano Quartet as well as members of the JACK Quartet, the Talea Ensemble, and many more. "Invisible Lilacs: Chamber Music 1976-2011," Picker's entry into Tzadik's "Composer Series", contains striking and authoratative recordings of several of his chamber works spanning four decades, inlcuding Sextet No. 2 ("Halle's Ravine"), available on PSNY, and Nova, soon to be available from PSNY. The CD also includes recordings of Picker's Piano Quintet ("Live Oaks"), and Invisible Lilacs for violin and piano, both available through Hal Leonard. Check out a video documentary of the recording process below! 



Tobias Picker's "Invisible Lilacs: Chamber Music 1976-2011" is available now from iTunes, Amazon, and most retailers. 

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