Playlists for the Long Distancing 2

We’re going to be indoors for a long time now. In case it helps ease the pressure, I’m going to be revisiting my back catalogue of new music playlists and posting things here every weekend. Some of these lists regular readers will have seen before; some of them will be new collections. (Or at least ones I’ve had knocking around privately for a while.)

The second of my weekly playlists was a real monster when I first posted it in 2012. After updating it this week it has more than doubled in length, to a whopping 63 hours.

This is Mode Records‘ ongoing Complete John Cage Edition, which now extends to more than 50 volumes. Not everything in that series is in the following playlist – some volumes have been released on vinyl only, or as DVDs – but the list is currently as comprehensive as it can be.

Now, much as I love Cage’s music, I don’t expect anyone to listen to this list in its entirety. Rather, I place it here as a testament to Mode’s remarkable achievement in sustaining this edition. Think of this playlist as a sampler, and a reason to buy the original recordings from Mode themselves.

This is also a good time to mention that Mode – who have been releasing exemplary recordings of new music for thirty-five years – are in desperate need of funds in order to continue. You can find their fundraising page here. The good news is that if they reach their target of $9,500 dollars, this will be matched with a further $10,000 by the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation. The bad news is that this total must be reached by the end of March, just a few days from now. However, they are less than $2,000 dollars short of this target, so please give generously if you can. With new music already so stretched in the current climate, it would be wonderful if we could save something too.

 

Playlists for the Long Distancing

We’re going to be indoors for a long time now. In case it helps ease the pressure, I’m going to be revisiting my back catalogue of new music playlists and posting things here every weekend. Some of these lists regular readers will have seen before; some of them will be new collections. (Or at least ones I’ve had knocking around privately for a while.)

Love and art are what will get us through, so keep your families close, and use the time to listen to some great music.

To start with, a run-down of playlists made to mark International Women’s Day between 2011 and 2018. I hope that you find some things you like.

2011: Music by Lockwood, Rehnqvist, Weir, Tian, Neuwirth and more

Original post about this list is here.

2012: Music by Chambers, Monk, Lim, Berberian, Bång and more

Original post about this list is here.

2013: Music by Lockwood, Weir, Mamlok, Jugend, Hodkinson and more

Original post about this list is here.

2014: Music by Amacher, Spiegel, Canat de Chizy, Z, Fullman and more

Original post about this list is here.

2015: Music by Payne, Rylan, Mundry, Polli, Westerkamp and more

Original post about this list is here.

2016: No list for this year. (Sorry.)

2017: Music by Oliveros, Z, Ali-Zadeh, Walshe, León and more

Original post about this list is here.

2018: Music by Iannotta, Pritchard, Joyce, Norman, Gísladóttir and more

Original post about this list is here.

Radio Rambler – International Women’s Day 2015

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Today is International Women’s Day, and once again the Radio Rambler playlist has been updated with three hours of contemporary music by women composers.

At the risk of making a massive over-generalisation, there are probably fewer women working within the usual channels of contemporary composition (writing music for others to perform, in concert halls and opera houses) than are taking their music making into their own hands, either working in the electroacoustic studio, where no third party performers are required, or acting as performers of their own music. If this is true – and it’s only a personal hunch, I don’t have hard data – there are several possible reasons for this, most of them economic/structural and none of them having to do with biology. The list below features several performer/composers (Jessica Rylan, Maja Ratkje, Agata Zubel) as well as several electroacoustic composers (Maggi Payne, Andrea Polli, Hildegard Westerkamp). I’ve made a conscious decision to balance these with works written in a more ‘conventional’ concert hall format (Joanna Bailie, Iris ter Schiphorst, Isabel Mundry, Olga Neuwirth), but there is plenty of fluidity between those divisions, as you’ll hear.

This year BBC Radio 3 is also getting in on the act with a day of music by women composers, including their own playlist of female composers, but I’m confident they and I won’t overlap much. Here’s my playlist for this year:

Maggi Payne – Airwaves (realities) (Music and Arts Programs of America)
Jessica Rylan – Please Come To Meet Me There (Ecstatic Peace!)
Isabel Mundry – Ich und du (NEOS)
Andrea Polli – Round Mountain (Gruenrekorder)
Agata Zubel – NOT I (KAIROS)
Hildegard Westerkamp – Talking Rain (Earsay)
Olga Neuwirth – Clinamen/Nodus (KAIROS)
Maja SK Ratkje – Vacuum (Rune Grammofon)
Joanna Wozny – Archipel (BR-Klassik)
Iris ter Shiphorst – Studien zu Figuren / Serie A (NEOS)
Eve Beglarian – Robin Redbreast (New World Records)
Joanna Bailie – Five Famous Adagios (Sinfonietta Productions Ltd)

I’ve been making these playlists for five years now, and they aren’t getting any easier to put together. I try to avoid repeating composers between years too much, which makes things trickier (and I don’t succeed anyway), but even so it’s clear that despite the conversations that have been going on about this for forever, women are still underrepresented within contemporary music, underrepresented in the music that then gets recorded (even though I’ve included two of their recordings here, Kairos’s catalogue is as good an indication as any), and then underrepresented on the labels that are big enough to have Spotify distribution. While that all remains true, I believe there is still a case for spotlight-shining actions like this playlist, and I will continue to put them out there. Hopefully one year I won’t have to.

Previous playlists can be found here:

Radio Rambler Celebrates International Women’s Day 2014

iwd2013

Today is International Women’s Day, and as in previous years the Rambler is marking the occasion with a celebration of contemporary music by women. The Radio Rambler playlist has been updated with two and half hours of music by female composers, all of it rather fantastic. Enjoy!

Maryanne Amacher – Stain (live version) (excerpt) (Nonesuch)
Laurie Spiegel – Appalachian Grove I (Anthology of Recorded Music)
Edith Canat de Chizy – Vivere (Aeon)
Pamela Z – Declaratives in First Person (Bridge)
Ellen Fullman – Body Music (Experimental Intermedia)
Elodie Lauten – Flow (Studio 21)
Laetitia deCompeigne Sonami – What Happened (Nonesuch)
Sachiko M – Detect (Antifrost)
Shelley Hirsch – In the Basement (Bridge)
Lisa Bielawa – Kafka Songs (Tzadik) in media res (Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
Wendy Mae Chambers – Snake Dancer (Anthology of Recorded Music)
Carola Bauckholt – nein allein (Coviello)
Mary Jane Leach – Bruckstuck (Experimental Intermedia)
Meredith Monk – Phantom Waltz (Brilliant Classics)

Update: Bielawa tracks substituted for another piece, since I’d inadvertently included something that was only a local file to my machine, not on Spotify itself.

This is my fourth playlist for International Women’s Day. Previous ones can be found here:

Radio Rambler updated

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A few weeks ago I came across Hermann Keller’s 29 pieces for prepared piano. I fell in love with their disintegrating sound, the preparations used negatively – to dismantle the piano timbre, rather than surrogate a percussion ensemble – and decided to build a playlist around them. The following includes six of Keller’s pieces, distributed in sequence among a variety of other things that have caught my ear recently.

I also wanted to include Richard Barrett’s DARK MATTER, the latest of his major composite works to appear on CD (on NMC), and a piece I have been listening to a lot over the last couple of months. It’s an extraordinary work. Like so much of Richard’s music it takes me a few listens for the whole thing to snap into focus. But when it does …

Nearly everything on this playlist is either a solo or duo piece. Most of the pieces are ‘small’ in other ways too; whether in scale, or humility, or on their level of focus. The 80-minute DARK MATTER might appear something of an exception to this rule, yet it too addresses ideas of scale, from the sub-atomic to the cosmic, the human to the social. And at its heart is a solo instrument – the guitar – which contributes greatly to the timbre, structure and concept of the piece.

So guitars are another thread running through this playlist – aided greatly by Geoffrey Morris’s excellent recording of contemporary guitar music In flagranti. As is melody; almost inevitably, perhaps, for a set of mostly solo works. Stephen Montague’s After Ives …, for piano and string quartet, connect several of these threads, and serve to acknowledge his 70th birthday last month.

As always, you can listen to the whole lot here through Spotify. Previous tracks played on Radio Rambler may be found in the archiveprevious playlists are all here.

Where possible, links to the label’s website have been given for each track.

If you like what you hear, and you you think others might too, please spread the word.

Photo by puukibeach on flickr.

Radio Rambler Celebrates International Women’s Day 2013

iwd2013

Today is International Women’s Day, and as in previous years the Rambler is marking the occasion with a celebration of contemporary music by women. The Radio Rambler playlist has been updated with 5 hours of music by female composers, all of it rather fantastic. Enjoy!

Liza Lim – Weaver of Fictions (ABC)
Annette Schmucki – Arbeiten/Verlieren. Die Wörter. (Musiques Suisse)
Annea Lockwood – Thousand Year Dreaming (Pogus)
Judith Weir – Michael’s Strathspey (NMC)
Ursula Mamlok – Confluences (Bridge Records)
Nurit Jugend – Bows to Brushes (innova)
Juliana Hodkinson – Fish and Fowl (Dacapo)
Carola Bauckholt – Gerauschtone (Coviello)
Jennifer Walshe – i: same person / ii: not the same person (Interval)
Elodie Lauten – Rhyme and Reason (self-released)
Julia Wolfe – East Broadway (Point Music)
Chaya Czernowin – INA (self-released)
Adriana Hölszky – Countdown (NEOS)
Hildegard Westerkamp – Into the Labyrinth (Centrediscs)
Younghi Pagh-Paan – Pa-mun (Naxos)
Kaija Saariaho – Six Japanese Gardens (Ondine)
Myung-Sun Lee – Olleh (Celestial Harmonies)
Fátima Miranda – Diapasión (52 Promociones Musicales)
Cecilie Ore – A. a shadow opera (Aurora)

This is my third playlist for International Women’s Day. Previous ones can be found here:

Radio Rambler updated

I’ve updated the Radio Rambler playlist to commemorate the deaths of three post-war masters: Emmanuel Nunes, Hans Werner Henze and Elliott Carter.

The playlist also includes nods towards a few things (EXAUDI/Cassidy, Scelsi, the JACK Quartet, David Dunn, Nicolaus A. Huber) that have been on my desk and/or mind recently. Plus some things that are just great.

  • Emmanuel Nunes – Nachtmusik I, perf. Ensemble Contrechamps (Accord, currently out of print)
  • Hans Werner Henze – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no.2, perf. Christoph Eschenbach, London Philharmonic (Deutsche Grammophon, currently out of print) (obituaries)
  • Fausto Romitelli – Chorus, perf. Les Percussions de Strasbourg (Accord, currently out of print)
  • György Ligeti – Hungarian Rock (arr. barrel organ), perf. Pierre Charial (Sony Classical, currently out of print)
  • Arne Nordheim – Collage II (Aurora)
  • Simon Steen-Andersen – In Her Frown, perf. Asamisimasa (Dacapo)
  • Aaron Cassidy – A Painter of Figures in Rooms, perf. EXAUDI (NMC)
  • Giacinto Scelsi – Xnoybis (arr. viola), perf. Vincent Royer (Mode)
  • Peter Ablinger – Der Regen, das Glas, das Lachen, perf. Klangforum Wien (Kairos)
  • György Ligeti – String Quartet no.2, perf. JACK Quartet (Wigmore Hall Live) (review)
  • David Dunn – Mimus Polyglottos (innova)
  • Louis Andriessen – De Staat, perf. Schoenberg Ensemble (Nonesuch, out of print)
  • Nicolaus A. Huber – Don’t Fence Me In, perf. Ensemble Recherche (Coviello)
  • Georg Friedrich Haas – Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich …, perf. Klangforum Wien (Kairos)
  • Elliott Carter – Sound Fields, perf. BBC Symphony Orchestra (Bridge) (obituaries)

As always, you can listen to the whole lot here through Spotify. Previous tracks played on Radio Rambler may be found in the archiveprevious playlists are all here.

If you like what you hear, and you you think others might too, please spread the word.

(Image from jogoraz.)