For the Record is a weekly round-up of new and upcoming recordings of interest to the new-music community – contemporary classical music and jazz, electronic and electroacoustic music, and idioms for which no clever genre name has been coined – on CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital-only formats… you name it.
This list of release dates is culled from press releases, Amazon, Bandcamp, and other internet stores and sources, social-media posts, and online resources such as Discogs. Dates cited typically correspond to initial U.S. release, and are subject to change. (Links to Amazon, used when all else fails, do not imply endorsement.)
After publication, new listings are incorporated into For the Record: The Master List, a continuously updated resource exclusively accessible to paying Night After Night subscribers, found here.
These listings are not comprehensive—nor could they be! To submit a forthcoming recording for consideration, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all opinions expressed herein are solely my own, and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
It's about time.
It's been a busy few months of transition, training, and occasional travail, as a result of which this present project, ever near and dear to my heart, has languished. Not a week has gone by that I haven't seen five or ten (or more) things I wanted to share, but time simply hasn't been available.
But it's time I made it available. I'm not wholly satisfied when I can't pursue ideas and ideals that remain of paramount importance to me, personally. More importantly, I owe a debt to this newsletter's readers—particularly those who've supported the endeavor from the start with their subscriptions.
I'm in arrears. Time now to start making it up to us both.
Album of the Week.
Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
Mode; CD, DL
I pondered whether I should disqualify myself from boosting this album, seeing as how once upon a time I was hired to write the liner notes. I was forced to give up an assignment that I'd very much wanted to fulfill because the work happened to coincide with my developing a fairly dramatic eyesight impairment, treatment of which made working very close to impossible for a while.
I see that, in the end, suitable notes were procured from some very impressive contributors. (Consider my guilt assauged, at last.)
I first came to know Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss-born Californian, through a few very strong chamber-music releases on the (original) Hat Hut label: Shift, featuring the mostly L.A. musicians of Wasteland and Rage Thormbones, and Texturen, played by Wet Ink Ensemble.
Tempi Agitati, a substantial work for a cappella vocal sextet from 2016, takes as its starting point a specific instance in the life of Petrarch:
On April 6, 1327, a 22-year-old Italian poet named Francesco Petrarca caught a glimpse of a young woman, Laura, in a church in Avignon. He later reported that “living sparks issued from two lovely eyes”. Those sparks enflamed Petrarch such that he spent the rest of his illustrious career coming to terms with them.
Rosenberger's cycle interleaves 16th centuary madrigals based on Petrarch's poems, by Adrian Willaert and Cipriano de Rore – groundbreaking Franco-Flemish composers linked with Venice – with her own responses to Petrarch, fashioned in a thoroughly modern idiom with extended techniques. Those disparate expressions mix and mingle with beguiling smoothness; the singers of Neue Vocalsolisten handle extremes and transitions with beauty and aplomb.
In live performances of Tempi Agitati, Rosenberger has employed a rhythm-derived choreography she developed jointly with theatre director Ludger Engels: the movement shaped by the music, and in turn helping to shape each performance. Captured on record, that immersive aspect is lost, but the play of contrasts remains potent. The ancient sources, however radical in their day, seem to convey an ideal beauty the poet sought to convey, while the contemporary passages evoke enflamed emotions and the turbulence of the creative act.
New this week.
Kaja Draksler - In Otherness Oneself (Unsounds)
Lawrence English - Viento (Room40)
Grossman/Morris-Smith - Curious Music (Astral Spirits/Research)
MAW (Frank Meadows, Jessica Ackerley, Eli Wallace) - A Maneuver Within (Atlantic Rhythms)
New York Youth Symphony - Works by Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman - Michelle Cann, New York Youth Symphony/Michael Repper (Avie)
Tony Oxley - Unreleased (1974-2016) (Discus Music)
Katharina Rosenberger - Tempi Agitati - Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart (Mode)
Wilfrido Terrazas - The Torres Cycle - The Torres Collective (New Focus)
Andy Zimmermann - Half Light (Newvelle)
Kory Reeder - Codex Symphonia (self-released)
Michael Oesterle - Quatuors - Quatuor Bozzini (Collection QB)
Christopher Trapani - Horizontal Drift - performances by Amy Advocat, Marco Fusi, Maximilan Haft, Dan Lippel, and Marilyn Nonken (New Focus)
Annea Lockwood - Bayou-Borne/Jitterbug - Maze (Modern Furniture)
Jane Antonia Cornish - Sierra - Vicky Chow (Cantaloupe Music)
Marti Epstein - Nebraska Impromptu - Rane Moore, Winsor Music (New Focus)
Forest Management - Palm Life (Husky Pants)
Olga Neuwirth - Orlando - Kate Lindsey, Anna Clementi, Eric Jurenas, Justin Vivian Bond, Leigh Melrose, Constance Hauman, Chorus of Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Staatsoper/Matthias Pintscher (C Major DVD/Blu-ray)
Henry Birdsey/Max Eilbacher - Bell Formations (Husky Pants)
Cyrus Pireh - Still Here, Still Ripping (Astral Editions)
Quentin Tolmieri - Monochromes (Elsewhere)
Jessica Pavone - …of Late (Astral Spirits)
Nat Baldwin - The Red Barn (Tripticks Tapes)
Lucian Ban - Ways of Disappearing (Sunnyside)
India Gailey - to you through - compositions by Fjóla Evans, India Gailey, Philip Glass, Yaz Lancaster, Michael Gordon, Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (Redshift Music)
Weston Olencki - Old Time Music (Tripticks Tapes)
Mary Lattimore & Paul Sukeena - West Kensington (Three Lobed Recordings)
Lucy Liyou - Welfare/Practice (American Dreams; combined 2LP issue of 2020 and 2021 recordings)
Brandon Seabrook Trio - In the Swarm (Astral Spirits)
Travis Laplante - Wild Tapestry (Out of Your Head)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir - Aerial - performances by Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Caput Ensemble, Nordic Affect, and L.A. Percussion Quartet (Sono Luminus; expanded, remastered reissue of 2014 Deutsche Grammophon release)
David Virelles - Nuna (Pi Recordings)
Phill Niblock - Ghosts and Others (Room40)
Steve Reich - Reich/Richter -Ensemble Intercontemporain/George Jackson (Nonesuch)
Terry Jennings - Piece for Cello and Saxophone - Charles Curtis (Saltern)
Thank you all.