Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Latest Posts

Soundtrack to an Apocalypse
Feast Your Ears: New Music for Piano
Gone For Foreign
Fred Lerdahl: Time After Time
Nothing Sacred
Two From Wayne Horvitz
Two Fresh Cantaloupes
Gone But Not Forgotten
David Bennett Thomas: Chamber Works
In Transit

Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for our Editor's Pick's of the month. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Saturday, December 18, 2004 Saturday, December 25, 2004 Friday, December 31, 2004 Wednesday, January 05, 2005 Monday, January 10, 2005 Thursday, January 13, 2005 Thursday, January 20, 2005 Sunday, January 23, 2005 Monday, January 24, 2005 Saturday, January 29, 2005 Wednesday, February 02, 2005 Thursday, February 03, 2005 Monday, February 07, 2005 Tuesday, February 08, 2005 Friday, February 11, 2005 Monday, February 14, 2005 Wednesday, February 16, 2005 Tuesday, February 22, 2005 Monday, February 28, 2005 Sunday, March 06, 2005 Monday, March 07, 2005 Wednesday, March 09, 2005 Sunday, March 13, 2005 Friday, March 18, 2005 Monday, March 28, 2005 Saturday, April 02, 2005 Monday, April 11, 2005 Sunday, April 17, 2005 Tuesday, April 19, 2005 Monday, April 25, 2005 Monday, May 02, 2005 Monday, May 09, 2005 Tuesday, May 17, 2005 Tuesday, May 31, 2005 Monday, June 06, 2005 Thursday, June 16, 2005 Sunday, June 19, 2005 Sunday, July 10, 2005 Wednesday, July 13, 2005 Sunday, July 24, 2005 Friday, July 29, 2005 Monday, August 08, 2005 Monday, August 22, 2005 Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Friday, September 16, 2005 Sunday, September 25, 2005 Tuesday, October 04, 2005 Tuesday, October 18, 2005 Monday, October 24, 2005 Tuesday, November 01, 2005 Monday, November 07, 2005 Saturday, November 12, 2005 Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Friday, December 16, 2005 Monday, January 09, 2006 Thursday, January 12, 2006 Thursday, January 19, 2006 Tuesday, January 24, 2006 Thursday, February 02, 2006 Monday, February 13, 2006 Wednesday, February 15, 2006 Wednesday, March 01, 2006 Sunday, March 19, 2006 Sunday, March 26, 2006 Friday, March 31, 2006 Sunday, April 09, 2006 Monday, April 10, 2006 Thursday, April 20, 2006 Friday, April 21, 2006 Thursday, May 11, 2006 Thursday, May 18, 2006 Saturday, May 20, 2006 Friday, June 02, 2006 Tuesday, June 06, 2006 Friday, June 16, 2006 Monday, June 19, 2006 Sunday, June 25, 2006 Monday, June 26, 2006 Monday, July 10, 2006 Thursday, July 13, 2006 Thursday, July 20, 2006 Friday, July 21, 2006 Sunday, July 23, 2006 Thursday, August 03, 2006 Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Powered by Blogger

Sunday, July 23, 2006
Tell the Birds
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; Creating the World; Robin Redbreast; Wonder Counselor; Landscaping for Privacy; FlamingO
Eve Beglarian
Lisa Bielawa, voice; MATA Ensemble; Roger Rees, voice; Jessica Gould, s; Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band; Corey Dargel, voice; Margaret Lancaster, picc; Eve Beglarian, voice and electronics; Bill Ware, vibraphone; Ensemble/Brad Lubman
New World 80630

Claves (and hand-claps?) establish a beat. A voice rhythmically intones William Blake: “Opposition is true friendship”. More claves, carving out a groove, then pitched instruments and repetitions of the Blake line.

So begins Eve Beglarian’s Downtown masterpiece, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. A thirteen-and-a-half minute essay in the attractiveness of opposites, Marriage wears its eclecticism lightly. The grooves are infectious, with layered rhythms and harmonies suggesting complexities underneath the surface. Beglarian’s melodies float effortlessly and lyrically over the teeming background. After an extended section built around the Blake line “You never know what is enough”, the piece closes with an extensive quotation of Bach’s “Es ist Genug” (It is enough). The ambiguity of the verbal response to Blake’s line combined with the emerging calm of the chorale quotation make for a beautifully conceived and executed ending.

Creating the World, on texts by Czeslaw Milosz, has much in common with Marriage—complex, shifting grooves, spoken text, and references to pre-existing music. Throughout most of the piece change is a constant; nothing goes on for very long without it being replaced by something else (a different rhythm pattern, for example) or becoming a layer in the overall sound. Finally, a rock groove dominates the last three minutes of the piece. It feels forced, or tacked on, in a way that the rest of the disc’s eclecticism avoids.

Robin Redbreast, for voice and piccolo (Corey Dargel and Margaret Lancaster, respectively, in fine performances), contrasts with the other pieces on the program in that it consists of a fairly straight forward melodic line in the voice, with birdsong-like figuration in the piccolo part. Wonder Counselor is a meditative soundscape that makes use of organ music and electronic and vocal sounds. Landscaping for Privacy combines the composer’s voice with electronics in another soundscape, this one populated by piano figurations and vocalization.

The final work on this compelling disc is FlamingO, a large scale exercise in groovy eclectics. It is one of the best uses of post-minimalist techniques I’ve heard. The rhythmic patterns pile up in an almost Carterian maelstrom, only to resolve in a peaceful and musical satisfying swirl.

Many recordings of postmodernist music (or recordings by postmodernist musicians) have sheen to them, a gleaming surface that is off-putting to me. A lot of the recordings of the Kronos Quartet feel that way, even when the music they’re playing isn’t postmodern. The music and performances on Tell the Birds feel more lived in and spontaneous, and that’s just one reason I highly recommend this disc.


Search WWWSearch