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

Ernst Pepping and Allan Pettersson: Moral Dilemmas in Symphonic Music
"The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and... "
Tell the Birds
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

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, March 19, 2006
New music from Daniel Lentz, Payton Macdonald and Melissa Hui
On the Leopard Altar
Daniel Lentz
various performers
Cold Blue Music

This is a reissue of an earlier LP, one that was produced by Yale Evelev, whom I remember as the guy at the old New Music Distribution Service who sold me a lot of independent LPs back in the old days. Lentz's music, to my ears, often sounds like a blend of David Borden and other minimalist-inspired composers. And that's not a bad thing.

On this album, which is nicely performed by musicians such as Jessica Lowe, Paul MacKey, Susan James, Dennis Parnell, David Kuehn, Arlene Dunlap and Daniel Lentz himself, there is a good mix of short pieces. The two sections that really grabbed me are Is It Love? and Wolf is Dead. Both set text in interesting ways, with a focus on individual phonemes that are manipulated in a formal process. Wolf is Dead reminds me a lot of John Adams, while Is It Love? is somewhat reminiscent of some of Reich's music. Lascaux is a piece for multiple wineglasses, and the liner notes indicate that aside from reverberation, no effects were added. The remainder of the album, On the Leopard Altar and Requiem, involve voices and keyboards much like Is It Love and Wolf is Dead, but I didn't find as much to interest me in these two works. Lentz's music is at times new age-ish, yet also retains much of the minimalist aesthetic, and there is certainly a good deal of worthwhile music on this album, even if not all of it is to one's liking.

Super Marimba
Payton MacDonald
Fever Pitch Records

I'd sum up this album this way:

  • The title reminds me of Soundgarden's SuperUnknown

  • The music is a cross between Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and other influences

  • One section seems to be taken right from Riley's Persian Surgery Dervishes

  • Most importantly, who cares about the influences...this is an incredible album, with a lot of engaging and utterly beautiful music.

I really like this album. MacDonald performs everything in real time using a single acoustic marimba, and from what I've read, with a single take and without the use of overdubbing or audio splicing. Yet the music sounds like a marimba ensemble---he achieves this through the use of amplification, looping pedals, delay pedals, distortion pedals, etc. MacDonald is a founding member of the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and has also studied the tabla with Pandit Sharda Sahai. Undoubtedly, the latter has had a significant influence on his work.

Overall, this is an extremely worthwhile and enjoyable album of new music in the Terry Riley vein. And again, despite the imitation, that's not bad.

and blue sparks burn
Melissa Hui

I'd never heard of music until recently, and was very intrigued to listen to this album. Hui, who currently resides in Montreal, write music for both Western and Eastern instruments (such as the pipa), although the majority of works on this album are scored for Western instruments. All of the pieces I liked, but none were particularly striking to me. They sounded fairly conventional; certainly pleasant enough, but not that distinctive or memorable. Perhaps I was hoping, or expecting, something more innovative or unusual, or at least something that made me feel something one way or the other. I just found the music bland, although others certainly may have other opinions. The performances certainly sounded exemplary, and the musicians seemed to give their all for the music, which is commendable.

Search WWWSearch