New Releases: Contemporary Music (December 2018)
Listen to the Journal of Music Contemporary Releases playlist on Spotify: http://ow.ly/P4UK30jzkC7.
Each week The Journal of Music compiles news on new and recent releases in contemporary, classical, jazz, indie, traditional music and more. Please send details of all releases to newreleases [at] journalofmusic.com. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2BHTBnl.
Various: Ros Tapestry Suite
28 September 2018
The Ros Tapestry Suite is a collection of fifteen works for solo piano, commissioned by the New Ross Piano Festival. Each work is a response to an individual panel of the tapestry, which traces the history of the Norman invasion of Ireland, beginning with a strong opening statement by John Kinsella marking ‘The Celts, in an Island Fastness’. The album is a portrait both of Ireland’s history and its musical present, with pieces from Gerald Barry, Sebastian Adams, Linda Buckley, Andrew Hamilton, Grainne Mulvey and more, and fantastic performances from pianists such as Finghin Collins, Olga Scheps, Joseph Moog and Lise de la Salle.
Matthew Whiteside, Frances Cooper, Joanna Nicholson: …Everyone Is a Child of the Inbetween…
3 December 2018
Composer Matthew Whiteside’s latest release is a single long work, written for and performed by the Turning the Elements duo, soprano Frances Cooper and clarinettist Joanna Nicholson. It is an atmospheric and jerky exploration of a fragmented text by Helene Grøn, interweaving staccato statements from both players into a texture that is at once light but laden.
Jenn Kirby: Quirks and Artifacts
7 December 2018
This release by composer and electronic artist Jenn Kirby doesn’t fit neatly into any category, but perhaps best aligns with a contemporary outlook in its sense of adventure and experimentalism. At its heart is Kirby’s voice, speaking lines of text, which are then processed with vocoders and delays – the effect being sometimes as if a malfunctioning AI had grabbed it and run wild, with bubbles of digital sound popping up to compete with the layered delays. The result is a strangely compelling collection of tracks.
Click on the artwork to listen:
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Aequa
16 November 2018
This is the second portrait album of Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir recorded by the International Contemporary Ensemble, gathering seven of her recent works into one collection. The opening work Scape, performed by Cory Smythe on piano, is an immediately arresting one, suffused with long-ringing harmonics, and while there is a darkness to Thorvaldsdottir’s work, there is a beautiful range of colours and harmonies throughout.
Padma Newsome: The Vanity of Trees
New Amsterdam Records
16 November 2018
Like the Kirby above, Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome’s latest album The Vanity of Trees also doesn’t fit well into one genre category, drawing inspiration from traditional and folk music. It is a ‘sonic essay’ about the wild landscape of Australia, exploring both the rich natural life there and the isolation and difficulty that comes with living in such a remote area. There is a nostalgic air to much of the album, undermined by unexpected tonal shifts, and textural instrumental works such as Cloud Study.
Please send details of all new releases to newreleases [at] journalofmusic.com.