Contrabass Conversations writes......Mark Helias is a renowned bassist, composer and producer who has performed throughout the world for more than four decades with some of the most important and innovative musicians in Jazz and Improvised Music including Don Cherry, Edward Blackwell, Anthony Davis, Dewey Redman, Anthony Braxton, Abbey Lincoln, Cecil Taylor, and Uri Caine. Mark recently released Some Kind of Tomorrow with saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom.
We talk about what life has been like during the pandemic, this latest remote album collaboration with Jane and about remote collaboration in general, and many lessons learned from Mark's years working as a jazz bassist.
The debut album of Joe Lovano's Trio Tapestry was one of 2019's most talked-about releases. This musical concept is taken to the next level on its second album, Garden of Expression, a recording distinguished by its intense focus.
Lovano, a saxophonist whose reach extends across the history of modern jazz and beyond, plays with exceptional sensitivity in Trio Tapestry. The music he writes for this group-tenderly melodic or declamatory, harmonically open, rhythmically free, and spiritually involving-encourages subtle and differentiated responses from his creative partners, creating interactions in which Lovano describes as "magical." Carmen Castaldi's space-conscious approach to drumming further refines an improvisational understanding that he and Lovano have shared since the early 1970s. The trio is also an inspired context for Marilyn Crispell's solos, counter melodies, and improvisational embellishments. Her feeling for sound-color helps the chamber music character of the group bloom.
Joe Lovano sat down with Ruth Fisher of JazzFM's Full Circle. Ruth commented that she was "Really thrilled to be in conversation with the incredible sax man. SEE THE POST
Hilary Hahn's new recording pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of a city that has been close to her heart throughout her career. Released by Deutsche Grammophon on 5 March 2021, Paris sees the American violinist resume her productive partnership with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and its Music Director, Mikko Franck. The three-time Grammy Award-winner's album presents the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara's Deux Sérénades, commissioned by Mikko Franck. It also includes Ernest Chausson's Poème and Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1, which received its first performance in the French capital in 1923.
Montana Public Radio's John Floridis interviewed HH about the new recording. LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT
udiscovermusic.'s Sharon Kelly writes.....Oboist Albrecht Mayer has released his new album Mozart, a personal and affectionate tribute to one of the greatest composers who ever lived. Albrecht Mayer has lived with Mozart's music for almost half a century. He first discovered the composer while he was a boy soprano in the Bamberg Cathedral Choir, an early experience which is perhaps partly responsible for the warm, singing quality of his oboe playing. Albrecht Mayer's new album Mozart is inspired by his lifelong love for the composer's music and is his first all-Mozart album. Photo: Christoph Köstlin
READ THE FULL udiscovermusic. ARTICLE
In her first new recording in a decade, Joy Harjo – the first Native American named Poet Laureate of the United States – digs deep into the indigenous red earth and the shared languages of music to sing, speak and play a stunningly original musical meditation that seeks healing for a troubled world – I Pray for My Enemies, was released from Sunyata Records/Sony Orchard Distribution on March 5, 2021.
Collaborating with producer/engineer Barrett Martin on this unique new album, Harjo brings a fresh identity to the poetry and songs that have made her a renowned poet of the Muscogee Creek Nation and one of the most authentic and compelling voices of these times.
"The concept for I Pray for My Enemies began" says Harjo, "with an urgent need to deal with discord, opposition. It could have been on a tribal, national or a personal level. I no longer remember. The urgency had a heartbeat and in any gathering of two or more, perhaps the whole planet, our hearts lean to entrainment – that is, to beat together."
Join Spokane Public Radio's 'Soundspace' as Zan hosts a phone interview with the multi-instrumentalist musician, poet, performer, activist and 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, as she speaks about what inspired her recent album. LISTEN
KDFC - KUSC's Brian Lauritzen and Jeffrey Freymann write.....Minari tells the story of a Korean family that moves to Arkansas in the 1980s, hoping to find their American dream by working a farm. For almost every film, the score is the last element to be added – after all the other editing has been done, and the actors have moved on to their next projects. But composer Emile Mosseri approached his score to Minari another way, writing many of the original themes when there was only a script, and the film hadn't yet been shot.
He says he sent director Lee Isaac Chung sketches for the score even before he was officially hired as the film's composer, and thinks that the music would have had a less important role if it had been written later.
Mosseri has only scored a handful of films, including the critically acclaimed The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Miranda July's Kajillionaire, yet won this nomination (one of six for the film) with a score about the intersection of two cultures that doesn't try to sound like either of them.
Listen to Brian Lauritzen and Emile Mosseri chat on KDFC: San Francisco & KUSC: Los Angeles
WFMT's Lisa Flynn writes.....The new album by Charles Richard-Hamelin presents two important works by Frédéric Chopin and consolidates the musician's place in the highest ranks of the pianistic world. Describing the 24 Preludes, Richard-Hamelin says: "One can hear the entire scope of Chopin's output inside the microcosm that are the Preludes. Across all the different major and minor keys, we get hints of his Études, Nocturnes, Impromptus, Mazurkas, and even fragments of larger works such as the Ballades. Yet, there is also a sense of an overarching story being told in 24 chapters of various lengths and weights. It is Chopin at his most beautiful, heart-wrenching, experimental, dissonant, sometimes even violent. It is a fascinating journey through the human psyche and my interpretation aims to show precisely that."
For April 13, 2021, Charles Richard-Hamelin: Chopin Preludes is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release'
Icelandic pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen has confirmed details of her debut album, BYLUR, which will be released on 23rd April, 2021 by XXIM Records, Sony's new imprint for innovative, post-genre instrumental music.
On 26 March 2021 the ambitiously multifaceted musician/composer Clark presents his chillingly affecting ninth studio album Playground In A Lake, on which he broadens horizons and tries new things, with profound results.
Three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist Joey Alexander follows his major-label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records), with three new singles "SALT" (March 19: LINK), "Under the Sun" (April 23), and "Summer Rising" (May 28) set for global release on Verve.
Conspirare collaborates 'October Project Music' for 'Genesis: From Grief to Hope'
Posted: March 8, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Grammy award winning choir, Conspirare and internationally acclaimed creative collaborative October Project Music are uniting to present RE:Genesis, featuring the world premieres of ìHolding Our Breath,î written by Carlos Cordero (Austin, TX) composer and Julie Flanders (New York, NY), poet, and ìCall Across,î written by Kyle Pederson (Minneapolis, MN) and Brian Newhouse (Minneapolis, MN). The American Choral Directors Association awarded its Genesis Prize to both works. Preceding the performance of each work, the composers, poets and Conspirare artistic director Craig Hella Johnson will share insight into the creative process and what emerges in the journey from grief to hope in a live conversation.
Genesis is the culmination of new methods of collaboration born during the pandemic among composers, poets, singers, filmmakers and listeners to ensure new music continues to be heard. RE:Genesis continues the ritual of gathering to share in new music and offers the opportunity to connect with fellow artists and listeners.Filmmaker Andrew J. Timm and his team join with Conspirare again to take Holding our Breath and Call Across to a whole new level of virtual sophistication and creativity in ways we wouldnít have thought of before COVID-19. Each song will be staged in digitally-created fantasy worlds that speak to the very meaning and spirit of these works. Timm and his team previously collaborated with Conspirare on Unity: Songs of Invitation.
"From the moment I learned about the project and these two pieces, everything about it felt like a 'yes.'†The Genesis Prize is an inspired project which called forth so many creative voices to respond†to this vast and unsettling time in our world.†Carlos, Kyle, Julie and Brian have composed two extraordinary works.† Each of them is a powerful and moving†choral response which, each in its own distinctive way, expresses both the fear and anxiety of these times and also the deep yearning we are all feeling to reconnect with each other. - Conspirare Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson
Conspirare is especially excited to be premiering these works in conjunction with the American Choral Directors Association annual conference, attended by choral directions from around the world. ACDA conceived the ACDA Genesis Prize as a response to the difficult times recently facing our world, and the choral arts in particular. The prize seeks to stimulate art emerging from crisis by funding both composers and poets to create new choral works that speak to our time with voices of comfort, hope, peace, and justice. Distinguished composers and poets from around the country submitted compositions. ACDA Conference attendees will be able to meet the composers, poets and conductor in a special exhibitor session hosted by October Project on Thursday, March 18 at 12:45pm Central.
ìHolding Our Breath,î written by composer Carlos Cordero (Austin, TX) and poet Julie Flanders (New York, NY), is an a cappella SATB work exploring the worldwide need and fear to breathe together right now, using the lens of breath itself to help transcend the virus, the social wounds of racism, and the deep, healing urgency to breathe and sing together again to help heal the suffering of our times.
ìCall Across,î written by Kyle Pederson (Minneapolis, MN) and Brian Newhouse (Minneapolis , MN), is composed for SATB choir with piano, djembe, and optional hand drum. Three characters from around the world call across physical space, history, and silenceóseeking to break out of their particular form of isolationógiving voice to the elemental human need for connection and leaving the audience with an empowering invitation to connection and unity.
Both pieces will be published by Hal Leonard as part of the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series and will be released later this year.
The wonderful Conspirare chamber choir, known for its interpretive depth and otherworldly sonic lushness, offers another of its captivating programs-this time joined by three superb guitar quartets-in a program remarkably relevant to our time.
Conspirare's 2019 Delos album, The Hope of Loving (DE 3578), was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Choral Performance in 2020. The concert version of The Singing Guitar was performed to full houses in 2019. The combination of guitar quartet and chorus is so successful it's surprising that more composers have not written for it. Four recently written compositions feature the voices of Conspirare accompanied by guitar-twelve guitars in Nico Muhly's How Little You Are, a compelling composition telling of the struggles of pioneer women. Kile Smith's The Dawn's Early Light ponders our national anthem in the writings of a Native American woman, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins. The album is rounded out with compositions by Reena Esmail and Conspirare's founder and director Craig Hella Johnson.