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.
Harmonious World Podcast interviews William Susman
Posted: February 17, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Interview with Harmonious World podcast
A Quiet Madness features three piano pieces, a piano and violin duet, a series of seven scenes for four flutes and a solo accordion piece that was composed as a response to Hurricane Katrina. The album immerses the listener in a photorealistic sound world of understated beauty. At once calming and thought-provoking, it allows the ear and mind to make their own connections without feeling overwhelmed by thematic constraints. William Susman's precise harmonic and rhythmic languages invite us into a subdued, enchanting expression of madness that roams all over the map, akin to the mind wandering during a rainy day-or, perhaps clairvoyantly, akin to the strange passage of time spent in self-isolation during the collective trauma of COVID-19.
Grammy-nominated cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, vocalist / accordionist Mira Stroika and composer / pianist William Susman perform a blend of influences in these film scores seen on PBS Television, over 20 film festivals world-wide, museums in New York and San Francisco, and WINNER of the Tribeca Film Festival. Films during the Silent Era were called moving pictures. Live performance of the music helped provide a "narrative" and intensify the emotion. Setting the mood for these early films, a musician, often a pianist, performed live accompanying the projection of the film. In some of the larger picture houses an organist or orchestra played a score live-to-picture or improvised to pre-determined themes.
"When you think you have a clear idea of a composer's purpose, suddenly you realize that something is hiding behind it, and behind it, again and again. I will keep playing William Susman's music for a long time." –Francesco Di Fiore, 2012
Violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, pianist Francesco Di Fiore, bayan accordionist Stas Venglevski, and flutist Patricia Zuber have been knitting restorative sonic garments from the compositional yarn of William Susman for over a decade. Their rapport is deeper and more apparent than ever on A Quiet Madness, an appropriately titled new masterwork for our zeitgeist.
A Quiet Madness immerses the listener in a photorealistic sound world of understated beauty. At once calming and thought-provoking, it allows the ear and mind to make their own connections without feeling overwhelmed by thematic constraints. Susman's precise harmonic and rhythmic languages invite us into a subdued, enchanting expression of madness that roams all over the map, akin to the mind wandering during a rainy day-or, perhaps clairvoyantly, akin to the strange passage of time spent in self-isolation during the collective trauma of COVID-19.
Scoring the documentary Fate of the Lhapa was an inspiring experience. I worked with a marvelous director, Sarah Sifers, who trusted my musicianship and gave me the freedom to compose a score that attempts to capture the place, culture, spirit and passion of the Tibetan Shamans and their broader historical context.
As with many of my scores, I look for melody and instrumentation that the filmmaker has captured on film. In Fate of the Lhapa, there were stunning musical moments including ritual chanting, a prayer vigil, bells, gongs, drumming and dance. All of these sonic elements contributed to my choice of melody, harmony, rhythm and instrumentation.
OCTET''s inaugural album has been recorded over the past few years with renowned engineer John Kilgore and was released by Naxos on the label Belarca. The album features the music of William Susman including two song cycles (with poems by his sister Sue Susman) Scatter My Ashes and Moving in to an Empty Space performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes, as well as his Piano Concerto and the ensemble work Camille.
OCTET takes the instrumentation of the American big band and scales it down to a brass section of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone and a rhythm section of piano, electric piano, double bass and drums plus vocals.
"William Susman's remarkable achievement is to take the familiar instrumentation of American popular music, harmonic and rhythmic influences from jazz and Afro-Cuban music and sinuous melodic lines that are uniquely his own and weave them into something new and fresh, yet timeless and haunting. Memorable yet enigmatic, simple yet profound, Susman's music is irresistible." - John Kilgore (Grammy Award-Winning Classical Engineer)
Scatter my Ashes reached No. 1 on Amazon's Classical Hot New Releases, No. 8 on Billboard's Classical and was featured in iTunes Classical New and Noteworthy.
Belarca Records presents Collision Point, a new album by American composer William Susman and Rome-based ensemble Piccola Accademia degli Specchi celebrating a 10-year collaboration. Collision Point features music inspired by love, loss, redemption, and the writings of Allen Ginsberg, Colum McCann and Francis Bacon.
The album brings together four premiere recordings including two pieces for the full ensemble: Camille (2010), which was written for the ensemble, and The Starry Dynamo (1994), as well as a piano trio, Clouds and Flames (2010) and a duo, Motions of Return (1996) for flute and piano.
Susman's music is described by AllMusic as "the next developments in the sphere (of) minimalism," and has earned praise from The New York Times for being "vivid, turbulent, and rich-textured," from Gramophone as "texturally shimmering and harmonically ravishing," and from textura as "distinctly American."