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Posts tagged 'New Amsterdam Records'

New Albums featuring Annie Gosfield and Ted Hearne

Two albums out this month by Philadelphia-based ensembles showcase the music of Ted Hearne and Annie Gosfield. The Jasper String Quartet's album Unbound, released on March 17, includes a recording of Gosfield's string quartet The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon, and the intrepid chamber choir The Crossing releases a recording of Hearne's Sound from the Bench on March 24.



Gosfield's The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon, which was commissioned and premiered by the Jaspers in 2010, was inspired by the radio broadcasts, encryption methods and secret codes used by European resistance groups during World War II. The work's title references one of the statements broadcast from the British to the French Resistance in their "messages personnels" radio program ("Le cheval bleu se promène sur l'horizon"), and which Gosfield uses as a rhythmic basis for the work's opening figure. The new album, released on New Amsterdam Records, also includes an excerpt of Hearne's Law of Mosaics, as well as works by Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, David Lang and Donnacha Dennehy. 

Following performances of Hearne's politically-charged cantata Sound from the Bench in Philadelphia, Boston and New York, The Crossing's new album (released by Cantaloupe Music) features the first recording of that work alongside new recordings of Hearne's Consent, Ripple and Privilege



Donald Nally, who leads The Crossing, notes that Hearne's works on the album are "fundamentally about asking questions—questions about the world we live in, about art, and about language and music." The album, containing some of Hearne's most adventurous works to date, demonstrates his socially conscious approach to composition and his goal to "bring the chaotic forces of life into the work itself." Listen to a sample of Hearne's Consent:

Ted Hearne's "Law of Mosaics" in Chicago; "The Source" CD Release

Ted Hearne is not a composer to shy away from the real world. From his now-canonical Katrina Ballads, which sets texts related to the 2006 Hurricane of the same name, to his modern-day oratorio project The Source, which sets texts surrounding Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks, Hearne's music draws from the complexities of politics and recreates similar tensions and complexities within his music.

Hearne's 30-minute work for string orchestra, Law of Mosaics, is no exception to this rule. Hearne borrows the title from a passage in David Shields' Reality Hunger: "The law of mosaics: how to deal with parts in the absence of wholes." Commissioned in 2013 by A Far Cry, and released on CD alongside Andrew Norman's The Companion Guide to Rome in 2014, Law of Mosaics can be read as an essay in five parts. Picking up on Shield's metaphor of weaving a fabric between digital and analog media and culture, Hearne crafts a loosely-knit pattern of musical references and inspirations; if these form the weft of his weaving, then his own compositional voice constitutes its warp. In the end, the "patterns" woven together by Hearne resemble less a tightly-knit pastiche than performative absence of seamlessness, a reminder of the gaps and voids that constitute our everyday lives. 

Law of Mosaics will be performed as a part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, co-curated by Elizabeth Ogonek and Samuel Adams, on November 23rd at Chicago's Harris Theater. 

Hearne's critically-acclaimed project The Source, which premiered at the 2014 Next Wave Festival at BAM, is also newly available as an audio recording on New Amsterdam Records. Writing in Pitchfork, Seth Colter Walls calls it "some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory—from any genre." Check out a video excerpt of its premiere at BAM below. 

 

Ted Hearne's "The Source" Released on New Amsterdam Records

Ted Hearne's The Source, an immanently engrossing work based on the story of U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, will be released by New Amsterdam Records in late October of this year. The work, a "modern-day oratorio", sets texts made available via WikiLeaks to Hearne's charactaristically powerful musical language. Hearne emphasizes that the work "never asks the audience to pretend the musicians are fictional characters," and also "approaches its subject matter through discrete movements with tangentially related texts, rather than through traditional narrative storytelling"—two features of oratorios stretching back to the 18th century. 

Hearne will also see the West-coast premiere of Dispatches, a co-commission from the New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. The new work will be performed on programs from September 30th-October 3rd, paired with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique). In addition to an interview with I Care If You Listen, Hearne has also done a video interview with the SF Symphony, with some previews of the piece itself: 

Finally, Hearne will also have another premiere on the American Composers' Orchestra SONiC Festival by Grammy-award winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The new work, Coloring Book, will premiere on October 17th at National Sawdust, a new venue for contemporary music in Williasburg, Brooklyn. Hearne is no stranger to writing for vocal ensembles; check out his Consent, for 16 voices, to get a taste for Hearne's cascading, generative, and powerful compositional voice.

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