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Posts tagged 'The Crossing Choir'

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:

Gavin Bryars' "The Fifth Century" Out on ECM

Gavin Bryars' music moves slowly, intentionally, across planes of time, emotion, and medium. Since his early works such as Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1969) and The Sinking of the Titanic (1971), Bryars has fused together text, music, sound, image, and performance, working across and between established music forms and media. Recordings of his work become windows into this unique compositional plane, and ECM has released several renowned albums of Bryars' in the 80s and 90s. 

Now, for the first time in several decades, ECM has released a new album of music by Bryars: The Fifth Century, featuring his major recent work of the same name for chorus and saxophone quartet, as well as his Two Love Songs. The Fifth Century is a setting of texts by English mystic Thomas Traherne, which was commissioned and premiered by The Crossing and PRISM Saxophone Quartet led by Donald Nally. The work unfolds in seven short sections, with PRISM recalling 16th and 17th century organ accompaniment, and The Crossing singing lushly voiced settings that compliment the text's mysticism. 

Bryars also recently saw the world premiere of a new work in the US, titled The Other Side of the River, which premiered on November 17th at Peak Performances' program "See You Later." Part of a "staged concert" performed by Third Coast Percussion, The Other Side of the River, which features marimbas and bells, was performed alongside a new film by Laura Colmenares Guerra, and complimented a performance of David T. Little's Haunt of Last Nightfall. Check out some of Guerra's experimental film work below. 

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