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Posts tagged 'Wergo'

Anthony Cheung's "Dystemporal" Now Available from Wergo

Wergo, the iconic new music recording label, has released a new album of six premiere recordings of works by Anthony Cheung. Performed by the Talea Ensemble (which Cheung co-directs alongside percussionist Alex Lipowski) and Ensemble Intercontemporain, these works represent a formative period in Cheung's career, and this new recording presents a landmark document of Cheung's unique compositional voice. 

The earliest work on this album also is scored for the smallest ensemble; Windswept Cypresses, for flute, viola, harp, and percussion, was written in a period of ten days when Cheung was only 23 years old. Enjamb, Infuse, Implode, available on PSNY, is scored for six players and describes the actions taken by several dimensions of this work—melody, harmony, and phrasing. Centripedalocity, along with Running the (Full) Gamut), were both composed in 2008, and show Cheung's connection to post-Bop jazz, enjambing melodic lines remeniscent of Thelonious Monk with elegant writing for microtonal harp.  


(excerpt from "Enjamb, Infuse, Implode") 

The two larger ensemble works on this recording, SynchroniCities and Dystemporal, are more recent works, both performed by the ensembles who commissioned them. SynchroniCities, commissioned and performed by the Talea Ensemble under James Baker, sees Cheung's multivalent compositional style explore the concept of space—Cheung calls it a "personal sonic travelogue". And Dystemporal, commissioned and performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, explores that other major dimension: time. Smooth and striated, time in this work becomes a spiral, a groove, a canon; the final movement stunningly imagines an orchestration of Henry Cowell's "Rhythmicon", which Cheung describes as "a machine designed by Léon Theremin to re-create Cowell’s theories about the unification of overtone and rhythmic ratios, a true rhythmic and harmonic 'consonance' resolving the overall arrhythmic dissonance that permeates the piece."

WERGO Re-Releases Morton Subotnick's Landmark Recordings from the 1980s

Morton Subotnick, the legendary electronic musician and composer, will see several of his landmark recordings from the 1980s re-released on WERGO. After his pioneering album Silver Apples of the Moon, which Subotnick created using the Buchla modular synthesizer, Subotnick continued to compose and create new music both for electronics and acoustic instruments. Throughout this stage in his career, Nonesuch Records released several albums of Subotnick's music, in addition to several records released by Columbia Masterworks. As sound technology advanced throughout the 1970s into the 1980s, Subotnick began to experiment with digital technology to enhance and interact with acoustic instruments; his "ghost electronics", present in several works from the 1980s, provides a spectral accompaniment to live performers. 

Many of these works were recorded and released on albums by Nonesuch, though after the initial pressings of LPs, these recordings have not been commercially available. Now, for the first time in over 20 years, WERGO has digitized, re-mastered, and re-released many of these crucial recordings on CD. Their first re-release contains recordings of The Wild Beasts and After the Butterfly; the second volume will contain recordings of A Fluttering of Wings, Ascent into Air, The Last Dream of the Beast, and Axolotl. Scores and performance parts for many of these works are also available directly from PSNY. 

As Subotnick becomes more and more recognized for his pioneering compositions, these re-releases document a crucial moment in his career, incorporating electronics into composition for acoustic instruments. These works are accessible, portable, and performable by any new music ensemble, and these recordings will shed light on a brilliant chapter in Subotnick's oeuvre. Check out an interview with the Red Bull Music Academy below. 

Lecture: Morton Subotnick (Madrid 2011) from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

Yarn/Wire Records David Franzson for WERGO

WERGO Records, one of the foremost international record labels for new music, has just released a new album of works by PSNY composer David Brynjar Franzson, performed by the New York-based ensemble Yarn/Wire. Recorded at the state-of-the-art Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, this album features three related compositions by Franzson under the title The Negotiation of Context. All three of the works of this series - parts A, B and C - are available through PSNY. These three independent works examine the topographies of musical contexts: the histories of instruments, the social dynamic between performers, and the negotiation of contextual meaning between performers and their audience. 

The CD also includes a performance video of Yarn/Wire in the process of recording—a document that adds to the contextual fabric of Franzson's meta-exploration.  

Check out an excerpt from The Negotiation of Context (A) here:

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