Category: CS On Demand

Crash Course: Post-jazz Jazz

Jazz finds a great deal of its past in the present, but contemporary jazz takes us much further than viewers of Ken Burns famed documentary on the genre would suggest. Jazz is a music that’s played by men and women; instrumentalists and singers; leaders and sidemen; soloists, small groups, and big bands. In this session, explore the sounds of a music that has continued to evolve and, in the process, become a global phenomena.

Counterstream OnDemand: Post-jazz Jazz

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About Your Host
Lara Pellegrinelli received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Harvard in 2005. Her dissertation, The Song is Who? Locating Singers on the Jazz Scene, is the first ethnography of jazz singing. Having held a visiting position as an assistant professor of music at the University of Richmond from 2005-07, she embarked on an around-the-world voyage with the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program in the Fall of 2007. Her writing has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Village Voice, Jazz Times, NewMusicBox, and the National African American Biography. She currently contributes to NPR and WNYC.

Recommended Listening
Louis Armstrong: “Potato Head Blues” from The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Sony)
Louis Armstrong - The Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Made in New Orleans: The Hurricane Sessions (Preservation Hall)
Preservation Hall Jazz Band - The Hurricane Sessions

Benny Goodman: “King Porter Stomp” from Stompin’ at the Savoy (Jazz Hour)
Benny Goodman - Stompin' at the Savoy

Lionel Hampton: “Rhythm, Rhythm (I Got Rhythm)” from Flyin’ Home (Lrc Ltd)
Lionel Hampton - Flyin' Home

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: “Live in Swing City” (Sbme Special Mkts.)
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis - Live In Swing City- Swingin' With Duke

Charlie Parker: “I Got Rhythm”
Charlie "Bird" Parker - I Got Rhythm

Charlie Parker: Best Complete Live Performances on Savoy (Savoy Jazz)

The Heath Brothers: As We Were Saying (Concord Records)
Gregory D'Agostino - Babbitt: My Ends Are My Beginnings, Soli e Duettini, Swan Song

Jimmy Heath: Little Man, Big Band (Polygram Records)
Jimmy Heath - Little Man Big Band

Wynton Marsalis: Think of One (Wounded Bird Records)
Wynton Marsalis - Think of One...

Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet Concertos (Sony)
English Chamber Orchestra, Raymond Leppard & Wynton Marsalis - Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet Concertos

Wynton Marsalis: Live at the Village Vanguard (Sony)
Wynton Marsalis Septet - Live At the Village Vanguard

Cassandra Wilson: Jumpworld (Polygram Records)

Cassandra Wilson: Blue Light Til Dawn (Blue Note Records)
Cassandra Wilson - Blue Light 'Til Dawn

Cassandra Wilson: New Moon Daughter (Blue Note Records)
Cassandra Wilson - New Moon Daughter

Bad Plus: Suspicious Activity? (Sony)
The Bad Plus - Suspicious Activity?

Bad Plus: These Are the Vistas (Sony)
The Bad Plus - These Are the Vistas

Maria Schneider: “Cerulean Skies” from Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
Maria Schneider - Sky Blue

Cecil Taylor: Unit Structures (Blue Note Records)
Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures

Cecil Taylor: Willisau Concert (Intakt Records)

John Zorn: “A Shot in the Dark” from Naked City (Nonesuch)
John Zorn - Naked City

John Zorn: Kristalnacht (Tzadik)
Anthony Coleman, Marc Ribot & Mark Feldman - Zorn: Kristallnacht

John Zorn: Voices In The Wilderness (Tzadik)
John Zorn - Voices In the Wilderness

David Brubeck: The Real Ambassadors (Sony)
Dave Brubeck & Louis Armstrong and His Band - The Real Ambassadors

Max Roach: Freedom Now Suite (Candid Records)
Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach - We Insist! - Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite

Lionel Loueke: Karibu (Blue Note Records)
Lionel Loueke - Karibu

Further Reading:
Do the Math, the Bad Plus blog and webzine.

Giddins, Gary. Visions of Jazz: The First Century. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Mandel, Howard. Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. Routledge, 2007.

Mandel, Howard. Future Jazz. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Crash Course: Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Minimalism began as a movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, but it didn’t die–it evolved. And it’s apparent now that it was the beginning of a new musical sensibility whose worldwide ramifications we’ve only begun to figure out. Join us as we sample from a rich catalog of work beginning with the groundbreaking music of composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass up through recent compositions from Michael Gordon and John Luther Adams.

Counterstream OnDemand: Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

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Kyle Gann, photo by Jorgen Krielen

Photo by Jorgen Krielen

About Your Host
Kyle Gann is a composer and was new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997 he has taught music history and theory at Bard College. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995), American Music in the 20th Century (Schirmer Books, 1997), and Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice (University of California Press, 2006).

Recommended Listening:
Steve Reich: Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ (Deutsche Grammophon)
Ben Harms, Bob Becker, Glen Velez, James Preiss, Janice Jarrett, Jay Clayton, Joan La Barbara, Russ Hartenberger, Steve Chambers, Steve Reich & Tim Ferchen - Reich: Variations, Music for Mallet Instruments & 6 Pianos

Terry Riley: In C (Cantaloupe)
Bang On A Can All-Stars - Terry Riley: In C

Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach (Sony Bmg Europe)
Michael Riesman & Philip Glass Ensemble - Glass: Einstein On the Beach

Jon Gibson: Two Solo Pieces: Cycles (1973)/Untitled (1974) (Dunya)

Harold Budd: Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (Astralwerks)

Tom Johnson: An Hour for Piano (Lovely Music)
Frederic Rzewski - Johnson: An Hour for Piano

Eliane Radigue: Trilogie de la Mort (Experimental Intermedium)

Janice Giteck: Om Shanti
Janice Giteck - Home (Revisited)

Daniel Lentz: Wild Turkeys
Daniel Lentz - Wild Turkeys

Elodie Lauten
Waking in New York (4Tay Records)

Michael Gordon: Yo Shakespeare (Argo)

Mikel Rouse: Return
Mikel Rouse - Return

Further Reading:
Gann, Kyle. “Minimal Music, Maximal Impact.” NewMusicBox, 2001.

Gann, Kyle. American Music in the Twentieth Century. Schirmer Books, 1997.

Fink, Robert. Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice. University of California Press, 2005.

Johnson, Tom. The Voice of New Music. Apollohuis, 1991; currently out of print, available for download here.

Potter, Keith. Four Musical Minimalists. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Strickland, Edward. Minimalism: Origins. University of Indiana Press, 1993.

Schwarz, K. Robert. Minimalists. Phaidon Press, 1996.

Crash Course: The Building Blocks of Acousmatic Music

Compose with fire! That’s right, in the world of electronic and computer music, composers often record unmusical sound and turn it into powerful sonic metaphor. This crash course in acousmatic music will explore examples of sound objects and processing and mixing techniques. Then, we’ll travel through underground New York and the jungles of Costa Rica to gather materials that we will turn into full pieces of acousmatic music. Intended for newcomers to electro-acoustic music, no computer or technical experience is needed; bring your open ears and your desire to learn about new musical worlds.

Counterstream OnDemand: The Building Blocks of Acousmatic Music

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Tom Lopez About your host
Tom Lopez teaches at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he is Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts, Chair of the Technology in Music and Related Arts Department, and Director of the Contemporary Music Division. He is also the Director of the Computer Music Program at The Walden School. He has appeared at festivals and conferences around the world as a guest lecturer and composer. His compositions have received critical acclaim and appear on CD releases by Centaur, Vox Novus, SCI, and SEAMUS.

Recommended Listening:

Further Reading:
Living Electronic Music
by Simon Emmerson

On Sonic Art
by Trevor Wishart (Author), Simon Emmerson (Editor)

The Language of Electroacoustic Music
by Simon Emmerson (Editor)

Crash Course: American Serialism

As World War II decisively elevated America to superpower status, the cutting edge of European music—atonality—crossed the Atlantic, where it was transformed into a quintessentially American combination of ingenuity, technology, and brash confidence. We’ll delve into American serialism, exploring the work of a host of composers—Babbitt, Wuorinen, Powell, and more—who set out, by the numbers, to make music modern.

Crash Course: American Serialism

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About Your Host:

Matthew Guerrieri Matthew Guerrieri is a composer, pianist, and writer whose music has been called “gorgeous” by the New York Times, and who is often heard in recital in the Boston area. He writes regularly for the Boston Globe, and his articles have also appeared in NewMusicBox and Slate magazines. He is responsible for the popular classical music weblog Soho the Dog.

A former fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, he also holds degrees from DePaul and Boston Universities.

Recommended Listening:
Milton Babbitt: All Set (Nonesuch H-71303)
The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble - Spectrum: New American Music

Milton Babbitt: My Ends Are My Beginnings (Bridge 9135)
Gregory D'Agostino - Babbitt: My Ends Are My Beginnings, Soli e Duettini, Swan Song

Milton Babbitt: Vision And Prayer (CRI 521)

Ben Weber: The Ways: IV (New World 80327)
Henry Herford - Cloisters: Vocal Music By John Corigliano, Arthur Shepherd, Conrad Susa, and Ben Weber

La Monte Young: Small Pieces (5) For String Quartet (Naive 82139)

Donald Martino: Notturno (Albany Troy168)
The New Millenium Ensemble - Donald Martino: Noturrno

Mel Powell: Haiku Settings No. 4 (Cambria 8808)
Southwest Chamber Music - Composer Portrait Series Mel Powell

George Rochberg: String Quartet No. 2 (New World Records Nwcr769)

George Rochberg: String Quartet No. 3 (New World 80551)
Concord String Quartet - Rochberg: String Quartets Nos. 3-6

Arnold Schoenberg Piano Piece Op. 33
Maurizio Pollini - Schoenberg: Piano Works - Webern: Variations Op. 27

Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 4
Evelyn Lear, Fritz Handschke, New Vienna String Quartet, Tomislav Sestak, Wolfgang Herzer & Zlatko Topolski - Schoenberg: The Complete String Quartets

Ralph Shapey: Kroslish Sonata (New World 80355)
Joel Krosnick - Ralph Shapey & Faye-Ellen Silverman: Works for Orchestra

Stefan Wolpe: Symphony (CRI 676)

Charles Wuorinen: “All The People Will Vote For Me” From The Haroun Songbook (Albany Troy664)
Elizabeth Farnum - The Haroun Songbook

Charles Wuorinen: Fast Fantasy (Albany Troy658)
Fred Sherry - Charles Wuorinen: Fast Fantasy

Charles Wuorinen: Time’s Encomium (Tzadik)
Charles Wuorinen - Lepton

Charles Wuorinen: Chamber Concerto For Flute And Ten Players (CRI Cd744)

Recommended Reading:
Babbitt, Milton. Words About Music (ed. Stephen Dembski and Joseph N. Straus). University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.

—. The Collected Essays of Milton Babbitt (ed. Stephen Dembski, Andrew Mead, Stephen Peles, and Joseph N. Straus). Princeton University Press, 2003.

Halberstam, David. The Fifties. Ballantine Books, 1994.

Perle, George. Serial Composition and Atonality. Sixth edition, revised. University of California Press, 1991.

Reel, James. “Dirty Dozens: A HyperHistory of Serialism.” NewMusicBox, December 1, 2001.

Rhodes, Richard. Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Rochberg, George. The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music. Revised and expanded edition. University of Michigan Press, 2003.

Wuorinen, Charles. Simple Composition. C.F. Peters, 1994.

Radical Connections: Elliott Carter and Phil Lesh

Elliott Carter and Phil Lesh

Elliott Carter and Phil Lesh
New York

Curious how Elliott Carter, one of our most venerable composers of music for the concert hall, and Phil Lesh, best known as the bass player for the Grateful Dead, ever crossed paths? Though you might not ordinarily connect these two composers, there are some surprising musical links between them, supported by a friendship of many years.

Hear them speak with Sarah Cahill about their shared influences and the personal connections they’ve made through music.

Counterstream OnDemand: Elliott Carter and Phil Lesh

Radical Connections: Meredith Monk and Björk

If you go to your local record store, you’ll find Meredith Monk and Björk in completely separate categories, but as you’re about to hear, they’ve got a lot in common. Born a generation apart, both women have gained a reputation for creating adventurous music for the human voice, work that has taken them beyond the concert stage and into the realms of theater, film, visual art, dance, and performance art. Over the course of this hour-long program, these two artists share personal stories and trade ideas about music alongside illustrative samples drawn from their extensive recorded catalogues.

Counterstream Radio OnDemand: Meredith Monk and Björk

How it happened: It was during her days playing drums in an Icelandic punk band that the then 16-year-old Björk first heard Meredith Monk’s Dolmen Music and was entranced. Years later, after she covered Monk’s “Gotham Lullaby” on a world tour with the Brodsky Quartet, the two women struck up a correspondence, but they never had the opportunity to meet in person. Never, that is, until the American Music Center invited them into the studio to record this special presentation in 2005, hosted by pianist and radio producer Sarah Cahill.

Meredith Monk

Photo courtesy Jessie Froman

Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer, and creator of new opera, music theater works, films, and installations. A pioneer in extended vocal technique and interdisciplinary performance, Monk creates works that meet at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. During a career that spans more than 40 years she has been acclaimed by audiences and critics as a major creative force in the performing arts. Monk has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1995. In 1978 she formed Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. She has made more than a dozen recordings, most of which are on the ECM New Series label. Her music has been performed by numerous soloists and groups including The Chorus of the San Francisco Symphony, Musica Sacra, The Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Double Edge, and Bang On A Can All-Stars.


Photo by Erez Sabag

Björk is a prolific singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and actress who has spent most of her life creating music that pushes at the boundaries of pop. Born in Reykjavík, she studied flute, piano, and voice as a child and first gained attention outside Iceland in the 1980s as the lead vocalist of the post-punk outfit The Sugarcubes. When the group disbanded in the early 90s, Björk moved to London, and her first release as a solo artist-the appropriately titled Debut-was an international hit. Two more albums followed, earning her critical praise and a growing fan base. Danish director Lars von Trier cast her as the lead in his film Dancer in the Dark (2000), a performance which earned her the Best Actress Prize at the Cannes Festival. With her fourth album, Vespertine, she pushed further out into experimental pop, adding a chamber orchestra, an Icelandic choir, and harpist Zeena Parkins to her sound palette. In August 2004 she composed and sang “Oceania” for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens, and her next album, Medúlla had critics on both sides of the pop/classical divide talking about her innovative use of the human voice. Her next album, the percussion-focused Volta, is slated for release in May.

Sarah Cahill

Sarah Cahill is a pianist, music critic, and radio producer. She has hosted a weekly radio show about classical and contemporary music since 1989, first on KPFA and now on KALW, and her program was named “One of the Hundred Best Things about the Bay Area” by Citysearch magazine. She has spoken onstage with composer John Adams for the City Arts and Lectures series in San Francisco, and with pianist Richard Goode at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Composers who have dedicated works to Cahill include John Adams, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Julia Wolfe, Andrea Morricone, and Evan Ziporyn, and she has performed recently in Tokyo, Rome, and Edinburgh.