Album Review: PRISM Quartet, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Bold chords blare underneath agitated glissandos that jump and fall in organized chaos. “Jackass,” the first movement of Steven Mackey’s “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral,” erupts from PRISM Quartet — a saxophone chamber ensemble — with fervor. Mackey, a Grammy award-winning composer and electric guitarist, originally wrote the piece in 2004, but the Quartet’s recording here provides a crisp, fresh perspective with their brash performance.  “Animal, Vegetable, … Continue reading Album Review: PRISM Quartet, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Album Review: Fay Kueen, A Place Called Home Is Not A Place

“After Sandy” opens Fay Kueen’s debut album A Place Called Home Is Not A Place with whimsical nostalgia. A muted piano tingles like a distant memory as an electronic hiss swirls around it. Kueen’s voice is distant, enveloped in a quiet chaos. She croons, “To believe it never fade away/To pretend it never fall apart,” searching for tangibility and hunting for the truth within a … Continue reading Album Review: Fay Kueen, A Place Called Home Is Not A Place

Album Review: Ashley Bathgate & Sleeping Giant, ASH

Bach’s solo cello suites can be heard in places ranging from the concert hall to TV commercials; the satisfying sound of strumming rolled chords during the Prelude of the first suite is a familiar memory. On ASH, celebrated cellist Ashley Bathgate mines her personal connection to these famed suites by commissioning her friends, the six-member composer collective Sleeping Giant, to create a set of new works … Continue reading Album Review: Ashley Bathgate & Sleeping Giant, ASH

Album Review: Square Peg Round Hole, Branches

On Branches, Philadelphia-based ensemble Square Peg Round Hole creates genre-blending ambient music that melds outward expression with inner pensiveness. The third LP from the percussion-based trio — Evan Chapman, Sean M. Gill, and Carlos Pacheco-Perez — Branches continues in a similar vein to past releases like 2016’s Juniper, a deeply emotional collection of purely instrumental, ambient works. But this time around, they’ve incorporated occasional vocals … Continue reading Album Review: Square Peg Round Hole, Branches

Track Premiere: Yaz Lancaster, “Meditations on Auxin”

meditations on auxin, a new brooding work for electric guitar and voice, amalgamates the seemingly disparate musical categories of ancient Greek lyre songs, Bach’s solo partitas and sonatas, and punk rock. Composed by performer-composer and poet Yaz Lancaster and performed by composer, guitarist, and arranger Andrew Noseworthy, meditations on auxin uses form as a framework to give the performer freedom of interpretation. Released today on DIY-inspired, … Continue reading Track Premiere: Yaz Lancaster, “Meditations on Auxin”

Afterimage: Kinds of Kings, ~Nois, and Wide-Ranging Musical Styles at Roulette

Kinds of Kings, a six-member composer collective dedicated to producing inclusive work and advocating for underheard voices, celebrated the opening of their 2019-20 season at Roulette on October 24 with a concert titled Afterimage. Teaming up with ~Nois, a Chicago-based, new music focused saxophone quartet, the evening featured one work for saxophone ensemble by each composer in the collective, each exploring a different musical style.  … Continue reading Afterimage: Kinds of Kings, ~Nois, and Wide-Ranging Musical Styles at Roulette

Video Premiere: Goldfeather, “Alone Again”

“Alone Again” is violinist and composer Sarah Goldfeather’s immersive ode to rejection. It’s a dramatic, indie-pop response to the open wounds of lost love. A heartbreaking relatability seeps through every synth-laden lyric, following influence from artists like Sufjan Stevens and Mitski. Its accompanying video amplifies the sonic intensity, using visual layering to mimic the echoing loneliness of the music itself. Continue reading Video Premiere: Goldfeather, “Alone Again”