Video Premiere: Ted Hearne & Saul Williams, “What About My Son”

Place, a new, three-part work created by composer Ted Hearne and poet and activist Saul Williams, grapples with gentrification from different perspectives. Written as a call-and-response between Hearne and Williams, Place is gnarly and knotty, digging deep into the complexity of its subject matter rather than shying away from the issues at hand. The music is surprising, the words are acidic. The result is an … Continue reading Video Premiere: Ted Hearne & Saul Williams, “What About My Son”

Jordan Bortner (aka Null Object) and Phong Tran on the Art of Remixing

What makes a good remix? We’ve all heard remixed versions of original songs that feel more like a repackaging than a well-crafted new perspective. But there’s potential for a remix to provide a new angle for understanding, or a means to dive deeper into a song’s original intentions. Goldfeather, a Brooklyn-based indie-folk-rock band, are using remixes as a means to further explore the songs on … Continue reading Jordan Bortner (aka Null Object) and Phong Tran on the Art of Remixing

Album Review: Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You?

Vigorous music undulates as poet Camae Aweya, also known as Moor Mother, declares “stay on it” with the power of a magnitude nine earthquake. “The Code Noir / Amina” is a formidable opening for five-member jazz ensemble Irreversible Entanglement’s defiant second album, Who Sent You? The group, formed in 2015 at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event, layers striking poetry over unrestrained jazz, creating music … Continue reading Album Review: Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You?

Album Review: Dan Trueman, Sō Percussion, and JACK Quartet, Songs That Are Hard To Sing

For composer, fiddler, and instrument builder Dan Trueman, tradition and innovation in music-making often coexist. He’s recently worked on projects that explore their meeting place, like bitKlavier, a digital prepared piano, and Olagón – A Cantata In Doublespeak, which amalgamates Irish folk tales, pop, contemporary classical, and fiddling. With his 2019 album, Songs That Are Hard to Sing, he continues in this vein, mixing inspiration … Continue reading Album Review: Dan Trueman, Sō Percussion, and JACK Quartet, Songs That Are Hard To Sing

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