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

Isabelle O’Connell’s Wide-Ranging Exploration of Contemporary Piano at the Irish Arts Center

Pianist Isabelle O’Connell performed 13 different pieces at the Irish Arts Center on November 7. Each encapsulated a vastly different soundscape, but stories of O’Connell’s life and travels between Dublin and New York City connected them. The first piece on the program was George Gershwin’s Prelude No. 1, chosen in honor of her last concert in Dublin before moving to New York for school, where … Continue reading Isabelle O’Connell’s Wide-Ranging Exploration of Contemporary Piano at the Irish Arts Center

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”