Orange Mountain Music presents Philip Glass second violin concerto, subtitled The American Four Seasons, performed by violinist Robert McDuffie accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop. This live performance was captured on the occasion of the UK premiere of the work in the spring of 2010. The concerto is in four movements, with each movement preceded by a piece for solo violin comprised of a prologue and three songs. The strings-only orchestra is complemented by a synthesizer producing a sound palette that harkens back to the Philip Glass of the 1970s. The American Four Seasons was commissioned by McDuffie to act as a companion piece to Vivaldi s Four Seasons concertos, which are among the most performed and recorded works in the history of music.
Bing & Ruth have announced their third studio album No Home of the Mind. Continuing with the deft minimalism that has marked them out in critical circles in recent years, the New York ensemble’s new record will be released on February 17th, 2017. Established in 2006, Bing & Ruth is an ever-evolving collective steered by composer David Moore. A pianist from Kansas and graduate of New York’s school of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School, Moore’s work follows in the great tradition of fellow alumni John Cage and Steve Reich, albeit looking past the more studied repetition of the style’s forerunners toward a meditative form built on feeling. With No Home of the Mind, the ensemble has been streamlined to a five-person unit, exploring the piano’s percussive qualities alongside running woodwinds, warbling tape delays and splattered upright bass lines that stare out with a wide-eyed transcendence, taking so-called “classical” music to new limits.
The Alien Abduction Phenomenon features Syndromeda, nee Danny Budts, doing what he does best. This densely atmospheric and heavily sequenced CD is another sci-fi soundscape with massive walls of sound and expansive passages of dark minimalism. Danny weaves a tale of space exploration and the unknown dangers therein. Deep listeners will take the journey as well, carried by the rhythm. The rhythm is either overt (sequenced) or self-generated (minimal). It is always there. A deep synth drone provides continuity for the thematic integrity as listeners explore the mystic worlds of abduction. The dark minimalism forebodes mystery and, perhaps, danger lurking in the shadows. This is an early in 2001’s top ten!