[Music] Manja Ristić – The Nightfall


Manja Ristić is a Serbo-Croatian violinist and experimental music composer whose works have left me captivated.  This latest release, The Nightfall, collects for compositions inspired by the seasons.  From her Bandcamp site:

In haiku poetry, “Kigo” is a seasonal reference, a word or group of words which locates the poem in a season of the year, the seasonal association helping the reader imagine the atmosphere and settings of the poem more vividly.  Kigo evokes memories and feelings which vary depending on the readers themselves: their active role is crucial in haiku poetry as different cultural and historical backgrounds may lead to a different interpretation of the poem.

The release was made available by London-based label Naviar Records yesterday.

[Music] Leila Abdul-Rauf – Diminution


The first time I came across San Francisco, California resident Leila Abdul-Rauf’s name was when she was playing with the all-female avant-garde metal/dark ambient band Amber Asylum.  She has become a far more powerful musician as time has passed (if you know anything about her previous work, that’s very high praise), and, given the brutal darkness of the one track shared, this new album should end up quaking my speakers rather badly (and yes, I’m looking forward to that).

The album is due to be released on April 13.

[Music] Alessandra Celletti – Sacred Honey

My old friend and former business partner, Michael Sheppard (who passed away a few years ago far too young), did me the honor of introducing me to the work of Italian pianist Alessandra Celletti.  His label, Transparency Records, featured four of her works including a collaboration with German/Austrian Krautrock legend Hans-Joachim Roedelius.

I’ve had the pleasure of keeping in contact with her, and she has graciously notified me of her latest album, Sacred Honey, her second album dedicated to the compositions of Georges I. Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann. It is available on Bandcamp as a CD (though not as a download, unfortunately) and for streaming above, courtesy of Spotify. For the first album inspired by Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, listen to it at Deezer.

The CDs ship out on April 15, just in time for Tax Day.

[Music] Zinovia Arvanitidi ~ Ivory (Happy Piano Day)

Many thanks to the writer postrockcafe over at A Closer Listen Blog for reminding us about Piano Day, a little holiday of sorts invented by Nils Frahm to take place on the 88th day of the year.

Equally important is the fact that Greek pianist Zinovia Arvanitidi, whose latest release, Ivory, was reviewed by us in February of this year, has released her debut on vinyl, courtesy of the Kitchen Label.

[Music] David Borden / Mother Mallard – The Continuing Story of Counterpoint, Parts 5​-​8

Thanks to the Good Lord above for giving the world Steve Feigenbaum and Cuneiform Records, who continue to release, digitally, their amazing wares.

David Borden and Mother Mallard have their roots in American minimalist music. This particular release is the middle section of a 12-part series of variations for minimalism in the same way the Goldberg Variations were for Johann Sebastian Bach and classical music.

[Music] Various Artists- Heresy Records: A Map Of The Kingdom Of Ireland

Though not as long in the tooth as INA-GRM nor as exotic as the scenes in places like Egypt or Iran, it seems that Ireland has developed a venerable electroacoustic music scene which has spanned over five decades.  This compilation, A Map of the Kingdom of Ireland, a compilation of Irish Electro-Acoustic music featuring works by Ireland’s most celebrated Electro-Acoustic artists, was released on March 2, 2018 by Dublin, Ireland-based Heresy Records, is quite a gem of not only electroacoustic music, but of pure, non-theoretical music of many stripes, including contemporary classical and even new wave/post-punk.

The comp starts off gently with a cut by Paul Morrin.  It is a bit like a boat taken off its moorings, and drifts along until about the two-minute mark, when the tempo changes to something a bit more lively and focused – one could even say it has a post-rock feel to it, reminding me a bit of the band éf.

Tóirse Ó Ríordáin comes up next with something that feels slightly like an early Penguin Café Orchestra piece if it were composed somewhere near the border of Brazil and Colombia.

It is Daniel Figgis’ piece, Timothy Cream’s Crown of Wines, which really gets into a more freeform composition, referencing avant-garde music and perhaps Krautrock. There is a lilting, marching quality to the composition which allows one to drift off into the ether while.

Even freakier are the two pieces turned in by Dublin mainstay Roger Doyle.  This is a bit away from the avant-garde – this feels more like a cleaner, more updated sound referencing Tangerine Dream.  As my old Kraut friends would say, “sehr Kosmisch…”

The fun surprise of the compilation for me were the two tracks included by Princess Tinymeat (a reference to actor Montgomery Clift’s… er… shortcomings in the boudoir, I’d imagine).  His (her?) back catalog is screaming for a re-release, as I haven’t come across this name since I was collecting cassettes in the late 1980s.

Finally, Spooky Ghost gets a mention for some of the most pleasant guitar work I’ve heard since Vini Reilly was in peak form with the Durutti Column in the early 80s.

There isn’t a duff track on the compilation.  If you find this collection enjoyable, you may want to also consider purchasing On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics, another remarkable compilation curated, this time, by Figgis.

Track Listing
1. Compass – Paul Morrin
2. Atop D’Seefin (Educution remix) – Tóirse Ó Ríordáin
3. Timothy Cream’s Crown of Wines – Daniel Figgis
4. Avant Garde Your Grille – Deep Burial
5. Little Train To Heaven – Richard G. Evans with Daniel Figgis
6. Eighties Rampwalk – Roger Doyle
7. Sleep Circus (remix) – Paddy Hunt vs. Charles
8. Richard Harris Blesses The Dawn Flotilla At Guilvinec – Cathal Coughlan with the Grand Necropolitan String Band
9. Finale from The Room In The Tower – Roger Doyle
10. handsinmyhead – GREETINGS
11. DriftDin – Vincent Doherty
12. Arcticus – Donald Teskey
13. Your Majesty – Princess Tinymeat
14. Stutter – Spooky Ghost
15. Unscan Ó Malley – Tóirse Ó Ríordáin
16. MegaMix – Princess Tinymeat
17. Wandering Compass – Paul Morrin

* The digital version of the album includes the following four tracks

18. Old Piano – Vincent Doherty
19. Reverse – SOM
20. Audacity – Deafector
21. Rampwalk – Roger Doyle / Olwen Fouéré

[Music] Here’s One I Prepared Earlier

Nice to see John Cage and his infamous 4’33” get its due in a proper article written about it.

I

Find somewhere to sit, it doesn’t matter where. Imagine a musician entering the space and preparing to perform. Count to two hundred and seventy-three in beats as close to a second apart as you can manage.

Applaud as the performer exits the space.

You have just created a mental facsimile of the most famous work of American composer John Milton Cage (1912–1992). It is called 4’33” and is not, as is commonly assumed, a piece of silence but rather a period of time to notice the sounds, the music if you will, of your environment.

The piece is one of many explorations of expectations and context that Cage undertook during his career, a musical life rooted in the European tradition but moulded and influenced profoundly by Cage’s interest in Eastern philosophy, particularly Zen Buddhism.

It has been said that all behaviour is communication, which certainly includes creating music, one…

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