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LPR Live, from New York
15 minutes | Jan 17, 2017
Norway's Jaga Jazzist Performs 'Starfire'
Jaga Jazzist is an eight-piece Norwegian ensemble with a sound that draws from jazz, vintage funk, Krautrock and shoegaze. It adds up to a mesmerizing, exploratory and overwhelmingly energetic sound simply meant to be experienced live. Led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Lars Horntveth, the band first came together in a small Norwegian town in 1994, when the members were still teens. To date they've released seven full-length albums, including a live album with the Britten Sinfonia. The Mars Volta have cited them as a favorite, and invited the band to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in 2005. We join Jaga Jazzist backstage to talk about what it takes to stay together for 20 years, embracing extremes of influence and the importance of going crazy every night. Then we take in a performance of Starfire, the exploratory title track of their latest album. Download Jaga Jazzist's Starfire as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
16 minutes | Jan 3, 2017
Bruce Brubaker and Francesco Tristano's Philip Glass Piano Versions
Bruce Brubaker and Francesco Tristano are two virtuoso pianists from very different musical backgrounds. Brubaker is an American experimentalist known for his performances of music by John Adams, Meredith Monk and, especially, Philip Glass. Brubaker's former student, the Luxembourg musician Francesco Tristano, splits his time between concert-hall performances of J.S. Bach and Luciano Berio and club shows of beat-driven electronic dance music. On The Glass Piano Versions the two longtime friends mix their influences with Philip Glass’s piano works, infusing the music with free improvisation, ambient and live electronic beats. We join the two pianists to discuss the genesis and ideas behind The Glass Piano Versions before taking in a live performance at Le Poisson Rouge. Download Bruce Brubaker and Francesco Tristano performing the Glass Piano Versions as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
17 minutes | Dec 20, 2016
GABI on Fear, Vulnerability and the Human Voice
The music of GABI is hard to pin down. Chopped vocal fragments float and cluster among classical orchestration, found sounds and abstract electronic textures. At times atmospheric, at times heart-breakingly intimate, the music takes cues from Meredith Monk and Björk, using the power of the human voice to create strange, densely-textured soundscapes that pendulum between song, improvisation and composition. A classically-trained vocalist and composer, Gabrielle Herbst released her debut album Sympathy in 2015 on Software Recording Company, a record label founded by electronic musician Oneohtrix Point Never. We join GABI in the green room at Le Poisson Rouge to discuss the relationship between text and sound and channeling fear to expose the profound vulnerability of the human voice. Then we take performances of her songs "Whole with You" and "Fleece" live at Le Poisson Rouge. Download GABI's Whole with You and Fleece as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
15 minutes | Dec 6, 2016
Daniel Wohl on Physical Performance and Electronic Sound
For composer Daniel Wohl, the distinction between a physical performer and an electronic sound is inconsequential. While his music builds on the traditions of heady electronic pioneers like Morton Subotnick and Paul Lansky, he also takes inspiration from pulse-driven dance beats, minimalist chamber music and even visual art. Wohl's latest collection Holographic earned him accolades from both the contemporary classical and independent rock worlds for its seamless integration of live musicians and electronics, and its ability to transcend genre. It's heady but accessible, constructing surreal sonic landscapes as much at home in a concert hall as in an outer-borough warehouse or art space. We join Wohl backstage before his performance at Le Poisson Rouge to discuss the art, appeal and challenges of performing electroacoustic music live. Download selections from Daniel Wohl's Holographic as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
11 minutes | Nov 22, 2016
Eartheater on Feedback Loops and Alien Mysticism
Eartheater is the solo project of Queens-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Alexandra Drewchin. Her music exists in a world all its own, incorporating looped textures and pitch-shifted vocals alongside elements of mystical folk and ambient music. Drewchin's music is anchored by her poetry, which delves into concepts of lost identity, mysticism and disembodiment. Her performances seem as much spiritual, transformative rites as they are "music." We join Eartheater in the green room just before her performance at Le Poisson Rouge to discuss conceptual feedback loops, the singular and nomadic lifestyle of the touring musician, and what it means to be an eartheater before taking in a performance of her "Mask Therapy." Download Eartheater's Mask Therapy as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
21 minutes | Nov 8, 2016
Man Meets Machine on Dan Trueman's 'Nostalgic Synchronic'
Composer and Princeton professor Dan Trueman is the inventor of a new instrument combining man and machine: the prepared digital piano. His Nostalgic Synchronic is a series of etudes that showcase the interactive instrument's capabilities, combining old-fashioned composition with responsive elements that anticipate the future of music performance. Like John Cage's Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano, Nostalgic Synchronic is at once pleasantly familiar – drawing on traditions of Bach, and as Trueman notes, the Hungarian composer György Ligeti – and charged with unexpected colors and nuances. Last October, we joined Trueman and Sō Percussion's Adam Sliwinski (for whom the pieces were written) backstage at Le Poisson Rouge for conversation and musical demonstration followed by a live performance of Nostalgic Synchronic. Download Dan Trueman's Nostalgic Synchronic as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
15 minutes | Oct 25, 2016
Listen: Port St. Willow Brings 'Syncope' to Life at Le Poisson Rouge
Port St. Willow, the project of Brooklyn-based Nicholas Principe, performed its second improvisational, atmospheric album Syncope at Le Poisson Rouge on November 17, 2015. Principe rearranged the album as a continuous live piece for himself, backed by contributors Will Epstein, The Antlers' Peter Silberman, and David Moore of Bing & Ruth. In his artist biography Principe writes, “This is visual music with an emotive core. An expression of love in response to sudden change, and the patient steps forward of a rebirth.” His music’s vast structures stretch that response, as if to somehow refuse too rapid a discovery, while his striking falsetto vocals highlight raw optimism motivating each transformative step. We join Principe, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Dunn and drummer Tommy Crane backstage to discuss the art of performing ambient music live and bringing new life to recorded music in a live setting. Download Port St. Willow's Syncope as part of Season Two of LPR Live, with host John Schaefer. Listen to trailblazing new music performed live at Le Poisson Rouge, and enjoy interactions with artists and audience members. Subscribe to LPR Live on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
15 minutes | Oct 11, 2016
Andrew Norman's Video Game-Inspired 'Gran Turismo' with Ensemble LPR
For this episode of LPR Live, we join the ambitious chamber group Ensemble LPR for a performance by American composer, Rome Prize winner and 2016 Guggenheim Fellow Andrew Norman. His Gran Turismo for eight virtuoso violinists draws its inspiration from the high octane racing-car video game of the same name. The performance is taken from an evening-length concert called "Sound and Fury" that placed Norman's Gran Turismo amidst music of seething (and sometimes explosive) intensity by Arvo Pärt, Dmitri Shostakovich and Michael Gordon – a longtime luminary of New York’s Downtown new-music scene. Before diving into Norman's music, we step into the green room of Le Poisson Rouge to meet some of Ensemble LPR's featured performers and guest conductor – Los Angeles-based Christopher Rountree – and to discuss the evening’s eclectic program and the mechanics of chamber music in the 21st Century.
32 minutes | Sep 27, 2016
Bing & Ruth's Family Reunion for Cult-Classic 'City Lake'
For this episode of LPR Live, we join Bing & Ruth – an ensemble of classically trained musicians that emotionally blends ambient electronic music with contemporary-classical minimalism and jazz – for backstage conversation and an exclusive performance at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. Bing & Ruth is led by David Moore, a composer and pianist trained at the New School. Consisting of piano, two vocalists, two clarinets, upright bass, two cellists, drums and tape delay effects, the music is built on shifting layers of texture and dynamic contour. It is music wrapped up in a mesmerizing, introverted passivity that builds to explosions of energy and release. In November of last year, the ensemble celebrated the re-release of their 2010 cult-classic City Lake, an album originally limited to a pressing of only 250 copies. We caught up with Moore and his band members for what feels like a family reunion, for performances of City Lake's final two tracks, "Broad Channel/A Little Line In A Round Face" and "Here's What You're Missin."
16 minutes | Sep 13, 2016
Download: LPR Live Returns with Sarah Neufeld's 'The Ridge'
The second season of Q2 Music's LPR Live podcast launches with a performance from composer and Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld. Her album The Ridge melds elements of classical, folk and pop and at times even simulates the sounds of electronic looping, but in an all-acoustic setup. We caught up with her on the last show of her tour promoting The Ridge to discuss the influence of yoga on her music and the importance of daily discipline. Then we join the audience at Le Poisson Rouge for a performance of the title track with Colin Stetson on the electronic wind instrument the Lyricon and drummer (and fellow Belle Orchestre member) Stefan Schneider. The Ridge is Neufeld's second album, following her debut Hero Brother. In addition to performing solo and with Arcade Fire, she is a founding member of Montréal's Bell Orchestre and of a new duo with her husband, the saxophonist Colin Stetson. This performance was recorded April 15, 2016 at Le Poisson Rouge.
35 minutes | May 3, 2016
Download: John Adams's Grooving String Quartet with Attacca Quartet
Despite being one of relatively few chamber music pieces in his catalog, John Adams’s 2008 String Quartet stands among the composer’s most significant compositions and has been solidly adopted into the chamber-music canon. This episode features a live performance of the titanic two-movement piece, performed live at Le Poisson Rouge by the Attacca Quartet. Joining Adams for his on-stage introduction of the piece are violinist Keiko Tokunaga and violist Luke Fleming of the Attacca Quartet. You’ll hear them recount the trial-by-fire circumstances of their first performance, the details of a late-night phone call and how to temper performance anxiety and just groove. This performance of John Adams's String Quartet by the Attacca Quartet features Amy Shroeder and Keiko Tokunaga on violin, Luke Fleming* on viola, and Andrew Yee on cello. John Adams’s String Quartet was featured by permission from Boosey & Hawkes. Visit Boosey on the web at www.boosey.com. *Luke Fleming has since left the quartet to assume the position of artistic director of the Manhattan Chamber Players.
17 minutes | Apr 19, 2016
Download: Ted Hearne's 'Parlor Diplomacy' Featuring Timo Andres
If you're a composer and you at least partially acknowledge the musical history that came before you, you're left in a tough position. How can you even put pen to paper when so much profound music already exists? Do you disregard it? Build upon it? Scrawl graffiti on its pages or bow in reverence? In this episode we hear music that does a little bit of each in three movements from the solo piano suite Parlour Diplomacy by Brooklyn-based composer Ted Hearne. The composer is joined by pianist-composer Timo Andres for whom the piece was written. They discuss the anxiety of manipulating source material by Johannes Brahms, and compositionally speaking, how to disassociate completely. Special thanks to Ted Hearne and Timo Andres for their use of "Excerpts from Parlour Diplomacy".
15 minutes | Apr 5, 2016
Download: David Lang Distills Late Friends in 'Memory Pieces'
David Lang's music hangs beautifully in the balance between head and heart. Despite the intricate mathematical undercurrents of his musical language and the rigorous construction of his forms, Lang's music is always primarily concerned with expression. This episode features two movements from Lang's Memory Pieces for piano, one of the composer's most personal and intimate works. Each movement is a sort of musical memorial – a recollection or conversation with a close friend, distilled into a brief musical moment. But, as Lang explains, it's not all gloom, doom and nostalgia. He describes charming encounters with composer John Cage and pianist Yvar Mikhashoff, the profundity of being asked to write a memorial for someone still alive and the mystery of musical expression. Join us backstage with the composer and in the audience at Le Poisson Rouge to hear pianist Andrew Zolinsky perform the Memory Pieces "Cage" and "Spartan Arcs."
26 minutes | Mar 22, 2016
Download: Vivian Fung Concerto with Harpist Bridget Kibbey
Simply put, the vast majority of classical music performance features the work of dead composers. Performers don't have the chance to ask a work's creator for advice; can't inquire about phrasing, articulation, or dynamics; and almost never were these pieces written specifically for them. For this episode of LPR Live, however, quite the opposite is true. You'll hear the world premiere performance of Canadian-born composer Vivian Fung's Harp Concerto, the fruit of a close collaboration with New York City-based harpist Bridget Kibbey, heard here live at Le Poisson Rouge on April 6, 2014, with conductor Andrew Cyr leading the Metropolis Ensemble. Throughout the collaborative process for this tailor-made concerto, Kibbey and Fung were in constant contact, with Fung catering her writing to Kibbey's singular musicianship while Kibbey provided input for idiomatic – and sometimes un-traditional – approaches to the instrument. The result is a vividly colored exploration of style and sonority that showcases the virtuosity of both performer and composer. In conversation before the performance, Kibbey and Fung are joined by Metropolis Ensemble director Andrew Cyr to discuss the dynamics of their close-knit collaboration, the thrills of live performance, and what it took to turn the harp from angelic arpeggiator to virtuoso protagonist.
22 minutes | Mar 8, 2016
Download: Pianist Sarah Cahill Performs Terry Riley and Samuel Adams
One of America’s most revered experimentalists, Terry Riley turned 80 years old in 2015. Somehow, he remains eternally youthful and effortlessly hip, continuing to compose and perform at an invigorated pace. For decades now Riley has furthered the musical traditions he helped start in the 60s while serving as an inspiration to newer and younger generations of composers and performers. This episode of LPR Live tips a hat to this musical maverick with live performances by the California-based pianist Sarah Cahill. In addition to the music of Riley included on this homage to the composer at Le Poisson Rouge, Cahill intersperses works by a younger generation of kindred spirits. One of the best is Sam Adams, the current composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony, who wrote Shade Studies, a piece for piano and resonators, specifically for these celebratory performances. Riley’s Keyboard Study 1 and Adams’ complementary work is preluded by Cahill and Adams describing their close relationship with the composer, the mesmerizing spell cast by Riley’s piano writing, and the uniquely resonant sounds you hear listening to music from underneath a piano. Listen to the complete show here. Samuel Adams’s Shade Studies was commissioned by Russ Irwin for pianist Sarah Cahill. The first performance was given by Sarah Cahill in the recital hall at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on January 16, 2015. Thanks to Associated Music Publishers, Inc. and BMI for the use of Terry Riley’s Keyboard Studies.
18 minutes | Feb 23, 2016
Christopher Cerrone's 'High Windows' Finds an Elusive Balance
Christopher Cerrone is one of those “on-the-brink” artists. The Brooklyn-based composer, riding an impressive wave of accolade and acclaim for his opera Invisible Cities, can seemingly not be heard enough, accumulating important commissions and performances across the country. This episode of LPR Live offers a bird’s eye view of his work for string quartet and string orchestra, High Windows, and features a performance by Quartet Senza Misura, Metropolis Ensemble and conductor Andrew Cyr. Cerrone’s music strikes that elusive balance between intense emotion and meticulous craft, and combines ornamental dissonance with luminous triadic harmony in a singular language. You’ll hear from Cerrone and the Metropolis Ensemble director Andrew Cyr about High Windows’ unlikely source material, the pitfalls of writing string orchestra music, and, for Cyr, what it feels like to literally be in the middle of such intense music. This concert was recorded live at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on April 7, 2014. Christopher Cerrone’s High Windows was used by arrangement with Schott Music Corporation, New York.
18 minutes | Feb 9, 2016
Download: John Cage and Domenico Scarlatti's Piano Sonatas
On paper John Cage and Domenico Scarlatti—the experimental American composer and the late-Baroque keyboard maverick—make for an odd juxtaposition. But where some might hear contrast in the sonatas of this unlikely couple, pianist David Greilsammer hears complement. This episode of LPR Live features the Israeli virtuoso live in performance of four sonatas, two each by Cage and Scarlatti. These performances are extracted from a larger recital by Greilsammer at (Le) Poisson Rouge that mirrors his 2014 Sony Classical release, “Scarlatti : Cage”. The most jarring feature of these pieces is that their sound worlds are completely different, something that Greilsammer exploits in performance by swiveling quickly between two pianos: one for Scarlatti, a traditional, unadulterated instrument; the other for Cage, which is prepared with nuts, bolts, plastic, and rubber according to specifications by the composer. Greilsammer discusses this peculiar treatment of the piano, the unlikely similarities between these two composers, and their shared reverence of folk music. He’s joined “from the archives” by Cage himself, who philosophizes on the nature of music and the power of listening to nothing at all. This episode features Dominico Scarlatti's A-minor Piano Sonata K.175, A-Major Piano Sonata K.492, and John Cage's Cage Prepared Piano Sonatas 5 & 12 performed by David Greilsammer on pianos, with interviews from pianist David Greilsammer, and archival WNYC interviews from composer John Cage. This concert was recorded live at at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City on May 27, 2014. Listen to the complete show here. John Cage’s Sonatas for Prepared Piano were featured by permission of C.F. Peters Corp, all rights reserved.
34 minutes | Jan 26, 2016
LPR Live Launches with Steve Reich's Iconic 'Different Trains'
LPR Live, a new podcast showcasing music recorded live at Greenwich Village's Le Poisson Rouge, launches with a throwback to Steve Reich's seminal 1988 Different Trains for string quartet and tape, performed by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). Steve Reich undoubtedly stands as one of America’s most influential composers. He also admits to being one of the most influenced musicians of his generation, combining the disparate sounds of jazz, African drumming, American experimentalism, and more. In Different Trains, written in 1988 and scored for string quartet and pre-recorded tape, Reich adds a deeply personal narrative to this melange of musical influence and creates one of his most affecting musical statements. This episode features performances by Caroline Shaw and Ben Russell, violinists; Nadia Sirota, violist; and Clarice Jensen, cellist, and interviews with Jensen, Shaw and Reich himself. The music was recorded on September 11, 2012; hear the complete show. Steve Reich’s Different Trains was featured on LPR Live by permission from Boosey & Hawkes. Visit Boosey on the web at www.boosey.com.
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