Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Musical Cloud Gate

I interviewed the composer Dr. Martha Horst earlier this week about Cloud Gate, her composition inspired by Anish Kapoor's sculpture of the same name. It will be premiered as part of Chicago Stories tonight at 7:30 at St. James Cathedral in Chicago. The interview appears on my friend, the composer Tim Edwards's web site,

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sounds of Spring

Sounds and sound-related thoughts in recent weeks:

* A variety of pieces by composers using a combination of electronic and acoustic sounds at the Chicago Electro-Acoustic Music Festival (favorites include my friend Tim Edwards's entitled Dismantle; Elizabeth Start's A Cellist in Alaska; Autosquish by Timothy Ernest Johnson; The Fertility of Ash by Sean Ellis Hussey; and Beth Bradfish's sound sculpture, Exhale.);

* Laurie Anderson's 2015 film, Heart of a Dog, accompanied by the ethereal, elegiac soundtrack of the same name;

* A pair of enormous turkey vultures cooing to one another on a tree branch (scavengers in love);

* Mockingbirds (20 tunes for the price of one!), goldfinches, bluebirds, cowbirds, and dive-bombing redwing blackbirds have migrated back to my forest, bringing their music along;

* In Polish poet Adam Zagajewski's latest collection of essays, Slight Exaggeration, he extols the virtues of Bach, Brahms, and Billie Holiday, and refers to rock music's "splendid dialogue of passion and moderation" with a quote from Nietsche's The Birth of Tragedy: "...the Dionysian element in art is in perpetual dialogue with the Apollonian";

* French soprano Veronique Gens singing the Bailero from Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne, one of the loveliest things I've heard in a long time.