Friday, October 17, 2014

"Balance Problems", "Safe Travels", "Music in Circles", "Bladed Stance", "Everness", "The Bear and the Squirrel", and "The Human Plague": new from the Y Music Ensemble

I picked up (through Amazon) the new audio CD “Balance Problems” with music from the “young New Yorkers” for lack of a formal name. Well, OK, I now see it is "Y Music Ensemble".  The cover art contains mountain pictures that appear to be taken in the Berkshires (Massachusetts), in an old mill, and in a recording studio that looks like a renovated “risen” country barn.

The performers are as follows: Rob Moose (violin and guitars), Nadia Sirota (viola), Claroce Jensen (cello0, Hideaki Aomori (Clarinet), Alex Sopp (flutes), CJ Camerieri (trumpet/horn).

The first piece is “Balance Problems” (the album title) by Nico Mukly.  There are lots of high registers.  Second is “Bladed Stance” by Marcos Walter.  Then comes a two-movement “Music in Circles” by Andrew Norman. 
The fourth item is the most accessible: It is “The Bear and the Squirrel” by Jeremy Turner, which centers around an Adagio string quartet theme that resembles one of the late Beethoven quartet slow movements.  The fifth is “Safe Travels” by Timo Andres, which is eclectic, and reminds me of people praying for “travel mercies” in church, which sounds like an overuse of prayer.  There follows “Everness” by Mark Daneigers, which has a circular repeating figure that sounds like it could come from the Monroe Institute.  The last piece is “The Human Plague” by Sufjan Stevens.  There is a repeated-note chordal theme that again sounds Monroe-like and hypnotic.  The piece certainly sounds prescient given the news coverage of the past few weeks. Actually, in a posting Jan. 8. 2013, I cover another piece from 1961 where a friend tried to depict illness in a concerto slow movement.   
The CD is New Amdsterdam (MWAM059), site for Y Music Ensemble here

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