Up-close and personal

How sweet and heavenly the harps and lutes are of our ecclesiastic pasts, yet how ironic that composers often employ string instruments for the most brutal of affects. Not shower-approved tunage… From the primitive chunks of Stravinksy’s Le Sacre du printemps to Kubrick and Hitchcock’s obsession with the scintillating screeches of hair on metal, strings have primed us […]

The Reich Stuff

Tehillim (1981) is a favorite Reich work of mine, so of course I couldn’t resist sharing this multimedia extravaganza.  Named after the Hebrew word for the Psalms, twenty-three performers groove through each twisting canon following the agogic accents of the Biblical text. Surprisingly or not, Tehillim sounds quite unlike traditional Jewish recitations of the Torah.  In the composer’s […]

Digital Love

Photo by Elizabeth Young At almost eighty years old, composer Morton Subotnik shows no signs of toning it down. And his frenetic energy dominated the performance Friday at the Library of Congress which featured three commanding works, one a world premier. Subotnik’s list of awards and accolades is overwhelming: a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy […]