New Sounds from WNYC
Summary: New Sounds is unlike any radio show you've ever heard: a whirlwind tour of new and unusual music from all corners of the globe. New Sounds combs recent recordings for one of the most informative and compelling hours on radio, and aims to make the world smaller. For over 25 years, host John Schaefer has been finding the melody in the rainforest and the rhythm in an orchestra of tin cans. Defying rigid categorization and genre pigeonholing, New Sounds offers new ways to hear the ancient language of song. With guest musicians from David Byrne to Meredith Monk to Ravi Shankar to Philip Glass to Christopher O'Riley to Bang On A Can, Schaefer presents performances (both in-studio and from the New Sounds Live concert series) and premieres new works from the classic and operatic to folk and jazz, and anything else in between. Each show has a theme, ranging from post-rock to klezmer to African blues to minimalism. The variety of cultures and styles explored is boundless. Music you may not have known existed and now can't live without.
Listen to rhythmic music, whether for percussion, string quartet or vocal duet for this New Sounds. Hear works from percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum, Kelly Moran, and the Jasper String Quartet, and a vocal duet from Meredith Monk and Robert Een. From the recent record, Unbound, by the Jasper String Quartet, hear a non-stop motoring work by Judd Greenstein, “Four on the Floor.” Usually the term applies to thumping dance-club bangers, but in this work, pairs of instruments work “with and against each other, until they settle their differences and combine into a shared groove,” according to the composer. Hear music with rhythmic intensity, for prepared piano, with and without electronics from Kelly Moran, and her record, Bloodroot, which is where minimalism and black metal collide. Then, listen to music from Hauschka, who layers player piano with prepared piano. Also, listen to Inuit-style breathing games from Meredith Monk and cellist/vocalist Robert Een, from her long-form work, "Facing North," inspired by the Canadian wilderness. Then, listen to increasingly tricky and complex rhythms in a work by David Crowell for percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum. Plus, hear a work –"Redwood"- involving saxophone and interlocking guitar parts from Empyrean Atlas, the band of composer/multi-instrumentalist David Crowell. And more.
Hear prog-marching band music from Chicago's Mucca Pazza, ambient-gothic Norwegian-Icelandic music from the duo Jo Berger Myhre & Ólafur Björn Ólafsson, jazz-tronic ambient minimalism from London's Portico Quartet, and new work from Danish experimental supergroup Girls in Airports.
Hear music that begins with classical instruments, like the string quartet, piano, or an orchestra, but which is then augmented, enhanced by electronics, percussion, or preparation. Listen to works by English violinist, pianist, and composer Poppy Ackroyd, Netherlands-based composer Peter Adriaansz, and cinematic music from the augmented string quartet amiina.
Guitarist Shane Parish, of the instrumental prog-punk band Ahleuchatistas, plays music from his solo record of “weird old Americana” live in the studio on acoustic & prepared guitar.
“Indian music does not stop and start with Ravi Shankar.” So says tabla master Zakir Hussain, who, along with young sitar virtuoso, Niladri Kumar, joins John in the studio for a live performance. Niladri Kumar and Zakir Hussain perform a radio-friendly (short) Raga Charukeshi, for Rupak Tal (a seven beat rhythmic cycle) and Raga Bhairavi in Teental (16 beats.)
Listen to chamber music packed with strong Americana flavors with works from ETHEL & flutist Robert Mirabal, violist/composer Jessica Meyer, and cellist/composer Erik Friedlander.
Hear traditional string instruments of Western Africa, like the kora, ngoni, & the guitar (now traditional), with music by Seckou Keita, Djelimady Tounkara, & Noura Mint Seymali.
South African guitarist Guy Buttery visits the studio to perform virtuosic feats of bending, tapping, picking, harmonics, and other techniques and textures yet to be named for guitar. Hear music from his latest record, his sixth, a self-titled wonder of collaborative tunes. Plus, music from the late Malian guitarist and griot Tiécoro Sissoko.
Listen to ensemble pieces which incorporate or draw from the folk music of several different parts of the world on this New Sounds program. From music that simulates the sound of Norwegian folk fiddling to Argentine folktronica which uses the South African thumb piano, and so much more inbetween.
New Sounds returns to Ireland for the fourth part of our series on the country's contemporary music scene. For Part 4, in the 7-part series, host John Schaefer speaks with Derry-based composer Neil Burns whose work bridges atmospheric pop and contemporary classical music. Burns discusses his piece "Walls of Sound," a kind of audio tour of Derry, Ireland's city walls that includes processed environmental recordings and spare accompaniment. Neil Burns also shares how his atmospheric pop work has informed his approach to his contemporary classical composition. Later in the hour, John Schaefer meets with Greg Caffrey in Belfast to discuss making music through tough times in Belfast and the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble he founded.
On this New Sounds, music for violin, cello, and the 10-stringed Hardanger d’Amore, with music from Irish cellist Kate Ellis, and the duo of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Dan Trueman.
Hear collaborative works, featuring music by Kaki King with ETHEL, a work by Chris Cerrone with Eighth Blackbird, and the Berlin Guitar Ensemble with producer 1605munro.
Hear music from the Near East & North Africa by Paris-based Palestinian oud player Adnan Joubran, the Montreal-based trio Bomata, & Tunisian percussionist Imed Alibi.
Listen to music from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, German-Afghan vocalist Simin Tander, and drummer Jarle Vespestad, plus Pakistani-Brooklyn group Sandaraa, & Congolese-Irish music.
Hear chamber music on this New Sounds from cellos performed by Ashley Bathgate, music from the Chicago-based Eighth Blackbird, the Tallin Chamber Orchestra, & more.