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© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC


Astra Choir, The: Morton Feldman; Will Ogdon; Pauline Oliveros; Earle Brown; Warren Burt; Robert Car (New World Records)

Melbourne, Australia's Astra Choir directed by John McCaughey use choral voice and appropriate instrumentation to interpret and present music from mediaeval to modern electronic and post-minimal music, here taking on compositions from Morton Feldman, Will Ogden, Pauline Oliveros, Warren Burt, Earle Brown, and Robert Carl.
 

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product information:


UPC: 093228079422

Label: New World Records
Catalog ID: NW 80794CD
Squidco Product Code: 25619

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case

Personnel:

Morton Feldman-composer

The Astra Choir-choir

John McCaughey-director

Will Ogden-composer

Pauline Oliveros-composer

Warren Burt-composer

Earle Brown-composer

Robert Carl-composer

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track listing:


1. Chorus and Instruments (11:14)

2. Three Statements: I. The Last Invocation (2:10)

3. Three Statements: II. Madrigal (1:21)

4. Three Statements: III. A Clear Midnight (2:00)

5. Voices and Instruments 2 (15:40)

6. Sound Patterns (3:49)

7. Elegy (6:46)

8. Voices and Instruments 1 (12:40)

9. Small Pieces for Large Chorus: I. (2:58)

10. Small Pieces for Large Chorus: II. (2:20)

11. Small Pieces for Large Chorus: III. (3:44)

12. The City (2:12)

13. The Swallows of Salangan (7:49)
Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Avant-Garde
Unusual Vocal Forms
Large Ensembles
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters
New in Compositional Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Melbourne's Astra Choir has played a dynamic role in Australian musical life for several decades with presentations of new and original work from all musical periods. Its repertoire ranges widely from mediaeval and Renaissance music through Bach, 19th-century music and Schoenberg to the latest in electronic and post-minimal music from Australia, Europe and the USA. It frequently gives first Australian performances of music-works and experiments with various modes of presentation, including improvisation, spatial movement and sound technology.

Astra presents an annual concert series which in recent years has varied from 5 to 11 concerts. Within the series, the role of the choir may vary, but will always include a number of concerts with substantial choral works.

The Choir is a flexible ensemble of around 35 singers. New prospective singers are welcome to audition at any time, with an expectation of reasonable music-reading ability and musical experience. The Choir's members include a significant proportion of trained musicians, composers and music students.

Presenting a blend of such diverse repertoire and media in each concert has led to a particular Astra performance culture. Choral singing is placed in an environment of staging and movement, while professional solo voices within the Astra Choir are utilized to create a style of ensemble-theatre. Collaborations with composers have helped to develop this 'performance-art' approach to choral work. Each programme aims at a distinctive configuration of the choir with guest performers, providing varied contexts for a range of new works. Established composers are heard among younger Australian creators and performers."-Astra Choir website



"The intense individuality of Morton Feldman's (1926?1987) art and its 'painterly' aspect have tended to push his rich output of works into a zone all of their own, surrounded by a moat of stillness. This recording attempts the reverse process -- to bring his choral works (the previously unrecorded Chorus and Instruments, Voices and Instruments 1, Voices and Instruments 2, and The Swallows of Salangan) into a 'gallery' of other choir compositions of his times. Through the interaction with works of other characters and aspirations, mutual illumination might become a new Feldman experience. Two of the five other works confront Feldman's textless choral singing with words. These, however, carry their own special musical intent. Three early twelve-tone gems [Three Statements] of Will Ogdon (1921?2013) move with Walt Whitman 'into the wordless . . . away from books, away from art,' and reluctantly away from human desire, as embodied in the central poem by Thomas Campion. Robert Carl's(b. 1954) The City brings a transcendentalist layered sound to the mystical reflections of the architect Louis Sullivan, contemplating the natural and the built-human in the lake and city of Chicago. The notion of wordless chorus fans out in varied directions in the other three works. As one of Feldman's closest associates in the New York School, Earle Brown (1926?2002) intrigues us as much for the stark differences from Feldman shown by his abstract choral mobiles (Small Pieces for Large Chorus). The Sound Patterns of Pauline Oliveros (1932?2016) are less abstract than their title might imply -- moving in and out of singing itself into extended vocality, and towards newly-suggested verbal exclamations of a non-semantic kind. Warren Burt (b. 1949), a former student of both Oliveros and Ogdon at the University of California, San Diego, contributes with his Elegy the most recent piece, also the closest to Feldman's simple successions of chorale-like chords. His harmonies, however,acquire their elegiac qualities from chromatic memories and their contradictions, moving along unfamiliar paths."-New World Records


Artist Biographies:

"Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. Just like Cage, a close friend, he was an American composer - an American artist - an American in the true sense of the word.

He identified himself by differentiating his views on composition from those of his colleagues in Europe. He was proud to be an American because he was convinced that it enabled him the freedom, unparalleled in Europe, to work unfettered by tradition. And, he was an American also in what may have been a slight inferiority complex in the face of cultural traditions in Europe, something he proudly rejected and secretly admired.

Like any true artist, Feldman was endowed with a sensitivity for impressions of a wide variety of sources, literature and painting in particular. His affinity to Samuel Beckett has enriched music literature by a unique music theatre piece, Neither, and two ensemble works. His friendship with abstract impressionist painters gave birth to a range of masterpieces, Rothko Chapel in particular. But even the knotting of oriental rugs gave Feldman musical ideas (The Turfan Fragments).

To the question as to why he preferred soft dynamic levels, he replied:

"- Because when it's loud, you can't hear the sound. You hear its attack. Then you don't hear the sound, only in its decay. And I think that's essentially what impressed Boulez . That he heard a sound, not an attack, emerging and disappearing without attack and decay, almost like an electronic medium.

Also, you have to remember that loud and soft is an aspect of differentiation. And my music is more like a kind of monologue that does not need exclamation point, colon, it does not need..."

Feldman also had an intriguing reply up his sleeve when it came to answering the question why he composed in the first place:

"You know that marvellous remark of Disraeli's? Unfortunately, he was not a good writer, but if he was a great writer, it would have been a wonderful remark. They asked him whydid he begin to write novels. He said because there was nothing to read. (laughs). I felt very much like that in terms of contemporary music. I was not really happy with it. It became like a Rohrschach test".

More than twenty years since his death, Morton Feldman's music is as alive as ever."

-Universal Edition (http://www.universaledition.com/composers-and-works/Morton-Feldman/composer/220/biography)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Melbourne's Astra Choir has played a dynamic role in Australian musical life for several decades with presentations of new and original work from all musical periods. Its repertoire ranges widely from mediaeval and Renaissance music through Bach, 19th-century music and Schoenberg to the latest in electronic and post-minimal music from Australia, Europe and the USA. It frequently gives first Australian performances of music-works and experiments with various modes of presentation, including improvisation, spatial movement and sound technology.

Astra presents an annual concert series which in recent years has varied from 5 to 11 concerts. Within the series, the role of the choir may vary, but will always include a number of concerts with substantial choral works.

The Choir is a flexible ensemble of around 35 singers. New prospective singers are welcome to audition at any time, with an expectation of reasonable music-reading ability and musical experience. The Choir's members include a significant proportion of trained musicians, composers and music students.

Presenting a blend of such diverse repertoire and media in each concert has led to a particular Astra performance culture. Choral singing is placed in an environment of staging and movement, while professional solo voices within the Astra Choir are utilized to create a style of ensemble-theatre. Collaborations with composers have helped to develop this 'performance-art' approach to choral work. Each programme aims at a distinctive configuration of the choir with guest performers, providing varied contexts for a range of new works. Established composers are heard among younger Australian creators and performers."-Astra Choir website



-The Astra Choir Website (http://www.astramusic.org.au/)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

John McCaughey has been since 1978 the Musical Director of Australia's The Astra Choir. His previous musical experiences were as a conductor, composer, educator and organist.

-Squidco 10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Pauline Oliveros was a senior figure in contemporary American music. Her career spans fifty years of boundary dissolving music making. In the '50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. Recently awarded the John Cage award for 2012 from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Oliveros was Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. Oliveros has been as interested in finding new sounds as in finding new uses for old ones --her primary instrument was the accordion, an unexpected visitor perhaps to musical cutting edge, but one which she approaches in much the same way that a Zen musician might approach the Japanese shakuhachi. Pauline Oliveros' life as a composer, performer and humanitarian was about opening her own and others' sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. Since the 1960's she has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. Pauline Oliveros was the founder of "Deep Listening," which comes from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation and electro-acoustics. Pauline Oliveros describes Deep Listening as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one's own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep Listening was my life practice," she explains, simply. Oliveros was founder of Deep Listening Institute, formerly Pauline Oliveros Foundation, now the Center For Deep Listening at Rensselaer."

-Pauline Oliveros Website (http://paulineoliveros.us/about.html)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Warren Burt (born 10 October 1949) is an Australia-based composer of American birth. He is known for composing in a wide variety of new music styles, ranging from acoustic music, electroacoustic music, sound art installations, and text-based music. Burt often employs elements of improvisation, microtonality, humour, live interaction, and lo-fi electronic techniques into his music.

Warren Burt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended the State University of New York, Albany (BA, 1971) and the University of California, San Diego (MA, 1975) before moving to Australia in 1975.

In 1976, Burt, along with composer/performer Ron Nagorcka, established the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, in an old Organ factory building in Gold Street, Clifton Hill, Melbourne. In 1976Đ77, Burt toured his video/spoken/electronic opera Nighthawk in the USA. There were fourteen performances including at the University of Illinois, the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York, California Institute of the Arts, and Oberlin College. From 1977 to 1978 he and John Campbell produced the New and Experimental Music Show on radio 3CR. During this period, Burt and Australian composer Les Gilbert published the New Music Newspaper.

In 1986 he won the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award. The same year, Burt's works from his residency at International Synergy think tank in Los Angeles was shown at the American Film Institute's National Video Show, and won first prize in the computer graphics division of the 1986 Sydney International Video Show.

In 2007, he completed a Ph.D. thesis, "Algorithms, Microtonality, Performance: Eleven Musical Compositions" at the University of Wollongong. Currently he lives in Daylesford, Victoria, and teaches at Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, where he is coordinator of the Masters of Music (Contemporary Practice) degree.

In 2013, Burt's video works were included in the This is Video exhibition curated by Stephen Jones as part of ISEA Symposium on electronic art. Burt and Jones had collaborated on a video work in 1977 called Three Texts."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Burt)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Earle Brown (December 26, 1926 - July 2, 2002) was an American composer who established his own formal and notational systems. Brown was the creator of open form,[1] a style of musical construction that has influenced many composers since-notably the downtown New York scene of the 1980s (see John Zorn) and generations of younger composers.

Among his most famous works are December 1952, an entirely graphic score, and the open form pieces Available Forms I & II, Centering, and Cross Sections and Color Fields.

Brown was born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, and first devoted himself to playing jazz. He initially considered a career in engineering, and enrolled for engineering and mathematics at Northeastern University (1944-45). He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1945. However, the war ended while he was still in basic training, and he was assigned to the base band at Randolph Field, Texas, in which he played trumpet. The band included saxophonist Zoot Sims. Between 1946 and 1950 he was a student at Schillinger House in Boston, which is now the Berklee College of Music. Brown had private instruction in trumpet and composition. Upon graduating he moved to Denver to teach Schillinger techniques. John Cage invited Brown to leave Denver and join him for the Project for Music for Magnetic Tape in New York. Brown was an editor and recording engineer for Capitol Records (1955-60) and producer for Mainstream-Time Records (1960-73).

Brown's contact with Cage exposed David Tudor to some of Brown's early piano works, and this connection led to Brown's work being performed in Darmstadt and Donaueschingen. Composers such as Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna promoted his music, which subsequently became more widely performed and published.

Brown is considered to be a member of the New York School of composers, along with John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff. Brown cited the visual artists Alexander Calder and Jackson Pollock as two of the primary influences on his work. He was also inspired by author, Gertrude Stein, and by many artists he was personally acquainted with such as Max Ernst and Robert Rauschenberg.

Brown died in 2002 of cancer, in Rye, New York."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earle_Brown)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Robert Carl (born July 12, 1954 in Bethesda, Maryland) is an American composer who currently resides in Hartford, Connecticut, where he is chair of the composition department at the Hartt School, University of Hartford.

Carl studied with Jonathan Kramer, George Rochberg, Ralph Shapey, and Iannis Xenakis. From each respectively, the composer has commented that he feels he learned about time, history, counterpoint/phrasing, and form. His music finds its roots in the spirit of eclectic juxtapositions, transcendentalism, and experiment embodied in the output of Charles Ives and other American "ultramodernists", including Carl Ruggles.

CarlŐs music until 1997 tends to explore different styles, and to create unusual syntheses thereof. A history major as an undergraduate at Yale University, he has felt that the musical past is a fertile source to be manipulated for new expressive purposes. Duke Meets Mort (1992) is a saxophone quartet that interprets the harmonic changes of Duke EllingtonŐs Mood Indigo in the voice of Morton Feldman. Time/Memory/Shadow (1988) is a double trio (piano quintet and harp) based on a march written in the composerŐs adolescence, which is slowly ŇexcavatedÓ in the course of the piece, and only revealed at the end.

From 1998 on, starting with Open for string trio, CarlŐs music has become less referential. Since 2001 he has developed a technique of basing his harmonies on the overtone series, with common partials above different fundamentals serving as pivots for progressions and modulations. In American Music in the Twentieth Century, critic Kyle Gann described Carl's more recent style: "(he) has settled into a more serene, meditative idiom, but still with a dissonant edge." More recent works that represent this approach include The WindŐs Trace Rests on Leaves and Waves (2005) for string quintet (premiered by the Miami String Quartet and Robert Black), Marfantasie (2004) for electric guitar and large ensemble, Shake the Tree for piano four-hands (2005), A Musical Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful (2006Đ07) for chamber orchestra, La Ville Engloutie (2007) for wind ensemble, Fourth Symphony (2008), and Piano Quintet "Search" (2012). Carl also frequently collaborates with sculptor Karen McCoy, creating sound components of installation art works, including pieces for the Sculpture Key Festivals of 2009 and 2010, and the 2013 Wintergreen Festival.

Carl's music has been released by Innova Recordings, New World Records, and Centaur Records, among others."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Carl)
10/22/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
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