I co-host a weekly new music radio show, “A New Sound,” on WTJU in Charlottesville, the fantastic community radio station based at the University of Virginia. Listen live on Wednesday nights from 7 - 9pm on wtju.net, or tune to 91.1 FM in the Charlottesville area. You can also listen to recordings of shows from the past two weeks on wtju.net.
10.30.19 - Monsters!
On the night before Halloween, we’ll listen to three works about monsters -the stories we tell about them, and the people who create them. We’ll hear Michael Gordon’s newly released Acquanetta, H.K. Gruber’s Frankenstein!!; and music from Philip Glass’ score for the original 1931 Dracula film.
11.27.19 - Comfort Food
Since Thanksgiving is America’s largest gastronomical celebration, we’ll spend the night before listening to music about food. Framed by two works by Marc Mellits (Platter of Discontent and String Quartet No. 3 ‘Tapas’), the program will also feature music about oranges (Caroline Shaw’s Valencia), potatoes, garlic, persimmons, desserts, and, yes, comfort food (Timo Andres’ Comfort Food).
12.11.19 - El Niño
As part of WTJU’s annual Classical Marathon, and in anticipation of Christmas, I’ll be presenting the entirety of John Adams’ magnificent, multifaceted nativity oratorio.
12.12.19 - 10 Years of Roomful of Teeth
2019 is the 10-year anniversary of this trailblazing new music vocal ensemble. We’ll celebrate with an array of major and lesser-heard works.
12.13.19 - Classical Caribbean
Click each title to see the full playlist for the show.
10.16.19 - Strange Birds
In light of the recent news of the extent of the decline of wild birds in North America, we listened to a variety of works written int he last 40 years about birds, their songs, and their movements.
- Einojuhani Rautavaara - Cantus Articus
- Kaija Saariaho - Terrestre
- Takashi Yoshimatsu - And Birds are Still...
- John Luther Adams - "Meadowdance," "Mourning Dove," and "Apple Blossom Round" from songbirdsongs
- Jennifer Higdon - An Exaltation of Larks
- Jonathan Harvey - Bird Concerto with Pianosong
- John Luther Adams - Strange Birds Passing
9.18.19 - Part/Schnittke
In the first half of the show, we listened to a series of shorter works by Arvo Part and Alfred Schnittke. In the second half, we recreated the premiere of Part’s masterpiece Tabula Rasa, where it was performed alongside Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1.
- Arvo Part - Spiegel im Spiegel
- Alfred Schnittke - Polka
- Schnittke - "Pantomime" from Suite in an Old Style
- Part - The Beatitudes
- Part - Variations for the Healing of Arinushka
- Schnittke - Concerto for Mixed Chorus, I. O Master of All Living
- Schnittke - Variations for String Quartet
- Schnittke - Concerto Grosso No. 1
- Part - Tabula Rasa
9.11.19 - New Releases, Vol. 2
We listened to brand-new music by a diverse group of composers, all out on CD or digital platforms in the year 2019.
- Caleb Burhans - A Moment for Jason Molina
- Nathalie Joachim - Madan bellegarde
- Christopher Cerrone - The Branch Will Not Break
- Juri Seo - Respiri
- Shelley Washington - Towers
- Nathalie Joachim - Suite pou dantan
- Amy Beth Kirtsen - h.o.p.e.
- Eleanor Alberga - String Quartet No. 2
- Marcos Balter - We Carry Out Homes Within Us
9.4.19 - The Worker
We live in a world where millions of workers are at the mercy of large corporations, working in intolerable conditions, denied basic services and living wages, and with too few protections from governments that. Julia Wolfe's newly released Fire in my mouth memorializes the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, while Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated! is an intricately detailed set of variations and a rallying cry to workers everywehre.
- Julia Wolfe - Fire in my mouth
- Frederic Rzewski - The People United Will Never Be Defeated!
8.21.19 - Some Connecticut Gospel
Connecticut is perhaps most often experienced as a place people pass through on their way to New York City or Boston. But this third-smallest state in the union has been home to an outsized number of questing, supremely thoughtful composers whose work has real spiritual, artistic and philosophical depth. Not least of whom is the great, trailblazing American composer, sonic innovator and philosopher-musician, Charles Ives.
- Charles Ives - The Unanswered Question
- Aaron Jay Kernis - Musica Celestis
- Paula Matthusen - in absentia
- Timo Andres - Some Connecticut Gospel
- Martin Bresnick - Prayers Remain Forever
- Charles Ives - Serenity
- Ingram Marshall - Kingdom Come
- Charles Ives - Symphony No. 4
8.14.19 - Sport: The Agony and the Ecstasy
In the first half of this program, we’ll hear five works that explore the joy, glory and pleasure of sport. In the second half, we’ll contemplate the less sunny side of sports: the agony of defeat, the extreme pressure on athletes to perform, the tragedy that sometimes strikes.
- Michael Torke - Javelin
- Erik Satie - Sports et Divertissements
- William Schuman - "The Gladdened Multitude" from The Mighty Casey
- Claude Debussy - Jeux
- Eve Beglarian - Brownie Feet
- John Adams - Lollapalooza
- Annie Gosfield - Brooklyn, October 5, 1941
- Michael Nyman - Memorial
- William Schuman - "Oh Somewhere" from The Mighty Casey
- Eve Beglarian - in and out of the game
7.24.19 - The Ghost of the Baroque
Composers have long used music of the Baroque era in their own works - think Brahms in the final movement of his 4th symphony - both to engage with the music as music, contrapuntally dense, harmonically rich as it is - but also as a symbol of some long-vanished, golden past; or as a kind of neutral canvas that they can paint with their own musical ideas; or even as a kind of mirror, something that brings the qualities of their own music into clearer focus.
- George Crumb - "Music of the Starry Night" from Music for a Summer Evening
- Lukas Foss - Phorion
- Kathryn Salfelder - Cathedrals
- Arvo Part - Collage uber B-A-C-H
- Hannah Lash - Suite (Remembered and Imagined)
- Paul Lansky - Partita
- Alfred Schnittke - Musica nostalgica
- Caroline Shaw - Partita for 8 Voices
7.3.19 - American Mavericks
In honor of 4th of July, this program is called “American Mavericks,” featuring music by 12 maverick American composers, each of whom blazed their own musical trail by creating new sounds, new musical ideas, or new techniques. We’ll listen to these works in the order they were written, starting in 1906 with Charles Ives’ Central Park in the Dark, and ending with Pauline Oliveros’ Suiren from 1989.
- Charles Ives - Central Park in the Dark
- Henry Cowell - Aeolian Harp
- Edgard Varese - Integrales
- Ruth Crawford Seeger - Andante for Strings
- John Cage - Dream
- Conlon Nancarrow - Study for Player Piano No. 3a
- Lou Harrison - Concerto in Slendro
- Steve Reich - Piano Phase
- Morton Feldman - The Viola in My Life II
- Ben Johnston - String Quartet No. 4 "Amazing Grace"
- Meredith Monk - Gotham Lullaby
- Pauline Oliveros - Suiren
6.26.19 - New Releases, Vol. 1
This show features four brand new releases, anchored by two incredible 40-minute works that have been released in just the past month, both of which show established composers making really major and sustained arguments for a new kind of music. And we’ll also hear two recent, shorter works by two younger composers who already have distinct and deeply engaging musical voices.
- Caroline Shaw - Punctuum
- John Luther Adams - Become Desert
- Isaac Schankler - Artifacts
- Daniel Wohl - Etat
6.12.19 - Horn of Plenty
For WTJU's June pledge drive, I put together a special program featuring a veritable cornucopia of new music, all written by living composers, and all written in the last 30 years. As a listener, I’m greedy: I want music to make me think, and make me feel, and not to do one at the exclusion of the other. I don’t think it’s too much to ask - I think that’s what we should expect from great art.
- Judd Greenstein - Change
- Kevin Volans - White Man Sleeps
- Missy Mazzoli - Magic With Everyday Objects
- John Luther Adams - Canticles of the Sky
- Merrill Garbus - Ansa ya
- Julia Wolfe - Stronghold
- David Lang - Wed
6.5.19 - Child
In this program, we're going to explore music either written about childhood, or written in honor of or about children - sometimes the composer’s own, but not always.
- Osvaldo Golijov - Night of the Flying Horses
- Luigi Dallapiccola - Quaderno musicale di Annalibera
- Armando Bayolo - 6 Studies in Flowing Time
- Arvo Part - Fur Alina
- Ned Rorem - Lullaby of the Woman of the Mountain
- Marc Mellits - Mara's Lullaby
- David Lang - Child
- Ned Rorem - Four Poems Without Words: Lullaby
5.22.19 - Home
"Home” is more than just shelter or a physical environment - it has powerful emotional, philosophical, and cultural meanings as a place of safety, refuge, stability, comfort, self-expression, a place of origin, a place held in contrast to the rest of the world. And isn’t being home, whether in physical space or with a particular person, something we all yearn for?
- David Lang - "Before I Enter" from Shelter
- Lukas Ligeti - Moving Houses
- Ruth Crawford Seeger - "Home Thoughts" from Five Songs
- Runa Ingimundardottir - From My Home
- Charles Ives - Piano Sonata No. 2 (Concord, Mass., 1840-1860) III. The Alcotts
- Sarah Kirkland Snider - "Home" from Penelope
- Steven Mackey - Dreamhouse
- David Lang - "I Want to Live" from Shelter
5.8.19 - The Ocean of Now
This is a program of recently written music all about the sea, exploring how composers today are inspired by the ocean, or by humans’ relationship with the ocean, or about some aspect of the ocean or oceanic life.
- Fjola Evans - Shoaling
- Thomas Ades - Polaris
- George Crumb - Vox Balaenae
- Lois Vierk - To Stare Astonished at the Sea
- Robert Paterson - Deep Blue Ocean
- John Luther Adams - Become Ocean
5.1.19 - Musical Happiness
This program features two kinds of works: pieces whose explicit subject, though not necessarily mood, is happiness; and works whose mood or spirit, to me at least, traces some facet of happiness, be it joy, or a kind of optimism, or playfulness, or contentedness.
- Philip Glass - "Serra Pelada" from Powaqqatsi
- John Adams - Hallelujah Junction
- Eve Beglarian - I will not be sad in this world
- Lukas Foss - Capriccio for Cello and Piano
- David Bedford - Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves
- Caroline Shaw - Ritornello 2.sq.2.j.a.
- Christopher Cerrone - Double Happiness
- Angelica Negron - La Isla Magica
- Judd Greenstein - At the end of a really great day
4.3.19 - Unbearable Lightness
This program features music that explores both lightness and darkness, heaviness and weightlessness. These composers are exploring what light might sound like, or are attempting to evoke qualities of light in sound, or light and other elemental, atmospheric forces.
- Meredith Monk - Dark/Light 1
- Du Yun - Air Glow
- Judith Shatin - Glyph
- Lois Vierk - Red Shift
- Christopher Cerrone - South Catalina
- Anna Thorvaldsdottir - In the Light of Air
- Meredith Monk - Dark/Light 2
3.20.19 - Recorded Words
Anchored by two large-scale string quartets, this program explores works that utilize recorded human speech or song in some way.
- Eve Beglarian - Creating the World
- Steve Reich - Different Trains
- Jacob TV - The Body of Your Dreams
- Paul Lansky - Notjustmoreidlechatter
- Michael Gordon - The Sad Park
- Julia Wolfe - Reeling
- Anna Clyne - A Wonderful Day
- Nick Zammuto - Real Beauty Turns
3.6.19 - In Memory
This is a program of works written in memory of someone, or music more generally concerned with death or remembrance. The second, third, and fourth pieces on the program recreate a concert that I saw back in 2008 at a festival put on by New Albion Records, held at Bard College’s SummerScape series. Each of the works on that program was a kind of musical memorial. That concert was conducted by my teacher, Steven Dennis Bodner, and I attended it with my father - both Steven and my father are now deceased.
- Arvo Part - Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
- Lou Harrison - Threnody for Carlos Chavez
- Daniel Lentz - O-Ke-Wa
- Morton Feldman - Rothko Chapel
- William Brittelle - Amid the Minotaurs
- David Macbride - A Special Light
- Louis Andriessen - M is for Man, Music, Mozart
- Michael Gordon - For Madeline
2.20.19 - Monumental Snow
Once it became clear that we were in for some snowy weather on this day in Central Virginia, I decided to share some snow and winter related new music, including Hans Abrahamsen’s monumental Schnee, or snow.
- John Luther Adams - In a Treeless Place, Only Snow
- Meredith Monk - "Keeping Warm" from Facing North
- Timo Andres - Clear and Cold
- George Benjamin - The Mind of Winter
- Matthew Burtner - The Syntax of Snow
- Hans Abrahamsen - Schnee