Incitation to Desire
Performed on piano by Yvar Mikhashoff (1945-1993)
Tangos from John Cage, Aaron Copland, Lucas Foss, Conlon Nancarrow, and Dane Rudhyar, among others.
Tangos, tangos, tangos, abstract intellectual tangos, heart on the sleeve romances, passionate pillow talk tangos, solitude cafe cold coffee tangos, performed on piano by the late Yvar Mikhashoff
The movements of the dance are less presentable to a polite audience than those of the habanera, and as now performed in the cafes chantants of Madrid and other cities of Spain, the Tango has become nothing but an Incitation to Desire.
--"Tango", Grove's Dictionary of Music, 1944
Yvar was an internationally known virtuoso pianist, bon vivant and ballroom dancer who died of AIDS a few years ago. One of his obsessive passions in life was to commission tangos from living composers of all ilk. This collection is drawn from sessions we recorded near the end of his life, when his sight was failing but his playing was still brilliant. These short pieces are mostly played from memory and include some terrifically funny titles: "Fromage Dangereux", which is self explanatory, and the final "Thorn Torn Lips" which observes the condition of the gypsy dancer who was kissed before the rose in her mouth was removed.
Mikhashoff's tango collection tells us much about this seductive dance, but just as much about the personalities confronting it.
--The New York Times
Available here: iTunes HDtracks
Like a Passing River
Music by Roy Whelden and Carl Friedrich Abel; spoken word written and read by novelist Rudy Rucker, with the poem Like a Passing River (Han-Shan, 8th Century), translated by Gary Snyder. Sung by Karen Clark, alto, with American Baroque
I have lived at Cold Mountain these 30 long years. Yesterday I called on family and friends: More than half had gone to the Yellow Springs. Slowly consumed, like fire down a candle; forever flowing, like a passing river. Now, morning, I face my lone shadow; suddenly my eyes are bleared with tears.
--Han-Shan, 8th century; translation, Gary Snyder
This album is a continuous thread of mutually supporting music and text. The music was created to accompany selections from Rudy Rucker's novel, "All the Visions" (Ocean View Books, 1991).
All the musical numbers, except "Adagio" by Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), are written by Roy Whelden and performed by American Baroque (Stephen Schultz, Baroque flute and director; Elizabeth Blumenstock, Baroque violin; Whelden, viola da gamba; Sarah Freiberg, Baroque cello; Cheryl Ann Fulton, triple harp; with Karen Clark, alto.) All spoken items are written and read by Rudy Rucker. The words to "Like A Passing River" are a translation by Gary Snyder of a poem by Han-Shan, a Chinese mystic and poet of the Eighth Century A.D. The words to the "Rucker Songs" are adapted from "All the Visions."
Available here: iTunes
New music for contrabass flute, a personal vision of a solo polyphonic music.
Matthias Ziegler is a world class musician and virtuoso flute player. On this CD he presents a personal vision of a solo polyphonic music that is complete in sound, form, melody, harmony, driving rhythm and rich with human feeling. Evocative, and playful, he takes us into a fantastic and joyful world of sound that is both unfamiliar in texture but familiar in its lyric construction. His wit, intelligence, and appetite for sound has created an array of music that references many musical traditions yet is still his own. It is one thing to discover a new sound, it is another thing to know its greater musical potential. Transformation from the unfamiliar to the familiar is one of Ziegler's many gifts.
A music that is so broad and performed with such virtuosic ease belies the fact that so much research, and consequent musical and technical solutions have been found. On the instrumental level Ziegler has been involved in the flute zeitgeist of the past twenty-five years pioneered by Robert Dick, Pierre-Yves Artaud and others who have been fascinated with unlocking and codifying the sonic secrets of a micro sound world of the flute rich in nuance and musical potential. This work has been a collaboration between performer/composer and the worlds best and open minded flute makers (Kaspar Baechi, Eva Kingma, The Brannen Brothers, Kotato & Fukushima) to develop new instruments. In Ziegler's case, he has also worked with electronic sound designers, who have aimed to meet his needs of amplifying and making custom made microphones, some even imbedded within the instruments to project his rich sound world and imagination. He more than anyone else has found solutions to fully expand and project his language to make it perceivable to the public.
To overly emphasize this aspect would miss the point. All this is to the service of a broad musical vision, of rhythm, melody, harmony, sound fantasy, and human feeling.
Available here: iTunes
New Albion Records, Inc.