Kronos Quartet – G Song (Terry Riley)

Kronos Quartet performs Terry Riley’s “G Song,” from the 5-CD box set One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley and the album Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley, released by Nonesuch Records on June 16, 2015, in honor of the composer’s 80th birthday. Download the track now with pre-order:


Kronos Quartet continues the celebration with the Terry Riley Festival, June 26–28 at the SFJAZZ Center. Tickets:

Lejaren Hiller – Algorithms I, Version 1 (1968)


I. The Decay of lnformation
II. Icosahedron
Ill. The Incorporation of Constraints

The first movement of Algorithms I is stochastic music in which the melodic lines become progressively more dependent upon previous pitch and rhythm choices. The second movement is a complete serial composition in which all row permutations are used once each; also, rhythmic choices are least organized at its beginning and end and most organized in its center. In the third movement, controls of vertical sonorities, of melodic motion, of resolutions of dissonant chords, of rhythmic patterns and of cadential structures are progressively introduced.

All the music, both instrumental and electronic, was composed on an IBM-7094 computer. In addition, the sounds in the two tape channels were produced by digital-to-analog conversion on the Illiac II computer. Additional details concerning this composition are published in an article in “Music by Computers”, edited by H. von Foerster and J. W. Beauchamp, published by John Wiley and Sons. New York.

Art by Indre Martinkiene

William Basinski – Cascade (The Deluge) (2015)


Next month experimental composer William Basinski will release Cascade and The Deluge, a pair of albums inspired by his latest tape loop composition. Cascade examines the same gentle, piano loop over a single 40-minute track. The release also comes with a free download for the otherwise vinyl-only The Deluge, which finds the same composition run through several feedback filters live at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn before blooming into an full orchestral finale. [Source]

Brahms – Symphony No. 4, Op. 98 | Bavarian State Orchestra, Carlos Ludwig Kleiber


Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, 1885 | Bavarian State Orchestra, Bayerische Staatsorchester München, Carlos Ludwig Kleiber, 21.X.1996.

00:00 I Allegro non troppo
13:44 II Andante moderato
25:29 III Allegro giocoso – Poco meno presto
31:51 IV Allegro energico e passionato – Più allegro

That Brahms initially approached the Symphonic form with trepidation is fairly evident from the chronology of his works. It wasn’t until the age of 43 that he completed his First Symphony. Indeed, the composer’s output to that point suggests a conscious process of self-education. A number of smaller-scale orchestral works, including the Variations on a Theme of Haydn and the proto-symphonic Piano Concerto No. 1, suggest preparation for what Brahms clearly saw as the elusive of compositional enterprises. He was to meet the challenge with a skill and individual spirit, one of Classicism refracted through the prism of high Romanticism, that led many to pronounce him heir to Beethoven.

Brahms’ Fourth Symphony (1885), his last, provides with its serious tone, striking complexities, and inspired construction a fitting valedictory to his work in this genre. That its impact was immediate if initially puzzling is clear from the account by the biographer Max Kalbeck of its first run-through (at two pianos) for a small and distinguished audience: “After the wonderful Allegro… I expected that one of those present would break out in a loud ‘Bravo.’ Into his blond beard [conductor Hans] Richter murmured something that from afar would be taken as an expression of approval…. The others remained persistently quiet…. Finally Brahms grumbled, “So, let’s go on!” and gave a sign to continue; whereupon [eminent critic Eduard] Hanslick heaved a sigh and quickly exploded, as if he had to relieve his mind and yet feared speaking up too late: ‘For this whole movement I had the feeling that I was being given a beating by two incredibly intelligent people….'”

Each of the movements bears the distinct stamp of the composer’s personality. The first begins with a theme in E minor based upon the interval of a third, which also provides a structural and motivic foundation for the remainder of the work. There is a notable sense of unrest from beginning to end, and the tragic, even fatalistic atmosphere is further and stunningly underlined by the final, minor-key plagal (IV-I) cadence. The second movement, which opens with a brief, melancholy sort of fanfare, gives way to the quietly accompanied winds in perhaps one of the loveliest of any of the composer’s themes, granted particular plangency through the use of the flat sixth and seventh scale degrees borrowed from the minor mode. This material is gradually developed into soaring, tutti lyricism that fades into ethereal quiet. The third movement, a lusty, stomping, duple dance, proved so popular in Brahms’ lifetime that audiences constantly demanded that it be repeated. The last movement is perhaps most notable of all, cast as it is in the “archaic” Baroque form of a chaconne — variations over a ground bass. The chaconne’s subject is in fact a slight modification of that used by Bach in his Cantata No. 150; though deceptively simple — essentially an ascending minor scale segment from the tonic note to the dominant, then a leap back to the tonic – Brahms uses this skeleton as the basis for an increasingly elaborate and thematic harmonic framework. From its first presentation, which is not as a bass line, but as a theme in the winds, Brahms gradually weaves some 34 variations that steadily build in intensity, as though in defiance to the oppressive, insistent rotation of the ground. The final variations lead directly into an ending which reconfirms the weight of tragedy and pathos borne by the first movement.

[via Saori Kanemaki]

Ata Ebtekar / Sote – Picture Of A Whisper (2006)

From the double CD Persian Electronic Music: Yesterday and Today 1966-2006 by Alireza Mashayekhi and Ata Ebtekar / Sote ‎. Electronic music composed in Iran from the Sixties till today by two Iranian music masters.

CD1 is compositions by Alireza Mashayekhi and CD2 is compositions by Ata Ebtekar/Sote .

Ebtekar, who has been schooled and raised in a world that initially embraced the West only to reject it, has been on both sides of the post-structuralist divide; his notion of deconstruction, which happened literally in Iran, is experientially cultural rather than theoretically academic. Therefore, his questions about sound and the ancestral music of his culture have to be looked at through that split prism. Being a recording engineer as well as a composer and sound artist, his source materials were the old Persian scales themselves. He actually goes to town altering their modal framework and time signatures, compressing and stretching them, and in some cases turning them inside out. What remains however, is the actual “Persian-ness” of it all. It is unmistakably Middle Eastern, no matter how much he shifts modalities or even alters melodic constructs between or through scales or manipulates sound and dynamic tensions. It sounds like history and feels like history, but is so unmistakably “new” that it makes history, and it is strange and beguiling enough to make you completely question what you are hearing. [source]

Performed by Sote (Ata Ebtekar), electronic composer, sound artist and recording engineer who was born in Iran on September 2nd, 1972, educated in Germany and now living in America.


Giorgio Federico Ghedini – Ouverture Per Un Concerto (1965)


Giorgio Federico Ghedini (11 July 1892 – 25 March 1965) was an Italian composer. In addition to orchestral works, in 1949 he premiered a one-act opera based on the American novella, Billy Budd, by Herman Melville.

Ghedini was born in Cuneo in 1892. He studied organ, piano and composition in Turin, then graduated in composition in Bologna under Marco Enrico Bossi in 1911. He worked as conductor for a certain time, then he gave up to devote himself to teaching.

He worked as a teacher of composition in Turin (1918-1937), Parma (1937-1941), and finally Milan, where he directed the local Conservatory (1951-1962). Among his pupils, the most eminent were Marcello and Claudio Abbado, Luciano Berio, Guido Cantelli, Niccolò Castiglioni, Carlo Pinelli, and Fiorenzo Carpi.

Guido Cantelli conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a broadcast concert of Ghedini’s Pezzo concertante for two violins, viola, and orchestra.

He died in Nervi, near Genoa, in 1965.

Orchestra Rai di Milano conducted by Claudio Abbado.

Recorded February 5, 1965.