Kile Smith

Classical Host

Kile Smith hosts the contemporary American music program Now Is the Time on Sundays at 10 pm on HD-2 and the classical stream, and co-hosts Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection on the first Saturday of every month at 5 pm with Jack Moore. Discoveries takes a fresh look at music in the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where Kile was curator for 18 years. He also fills in as an on-air classical host.
 
When he's not producing podcasts of CD reviews for WRTI, writing for the Broad Street Review, teaching music history at Cairn University, music notation at Temple University, or private composition, Kile is busy composing orchestral, choral, chamber, and liturgical works. His music is praised by critics and audiences for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. Gramophone magazine calls his Vespers "spectacular," possessing "sparkling beauty." The Philadelphia Inquirer describes his music as "breathtaking."
 
He's composed for The Crossing, Piffaro, Orchestra 2001, and the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival. He's also written for David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jennifer Montone, Philadelphia's principal horn, and Anne Martindale Williams, principal cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony. His website is kilesmith.com.

The weeds in his ever-widening gardens hint that he needs to get outside more.

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Now is the Time
12:13 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Luna, Nova Luna on Now is the Time

from Jeremy Beck: Slow Motion

It is sleeping and waking on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 16th at 10 pm. Jeremy Beck’s Slow Motion duo for piano and vibes is dreamy but not really slow, Kenji Bunch’s Lost & Found, for the viola/percussion Duo Jalal, shimmers with tight constructions, and Michael Djupstrom’s piece for Mimi Stillman and Charles Abramovic is a child’s folk song.

Christopher Campbell brings in bells and electronics for a ritual procession, but the processions for Mark Winges in Luna, Nova Luna are all voices. A youth choir joins with San Franciso’s Volti for this sumptuous look at the influence of the moon.

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The Dave Brubeck Legacy
8:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Bob Perkins on Dave Brubeck: The Interview

Bob Perkins recommends...Jazz Red Hot and Cool

Continuing our appreciation of Dave Brubeck, WRTI's own jazz legend Bob Perkins sits down with Kile Smith for a wide-ranging interview about the man, his music, and his legacy. "As Louis Armstrong would say, he was a cat..."

Now is the Time
2:44 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

The River Within, on Now is the Time

from Jay Reise: The River Within

It is the remembrance of things past—or which never were—on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 9th at 10 pm. Troy Peters recollects a taste of Vermont summer, and the string quartet Ethel riffs through a lost flight over the Sahara in Raz Mesinai's La Citadelle. Betty Wishart contemplates the romantic piano and Joel Harrison pays homage to jazz drummer Paul Motian.

Also with shades of jazz in its rhythmic polyphony, along with Eastern influences, is Jay Reise's The River Within, a brilliant concerto for violinist Maria Bachmann, with Orchestra 2001.

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CD Selections
3:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Dave Brubeck's Secret

In Jailhouse Rock, Elvis plays an ex-con rube hoping to make it in the music business. He’s dragged to a swanky party, where he’s wedged between society snobs who try to look intellectual and hip by discussing modern music. They toss around lingo like “dissonance” and “atonality,” and the names of some musicians, including that of Dave Brubeck. Elvis’s increasing discomfort wells up when the hostess asks his opinion. Rather than revealing his ignorance, he barks crudely at her and stalks out.

Hollywood knows a good stereotype when it sees one, hick or slick, and “Brubeck” meant cerebral, cool, West Coast. The Dave Brubeck Quartet was already one of the hottest ensembles in jazz in the ’50s, playing hundreds of concerts, and releasing multiple LPs, every year. Brubeck’s face had been on the cover of Time magazine in 1954, Jailhouse Rock came out in 1957, and it would still be two years before the Quartet had its incandescent burst into the stratosphere—and into jazz history—with the release of Time Out.

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Now is the Time
8:28 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Simple Songs of Birth and Return on Now is the Time

Sidiki Conde

from Sidike Conde: Moriba Djassa

We search for roots of different kinds on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 2nd at 10 pm. Jeremy Gill bases his Book of Hours for piano on the ancient observances of the monastery. The birth of an orchestral season is trumpeted by Tomas Svoboda. Robert Lombardo entrances with mandolin and marimba, and Nathan Davis, with the mbira, or African thumb piano.

The roots of the banjo are also in Africa. Sidiki Conde is joined by banjo while he sings and drums, on his infectious Moriba Djassa.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
4:13 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Who Does Havergal Brian Sound Like? Find Out On Fleisher Discoveries, Dec. 1st at 5 pm

Who does this sound like?

That’s the first question we ask when we hear music new to us. It’s as true with Havergal Brian’s as with anyone else’s—probably more true, since his music is so rarely heard, and consequently so often new.

If we know anything about him, it’s that his first symphony, the “Gothic,” is called the largest ever written, with brass bands, choirs, harps, drums, and organ along with a gargantuan orchestra. Our knowledge of Havergal Brian usually ends there.

But he wrote 31 other symphonies, and much more music besides. On top of that, 27 of his symphonies and four of his five operas were composed in the last 25 years of his life, and he lived to be 96. On top of that, for most of his life not one note of his music was performed.

Why not?

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Now is the Time
4:55 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Lonely Motel on Now is The Time

from Steven Mackey: Lonely Motel, Music from Slide

It’s the composer/electric guitarist Steven Mackey on Now is the Time, Sunday, November 25th at 10 pm. Performed by eighth blackbird, Lonely Motel: Music from Slide considers isolation and self-delusion. A psychologist whose fiancée has abandoned him contemplates his fate while looking at his research slides.

The theater piece also rocks, with homages, Mackey says, to Dowland, Mozart, Stravinsky, Piazzola, and The Beatles.

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Now is the Time
11:34 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Wayfaring Stranger on Now is the Time

From Daron Hagen: Piano Trio No. 3, "Wayfaring Stranger"

We travel over different paths on Now is the Time, Sunday, November 18th at 10 pm. Sebastian Currier's Static, the 2007 Grawemeyer Award winner, illuminates the two meanings of the title, from stillness to electricity. Saxophonist and composer Mark Engebretson evokes fresh and engaging melodic inventions in SaxMax.

Daron Hagen walks us from grief to a bright land in the piano trio he calls Wayfaring Stranger.

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Now is the Time
11:26 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

National Anthem on Now is the Time

from Randall Davidson: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

No matter how you feel about the presidential election, there’s music for you on Now is the Time, Sunday, November 11th at 10 pm. There’s Privilege, New Beginnings, Deploration, or perhaps Vernacular Dances. Maybe you Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Above all, there’s the National Anthem, in a fascinating construction for solo piano.

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Now is the Time
9:07 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Rippling the Lamp on Now is the Time

from Bertolozzi: "Meltdown" from Bridge Music

It’s flickering light and melting images on Now is the Time, Sunday, November 4th at 10 pm. Eric Moe channels the Nightingale ode of Keats by way of flute and piano, and Joseph Waters rocks Vivaldi to a fare-thee-well through a violin and band.

Bertolozzi makes a very large object (the Mid-Hudson Bridge) sing, Stucky does the same with an orchestra, and Neuburg and Amirkhanian mesmerize one violin into receding reflections of shimmering voices.

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