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
2:06 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The Edge of the Infinite on Now Is the Time

from James Piorkowski: “Once Was Lost…”

We see from surprising paths on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 9th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2.

Solo flute entices, with electronics, in Flutepaths by Lawrence Moss, and then the first of two works relate to the hymn "Amazing Grace." James Piorkowski's subtle variations "Once Was Lost…" are for solo guitar.

Christopher Theofanidis's large-breathed On the Edge of the Infinite, for violin and orchestra, brings us to Amazing Grace by Leslie Adams. While the title is familiar, both the music and the words are by Adams. Michael Colgrass bases the Winds of Nagual on Carlos Castaneda's mystic writings from the Mexican wilderness. Hallucinations and shape-shifting lead to a leap into the abyss, which explodes into a thousand views of the world.

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Now Is the Time
10:16 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Of Nature on Now Is the Time, Now on Saturday Night!

from William Wallace: Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra

It's the world and how we live in it on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 2nd at 9 pm. Starting today, things go bump in the night as the schedule shifts on WRTI-HD2. The biggest move is for Now Is the Time, moving from its Sunday slot to one day and one hour earlier. We love the change! The show now broadcasts every Saturday at 9 pm.

William Wallace, the American composer born in 1923, has a tonal language that sometimes wears Baroque forms, but lightly. Underneath pulses a strong personality. His second Piano Concerto begins with, of all things, a fugue, and it works brilliantly. After the warm choral sound of A Cosmic Prayer by Carson Cooman, beautifully sung by The Choir of Royal Holloway, is Tomas Svoboda's Symphony No. 1 (of Nature). Written when he was only 16, it's forthright and assured, with echoes of his Czech heritage. It's a remarkable achievement.

If you're new to Now Is the Time and live anywhere in, well, the cosmos, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you live, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

What’s that you say, you’d love to hear the theme music? Of course you would…just click here!

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:14 am
Sat November 2, 2013

Shakespeare, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Elgar on Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection

Falstaff and His Page, Adolf Schrödter (1805–1875)

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, November 2nd, 5 to 6 pm. Since the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia is the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials, and since it holds more than 21,000 titles, it should be no surprise that conductors make use of its resources for almost any concert theme imaginable.

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Now Is the Time
10:32 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Around Halloween on Now Is the Time

from Dan Visconti: Drift of Rainbows

The spirit of Halloween hovers over Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 27th at 10 pm. Strings, bells, melodicas softly accompany waning desert sunlight: such is Drift of Rainbows by Dan Visconti. William Moylan's setting of the Yeats poem The Stolen Child tells an Erlkönig-like story: "Come away, O human child! / To the waters and the wild / With a faery, hand in hand, / For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

Benjamin Broening processes out-takes of recordings over and over until they sound hardly electronic anymore, but more, perhaps, like ghosts, in Traces (ii). Acoustically to Shake the Tree is Robert Carl's business at hand—for piano four-hands—and the fruit from the overtone series brilliantly litters his landscape. And William Bolcom wraps the program with one of his fortes in the Graceful Ghost Rag.

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Now Is the Time
11:40 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Inspired by Bach on Now Is the Time

from Mark Hagerty: Cello Suite 2

J. S. Bach continues to illuminate us, on Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 20th at 10 pm. The Cello Suite 2 of Mark Hagerty does not ape the suites of the great master, but rather is lit from within by the spirit of Bach. It's a large-breathed, optimistic suite, given a luminous reading by Douglas McNames.

The third Quintet for Winds by David Maslanka is so dedicated to the spirit of Bach, that even a chorale confidently unfurling in its midst is caught up in the spirit—though it's an original tune. Still, quotes and feints abound, and the deft handling of these chamber forces not only warmly counterpoises Hagerty's solo cello suite, it introduces us to an appreciation for Maslanka, for Bach, and for the never-dying muse illuminating all music of good will.

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Now Is the Time
9:51 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

Rumors on Now Is the Time

Nazca drawing in Peru

from Harold Meltzer: Rumors

There are journeys and rumors of journeys on Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 13th at 10 pm. Harold Meltzer's Rumors is for one flutist and four flutes: piccolo, C flute, alto, and bass. He envisions a drum set, the breathing of conspiracies (con spirare, to breathe together), and an old man on a bench in Italy trying to remember a children's song.

Sergio Cervetti pictures Peru's desert drawings in Nazca for string orchestra. Seen from the air, they could be monkeys, spiders, hummingbirds, or extraterrestrials, but whatever they are, the music is rich and inviting. As is Elegant Journey with Stopping Points of Interest, using the drawn, or graphic, notation that Robert Moran was employing in the ’60s. He revised this for solo organ, and we hear the European premiere from 2009.

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Now Is the Time
5:03 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Turn Me Loose on Now Is the Time

Terry Riley

from Terry Riley: Be Kind to One Another (Rag)

There's the unlikeliest motion on Now Is the Time, Sunday, October 6th at 10 pm. Kristjan Järvi conducts a live, rip-snortin' Roadrunner, a movement from the Chamber Symphony of John Adams. Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch's dark-edged Americana is on beautiful display in My Morphine, especially in this atomized arrangement by William Anderson of the Anderson-Fader guitar duo.

That leads nicely into the saxophone-and-piano Sleep Without Dreams, a lyrical work of Michael Jon Fink, and Dmitri Tymoczko's early string quartet This Picture Seems to Move. Andy Teirstein somehow combines into a piano trio Old West saloonery and the ecstatic mysticism of the dancing Rebbe, Baal Shem Tov, in Turn Me Loose.

Finally, for solo piano, is Terry Riley's answer to Sarah Cahill's request for music about either war or peace. He was "noodling around" on the piano one night, and his grandchildren asked him to keep playing this one bit. He did; it became Be Kind to One Another (Rag).

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
3:41 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

1913: Popper, Butterworth, Britten, Lutosławski on Fleisher Discoveries

Witold Lutosławski

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, October 5th, 5 to 6 pm. We enjoyed our 1813 bicentennial so much last month that we thought we’d move a little closer, to the centennial of 1913. In that year, cellist/composer David Popper died, Benjamin Britten and Witold Lutosławski first saw the light of day, and George Butterworth composed The Banks of Green Willow.

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CD Selections
11:13 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Kile Smith Suggests: THRUM, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

Kile Smith's review of Thrum, with music examples

From the opening moments of its recent CD Thrum, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet throws its cards on the table. Attitude and refined sound are the driving forces here. Even the first percussive beats that herald the strut through Harlem—the first movement of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Ghetto Strings—are nuanced, a combination of tap, stroke, and pound. This is delicious playing.

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Now Is the Time
9:44 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Sound Moves Blues on Now Is the Time

from Paul Epstein: Three Sonnets

We move beyond autumnal blues, should we have them, on Now Is the Time, Sunday, September 29th at 10 pm. Saxophone, clarinet, and piano turn up the heat in Robert Aldridge's Sound Moves Blues, while Patrick Beckman honors blues tradition on the piano in Blues. Laos, Greece, Bolivia, Bulgaria, and the Tuskegee Institute's Gospel sound all inform Matthew Davidson's wide-ranging Etudes for Piano, Book 1.

Lisa Bielawa calls forth text of Jeremiah in her elegiac Lamentations for a city, a muted but compelling work for chorus and English horn. And then Philadelphia's Paul Epstein works through Isolation, Rapport, and Threnody in Three Sonnets, on words sent to him by a poet who heard his music. How lovely for that to happen, and what warm and tender songs these are, on this cusp of autumn.

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