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
6:13 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Coyoteway on Now is the Time

from David Maslanka: Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble

We embrace ceremonies of healing on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 13th at 10 pmCoyoteway is from a cycle of string quartets Curt Cacioppo has written on the Navajo creation story. Wreathed in smoke, and amid singing and dancing, the person seeks forgiveness through apology for past wrongs, and is healed.

David Maslanka composed Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble as a tribute to a friend, flutist Christine Nield Capote, who was also a colleague to the soloist in this work, trombonist Tim Conner, and the conductor Gary Green. Its three movements are Requiem; Beloved; Be Content, Be Calm.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:40 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Impressions of Charles Tomlinson Griffes on Discoveries

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Jan. 12th at 5 pm... Impressionism is an imprecise, even controversial term, the first “impressionist” Debussy having none of it. Each of its elements—open form, reliance on tone color over melody, unpredictable harmonies with modal scales—is challengeable, and Debussy’s music is awash with counter-examples. But everyone agrees that impressionism, whatever it is, exists, and that it is French.

Which is why it is such a surprise that one of the leading impressionist composers lived and died in upstate New York and studied in, of all places, Germany.

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Now is the Time
8:15 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Winter Light on Now is the Time

from Edward Ruchalski: Winter Light

We enter the cold new year on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 6th at 10 pm on HD-2. David Snow’s A Baker’s Tale, originally with narrator but in this version for trumpeter Chris Gekker and piano, is from the CD Winter. From Elena Ruehr’s CD of string quartets, How She Danced, comes her third. Its third movement is also titled “How She Danced,” and the quartet is filled with multiple influences of darting energy.

Edward Ruchalski was inspired to write his lovely, lingering chamber work Winter Light during winter walks. It includes a movement called “By Snowlight.”

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CD Selections
9:47 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Kile Smith Suggests: The Treasury of English Church Music

The subtitle of this five-CD set is “1100-1965,” and this is, in fact, a new release of the 1966 recordings, with 30 bonus tracks added. The original LPs accompanied the publication of a new edition of the printed music, and the project brought together the finest English sacred choral repertoire, from the conquest of the Normans to the conquest of Howells.

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Now is the Time
1:06 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Rising on Now is the Time

from Rodney Rogers: Voices Rising

We rise to inspirations and challenges in the new year on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 30th at 10 pm. Nicholas Vasallo explodes a supernova in Antares Rising, but Robert Xaver Rodriguez's Scrooge is a lightly dramatic take on the Dickens tale. David Del Tredici accompanies his song New Year's Eve, and a single clarinet sings between eerily resonating pianos in Voices Rising of Rodney Rogers, inspired by the ancient chant Iste confessor.

Daniel Sturm revoices, for flute and harp, a Czech tradition of touching nature in Early Rising, and Maggi Payne manipulates the commonest of found sounds into the surprising celebration that is FIZZ.

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Now is the Time
11:54 am
Sat December 22, 2012

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on Now is the Time

from Daron Hagen: Hosanna

It's expectation, light, and looking up on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 23rd at 10 pm. Welcher's Zion for band refers to what is now the national park in Utah—the haven for Mormons in the 19th century—and the old American hymn tune. Skyriding, from Brouwer's Light CD, is "a water ride in a celestial amusement park," and Zaimont's Chroma depicts the aurora borealis.

Daron Hagen and Carson Cooman's choral music fit the show for the turn from Advent into Christmas, ending with Hagen's original and exciting Hosanna.

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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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