Now is the Time

Saturday, 9 to 10 pm on HD-2 and the Classical Stream

Contemporary American music is being recorded all the time, and Now is the Time to take a listen and explore the music of American composers today. All types...all styles...listen to contemporary American music every Saturday night with host and composer Kile Smith.

Composer ID: 
53c7dc12e1c8b9c77b4b9b76|53c7dbe1e1c8b9c77b4b9b6e

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Deceptive Cadence
10:27 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

Gunther Schuller, Who Bridged Classical Music And Jazz, Dies At 89

Gunther Schuller, shown conducting Charles Mingus's Epitaph in 2007, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor and educator. He died Sunday at age 89.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:49 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:25 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

'The Most Beautiful Offerings': Terry Riley At 80

Composer Terry Riley (center) celebrates his 50th birthday in 1985 with his muses in the Kronos Quartet (from left) David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt and Joan Jeanrenaud.
Richard McCaffrey Courtesy of Kronos Quartet

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 11:32 am

Composer Terry Riley turns 80 Wednesday. He's been called the father of minimalism for his groundbreaking 1964 work In C. But his influence has spread far beyond, sparking the imaginations of many artists, from cutting-edge electronic musicians to rock gods.

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WRTI Arts Desk
5:36 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Pop Culture's Influence on Composer Michael Daugherty

Composer Michael Daugherty

Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.

Radio script:

MUSIC: Metropolis

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:50 am
Mon May 25, 2015

A Tuba Concerto About The Mississippi River? Michael Daugherty's Composition Defies Expectations

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Tuba Carol Jantsch, conductor Giandrea Noseda, and composer Michael Daugherty at a March, 2015 rehearsal with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

There are very few tuba concertos in the classical repertoire - Ralph Vaughn Williams' 1954 work is among a handful. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new addition explores the largely untapped lyricism of the instrument.   

Carol Jantsch and The Philadelphia Orchestra perform Michael Daugherty's Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra, Reflections on the Mississippi, on Sunday May 31st, on WRTI.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:03 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Mathias Eick's 'Midwest': A Musical Landscape

On Mathias Eick's new album, Midwest, he composes musical impressions of the Midwestern landscape.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

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MAD MEN, Music from the Original Soundtrack
12:40 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Kile Smith Recommends...MAD MEN, Original Soundtrack from the TV Series

Matthew Weiner, the creator of the hugely popular TV series Mad Men - now in its final season - works very hard at going beneath the surface to capture the look of the 1960s, from company logo typefaces to office equipment tints to the shine in a pair of trousers. Mad Men composer David Carbonara labors just as much on the show's music to express that era; he’s a composer of acutely original pieces.



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WRTI Arts Desk
11:18 am
Thu May 14, 2015

An Interview With MAD MEN Composer David Carbonara

Jon Hamm as Donald Draper

As the popular AMC series Mad Men comes to an end, listen back to a revealing and humorous interview with Mad Men Music Editor David Carbonara from March, 2012, as he shares the inside story on how he writes music for Mad Men, how creator Matthew Weiner chooses the '60s songs, and how it's all mixed together to make a hit TV series. And how did he get this gig, anyway?

David, a former trombonist, spices the show with jazz-tinged music that lends flavor as much as the crisp dialogue and mod decor.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Bonica Ayala Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 2:16 pm

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:30 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Modern Music's Debt to Philip Glass

Philip Glass with WRTI's Kile Smith at the Free Library of Philadelphia
Andy Kahan

Philip Glass is one of the most influential composers of the last 50 years. He’s not the only composer to use slowly changing repetition as a formal device, but his prolific output and the legacy of decades of performances by the Philip Glass Ensemble, have made his sound-world recognizable to millions.

He’s composed numbers well into the double digits of symphonies, operas, and film soundtracks, along with string quartets, concertos, ballets, songs, and so much more. His autobiography Words without Music recounts what Ornette Coleman told him: there was a difference between the music world and the music business. It's a lesson he never forgot.

He worked in his father’s Baltimore record store, and was a furniture mover, cab driver, and plumber. He studied at Juilliard and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, then formed his ensemble and began touring. Operas, beginning with Einstein on the Beach, made him so famous that Peter Schickele poked fun with a P.D.Q. Bach opera, Einstein on the Fritz. Philip Glass loved it.

He's worked with Ravi Shankar, Martin Scorsese, Samuel Beckett, and David Bowie, and broke down the wall between uptown classical and downtown vernacular. The sound of contemporary music is due, in no small part, to Philip Glass.

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Now Is the Time
11:09 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Available Forms on Now Is the Time

The Lark Quartet

Forms traditional, and those not so, arise on Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 18th at 9 pm. Composers often wrestle over titles, hoping to trumpet putative musical originality with a never-seen-before moniker. Paul Moravec, however, writes a piece for string quartet plus piano and calls it what it is: Piano Quintet. With the Lark Quartet, with pianist Jeremy Denk, and with his keen ear for profound energy, Moravec has that ease to call things what they are, and we are rewarded.

John Hodian’s six-part MMU-14 is mysteriously-titled but engagingly entertaining. Written way back in the 1980s, it’s a work of surface repetition, but listen closely, as it’s rare that any two measures are exactly like the next two. For overdubbed acoustic instruments, MMU-14 uses just a soupçon of electronics to produce an attractive yet propulsive drive.

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