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 Sunday night with host and composer Kile Smith.

Composer ID: 
51802771e1c8619119d8253b|51802729e1c8619119d82533

Playlist

July 28, 2013

10:01 PM
neither Anvil nor Pulley
Artist : Dan Trueman
Album : neither Anvil nor Pulley
Composer : Dan Trueman
Label : Cantaloupe
10:45 PM
Riffing in Tandem
Artist : Robert Hamilton
Album : Complicated Optimism
Composer : Rodney Rogers
Label : Albany

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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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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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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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Now Is the Time
11:50 am
Sat September 21, 2013

A Wind of Fall on Now Is the Time

from James DeMars: Colors Fall

It’s a piquant greeting to autumn on Now Is the Time, Sunday, September 22nd at 10 pm. Adolphus Hailstork’s Romance No. 2, “Amoroso” from his CD As Falling Leaves features viola, while Colors Fall by James DeMars is a juicy work for flute and saxophone. Stephen Yip’s orchestral Raining in Autumn elicits longing cadenzas from the solo violin.

The song cycle A Wind of Fall is a setting of the poetry of Léonie Adams (Poet Laureate 1948–49) with warm and lucid music by Joel Mandelbaum. Finally, Russell Platt’s Autumn Music for violin and piano carries summer into fall with writing that is both luscious and bright.

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Now Is the Time
11:47 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Another Fantastic Voyage on Now Is the Time

from Dmitri Tymoczko: Another Fantastic Voyage

We travel far and wide on Now Is the Time, Sunday, September 8th at 10 pm, starting with Another Fantastic Voyage, a piano concerto by Dmitri Tymoczko. With tongue in cheek, Tymoczko skillfully performs pop exegesis on generic myths—knights on a king’s mission, for instance, or a campy Night on Bald Mountain—where everything turns out horribly wrong.

David Toub wrote mf originally for brass, but then arranged it for string quartet, a far but convincing leap for this homage to Morton Feldman (mf), all played at mezzo-forte (mf). Insistent, Playful, and Doleful are the movements in Richard Wilson’s limber Affirmations, a colorful jaunt for a mixed chamber ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

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Now Is the Time
1:18 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Berceuse Fantasque on Now Is the Time

from Philip Lasser: Berceuse fantasque

You might call these fantastic lullabies on Now Is the Time, Sunday, August 25th at 10 pm. The birth of a friend's daughter inspired Rick Sowash's Lullabye for Kara for cello and piano. Steven Gerber's Violin Concerto is a rocking to sleep, of sorts, of a work he began as a student at Haverford College but never finished. One part of it, however, was born anew as this concerto's first movement.

From solo strings to more—but synthesized—is Carl Berky's The Synthelating Mariachi String Band. In Secret Geometry, James Primosch uses electronic tape with piano, and between explosive Variations and a brilliant Toccata is a Nocturne in the true spirit of night-music: the other side of a lullaby, perhaps. Phillip Lasser focuses on the singer of the lullaby rather more than the song itself, in Berceuse fantasque for violin and piano.

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