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

November 25, 2012

10:02 PM
Lonely Motel: Music from Slide
Artist : Steven Mackey
Album : Lonely Motel: Music from Slide
Composer : Steven Mackey
Orchestra : eighth blackbird
Label : Cedille

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Now Is the Time
9:41 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

The People United Will Never Be Defeated: Now Is the Time, June 23

Frederic Rzewski

from Frederic Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated

It’s a monument of contemporary solo piano literature on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 23rd at 10 pm. Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated is a staggering set of 36 variations on a Chilean folk song for solo piano.

Beginning with a simple statement, Rzewski weaves a complicated scheme of penumbras of the tune. Some are complicated, some are bluntly simple. For all its interweavings, the work grows into a musical edifice that is frankly gorgeous. Nicolas Slonimsky calls Rzewski (a virtuoso pianist as well as composer) “a granitically overpowering piano technician, capable of depositing huge boulders of sonoristic material across the keyboard without actually wrecking the instrument.” This is music that must be met.

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Now is the Time
10:39 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Now Is the Time Theme Music

Kile Smith: Now is the Time, Theme Music

Now is the Time—contemporary American music on WRTI-HD2 and online, Saturday nights at 9—ought to have theme music, I thought in the weeks leading up to our first broadcast on June 1st, 2008. I started looking through works of mine, as I did with the theme for Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, to see if anything would fit.

I looked over everything that had survived ritual burning up to that point, and the only piece that came close was a curious Four Hymns for Four Guitars, written in, wow, 1985 for the amiable Philadelphia Guitar Quartet. Wonderful guys all, astute musicians, and very helpful when I was working on it.

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Now Is the Time
9:19 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Requiem for a Requiem on Now Is the Time

from Philip Blackburn: Requiem for a Requiem

It's surprising remembrance on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 16th at 10 pm. In her Cantata da Requiem, World War II Poems of Peace, Gloria Coates gathers unlikely texts—including a BBC 1942 weather report—into a haunting cry.

Philip Blackburn remixes Robert Moran's 9/11 memorial Trinity Requiem, combining the shards of that beautiful piece into something new and lovely, Requiem for a Requiem.

David Chesky's Psalm III for string orchestra hints at resurrection, and the Quartet No. 3 of Philip Glass, a memorial to the Japanese author Yukio Mishima and originally for string quartet, is made new in the liquid playing of the Oasis Saxophone Quartet.

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Now Is the Time
7:20 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Thrum on Now Is the Time

from Steve Bowman: Odd Angle of the Isle

It's all movement and angles on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 9th at 10 pm. Sergio Cervetti's two harpsichord pieces Candombe and Alberada spin and dance, while Elizabeth Brown's chamber work Liguria bends deliciously (she's also the flutist).

Another composer/performer is the Philadelphia area's Steve Bowman, whose electronic Odd Angle of the Isle is mixed down from live club dates (no sequencers! no multi-tracking!). Steven Winteregg imagines an orchestral bullet train speeding through France with a brisk TGV, but David Evan Thomas's Thrum nudges the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet through layers and soft waves to close the program.

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Now Is the Time
12:19 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Different Trains on Now Is the Time

Grand Central Terminal, New York City, at its founding, 1913.

from Steve Reich: Different Trains

It’s two large works—one for piano, one for string quartet—on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 2nd at 10 pm. The Sonata for Piano Solo by Judith Lang Zaimont shows its depth through color and a confident use of materials: not afraid to echo Beethoven’s “Pathéthique” Sonata in the second movement, she carries it off beautifully. The Van Cliburn Competition used the third movement of this sonata in 2001.

As a child growing up in New York City during World War II, Steve Reich traveled East Coast to West Coast and back by train. He later learned that there were other people on other trains at the same time in Poland, in Hungary, who were being taken to their deaths. Different Trains places the Kronos string quartet against its recorded self, along with the voices of some who survived the Holocaust.

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Now is the Time
12:48 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Mythology on Now Is the Time

Detail from Tantalus's Torment, by Bernard Picart (1673-1733)

from Robert Lombardo: Orpheus and the Maenads

It's three views of mythology on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 26th at 10 pm. Robert Lombardo brings the sound of the mandolin to the string orchestra with a fascinating result in Orpheus and the Maenads, and Richard Stoltzman brings his clarinet to the music of Jonathan Sacks, whose Portals re-imagines Bacchus and ancient rituals.

Maurice Wright's Mythology is a cycle of songs considering the myths of Orpheus, Lethe, Tantalus, and Medusa, the music swimming in poignant lyricism.

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Now is the Time
9:41 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Warmth on Now Is the Time

The Baroque and new-music group Mélomanie

from Derek Bermel: Thracian Sketches

The cold snap is behind us and we’re feeling the warmth of spring on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 19th at 10 pm. Ingrid Arauco’s Florescence buzzes and hums for the flute and harpsichord of Mélomanie, and Derek Bermel brings Thracian Sketches in all its Bulgarian-inspired rhythms to viola and percussion.

George Tsontakis takes us to the Mediterranean with orchestral Gymnopedies that are more Greek than French, but France infuses the sound of Avner Dorman’s Moments Musicaux for piano.

Things heat up with the computerized kicks of Thrum by John Gibson, and finally, with the two electric guitars that rock David Lang’s Warmth.

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Now is the Time
12:44 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Even Odd Pieces on Now Is the Time

from Janika Vandervelde: Genesis V

We’re having fun with numbers on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 12th at 10 pm. Four dances for piano is what Keith Carpenter calls An even number of odd pieces, and Sketches Set Seven, also for piano, is Ed Bland’s contribution to what he calleds “urban classical funk.”

Mr. Bland passed away after this show was produced, so we honor his memory with this look into his wide-ranging career.

Charles Wuorinen’s Dodecadactyl is a fun two-guitar romp through the twelve pitches, and from her set of life-rhythm-inspired Genesis works is Janika Vandervelde’s Genesis V, for four guitars. For two sopranos is the riveting Madrigal III by Sergio Cervetti, setting a text from pre-Columbian Mexico.

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Now is the Time
11:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Concerto da Camera on Now Is the Time

from John Williams: Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra

Concertos for low instruments bookend a concerto for orchestra on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 5th at 10 pm. Gunther Schuller conducts Orchestra 2001 in his Concerto da Camera, a classical-sized work with twists. Carter Brey’s singing tone dives deep into Steven Gerber’s Cello Concerto, bringing up a work of warmth and beauty.

The program opens with a perky yet challenging Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by John Williams. Although he’s known worldwide for his decades of award-winning film scores, he’s written many concert pieces—including concertos. This one has become a repertoire piece for tubists since he composed it in 1985.

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Now is the Time
12:25 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Night Cadenza on Now Is the Time

from Terry Riley: Cadenza on the Night Plain

It’s different ways to say good night on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 28th at 10 pm. Alex Freeman’s solo piano Night on the Prairies leads to a sextet in Jeremy Beck’s In Flight until Mysterious Night (and do we hear Steely Dan in there?). Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble then runs with the Night of the Flying Horses of Osvaldo Golijov.

Then, two quartets. Night Blossoms of Mary Jane Leach is a haiku for four singers, and the four string instruments of Kronos play Terry Riley’s long-breathed Cadenza on the Night Plain, out into that good night.

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