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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CD Selections
6:34 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Kile Smith Recommends: Francis Pott, In the Heart of Things

Composer Francis Pott

Kile's review including music from Francis Pott: In the Heart of Things

Whether communication is too easy, or articulation is too difficult, our time is not a time of counterpoint. Instead of corresponding, we post or tweet; instead of reasoning, we shout and repeat, louder and louder. Music is often an event or a stepping-up of rungs of events: hooks and ladders, clanging past, looking for a fire.

In the Heart of Things: Choral Music of Francis Pott
Commotio. Matthew Berry, conductor
Naxos 8.572739

The choral music of Francis Pott, however, flows by, refreshingly contrapuntal. That joy in the working of voices is particularly evident in his 2012 CD, In the Heart of Things. If counterpoint seems anti-modern, he admits it, and points to Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and other past masters of the polyphonic Mass as models. That’s appropriate, because In the Heart of Things is a collection of his choral music revolving around the most substantial work on the recording, his Mass for Eight Parts.

From the Kyrie through the Agnus Dei, this Mass is a triumph of intricate beauty. Upper, middle, and lower streams of voices glide by and mingle, their complexity unnoticed because they shimmer. Sometimes they sneak in, as the “Hosanna” does at first in the Sanctus, or roll in waves, gathering strength as at the end of that movement.

Sometimes the power is overwhelming, as at the end of the Gloria, the final “Amen” surging, unexpected, rank upon rank. Pott composed the Agnus Dei in memory of someone he didn’t know, a past singer of the choir that commissioned this. His gentle, pointed lyricism melts the voices into a sea of comfort.

Francis Pott was raised in the English chorister tradition, and knows this repertoire from the inside. His setting of a familiar text, such as Balulalow (known by many from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols), or the new Mary’s Carol (Pott wrote this in memory of his father-in-law), always balances freshness of expression with aptness to the language.

His Lament honors a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Using the poem of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, “But we, how shall we turn to little things / And listen to the birds… nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things,” we know the composer feels deeply what we also feel. This fellow-feeling is at the heart of artistry.

Francis Pott weaves a living counterpoint of music and emotion because he himself has sung it. His music breathes the life of tradition, but it is ever fresh, ever modern.

Now is the Time
11:11 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

A Boy and a Girl on Now Is the Time

from Michael McDermott: Gate

It really is spring, and our thoughts turn to... Now is the Time, Sunday, April 14th at 10 pm. Why not make up a story, and let the boys start. Eric Whitacre's emotionally surprising A Boy and a Girl leads us to the fresh Gate of Michael McDermott. A Charles Wuorinen Divertimento, bracing and lively, hints at—

Wait; now it's the girls' turn—a Tell-Tale Fantasy, perhaps, here told by Jane Brockman. Then six multi-tracked trumpets blast us into Lois Vierk's brilliant Cirrus, and all that's left, after all that story, is a single human voice. Joelle Wallach brings in a tenor to sing up into the silence. It really is spring.

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Now is the Time
1:20 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

An Interview With MAD MEN Composer David Carbonara

The popular AMC series Mad Men is now in its 6th season. Listen back to a revealing and humorous interview with 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.

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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Now is the Time
1:05 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

As If This Were Spring on Now Is the Time

from Carlos Carrillo: Como si fuera la primavera (As if this were spring)

We're still waiting for spring to really get here on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 7th at 10 pm. Carlos Carrillo's plummy Como si fuera la primavera (As if this were spring) features clarinet, and Emma Lou Diemer's Before Spring, the violin.

Jason Barabba's Conjecture spins clarinet with orchestra, and eighth blackbird performs Thomas Albert's Thirteen Ways, his consideration of the Wallace Stevens poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," which inspired their name. And what about that eighth way? "I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know." Maybe they know when spring will arrive.

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Now is the Time
11:39 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Divinum Mysterium on Now is the Time

from Paul Moravec: Montserrat: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

It’s the mystery of creation and Casals on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 31st at 10 pm. Paul Moravec visited Montserrat, home of a monastery and of a statue of Pablo Casals. The great cellist had played there and was friends with the monks who attended to the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat. Casals is memorialized by that statue and now by Moravec’s cello concerto Montserrat, played sumptuously here by Matt Haimovitz.

From eighth blackbird’s CD beginnings is Daniel Kellogg’s Divinum Mysterium. Chanticleer sings the Latin chant (from which comes the hymn “Of the Father’s love begotten”). Then Kellogg takes us on a journey through creation’s mystery, from stillness to rejoicing.

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Now is the Time
8:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Over the Green Earth on Now is the Time

from Ronn McFarlane: Over the Green Earth

We’re trying to kick-start spring on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 24th at 10 pm. Leaps and Bulls is all funky frogs and swamps, from the group Blob. Yes, Blob. Gary Schocker tempts us out of the house with Out of Doors Duets for two flutes, and Ned Rorem’s long-limbed Day Music and Night Music is for violin and piano.

The Symphony No. 5 of Charles Fussell is an expansive memorial to Virgil Thomson, and Ronn McFarlane honors all things spring with modern music for the lute, in Over the Green Earth.

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Now is the Time
3:03 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Persistencies on Now is the Time

from Dick Hensold: Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune

Time's marching on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 17th at 10 pm. Whether it's the change of clocks or seasons, something is trying to get our attention. Former Take 6 member Cedric Dent arranges the gospel song Somebody's Knocking at Your Door for piano, Margaret Garwood sets Tombsongs for choir, and Leonardo Balada puts an amplified classical guitar through its paces, with orchestra, in Persistencies.

New-music standout Zeitgeist rips through Chris Gable's game-show send-up Beat That Clock, and Dick Hensold applauds their three-decade longevity in Zeitgeist Anniversary Tune. Sebastian Currier persistently works his own tune in Variations on "Time and Time Again" for flute and piano.

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Now is the Time
12:29 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

XY Etudes on Now is the Time

from H. Leslie Adams: Etudes

Etudes for piano and for bongos are on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 10th at 10 pm. Maria Corley performs seven of the twelve neo-romantic Etudes by Leslie Adams, journeying through changing harmonic relationships, with a sure touch by composer and pianist.

Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon wrote XY for Doug Perkins, who hypnotizes on this recording. Perkins works over five (we think) bongos with mallets. It’s an etude in itself, a study in polyrhythms, but most of all, a seductively fascinating work.

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Now is the Time
11:55 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Ballads on Now is the Time

from Benjamin Broening: Arioso/Doubles

We're telling stories on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 3rd at 10 pm. Stephen Vincent Benét's The Ballad of William Sycamore ("My father, he was a mountaineer, His fist was a knotty hammer; He was quick on his feet as a running deer, And he spoke with a Yankee stammer...") is set pungently by John Biggs. Benjamin Broening accompanies the same clarinet music in two different—and fascinating—ways: with piano (Arioso), and with computer sounds (Arioso/Doubles).

Maurice Wright tantalizes with an excerpt from his Mythology cycle, and David Amram mythologizes a bit himself in his Elizabethan-inspired Sonata for piano.

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Now is the Time
10:12 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Incredible Purple on Now is the Time

from Joshua Stamper: Incredible Purple

We’re in the blue to purple section of the color wheel on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 24th at 10 pm. The blues are brought to us by Frank Ticheli’s wind orchestra, John King’s string quartet for Ethel, and Libby Larsen’s flute and guitar homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles.

A Christopher Campbell interval spans wavelengths so that we may meet Efraín Amaya’s Venezuelan-spiced flute concerto. Joshua Stamper’s Incredible Purple sings the boundary between blues and something ineffable. Well, there’s a trombone.

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