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: 


September 02, 2012

10:01 PM
Snazzy Sonata
Artist : Judith Lang Zaimont
Album : Prestidigitations: Contemporary Concert Rags by J. L. Zaimont
Composer : Judith Lang Zaimont
Label : MSR Classics
10:20 PM
Artist : Nicola Melville
Album : Melville's Dozen
Composer : Kevin Beavers
Label : Innova
10:27 PM
Sonata 1 for Piano
Artist : Karen Walwyn
Album : Dark Fires, Vol.2
Composer : David Baker
Label : Albany Records
10:52 PM
Hesitation Rag for Solo Piano
Artist : Joanne Polk
Album : Prestidigitations: Contemporary Concert Rags by J. L. Zaimont
Composer : Judith Lang Zaimont
Label : MSR Classics


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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Now is the Time
12:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Somewhere on the Way, on Now Is the Time

from Miguel del Aguila: Pacific Serenade

We’re traveling far and enjoying the journey on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 21st at 10 pm. From his CD Stream of Stars, Dylan Mattingly’s Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island imagines the last flight of Amelia Earhart, somewhere over the Pacific, finishing with the movement “Islanded in a Stream of Stars.”

James Aikman’s CD Tremors From a Far Shore yields his Violin Sonata No. 2, a large-breathed work opening with a piano-centered Habanera. It also includes a second-movement Homage to his grandmother. Miguel del Aguila’s softly delicious Pacific Serenade leaves us wanting to hear more from him, as we continue on our way.

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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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