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.

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

Ballads on Now is the Time

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

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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Now is the Time
11:48 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Episodes for Cello on Now is the Time

The cello sings on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 17th at 10 pm. The seven-movement Sonata No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello of Michael Hersch is a journey of lament, passion, and poignancy. There is darkness and depth in all of Hersch's music, but it is always leavened with an inescapable, sincere lyricism. This is thoroughly involving.  

Allen Shawn has written operas on librettos by his brother, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, music for the film My Dinner with Andre, and lots of piano and chamber music. He calls his own music eclectic, and there's always a wry element just around the corner. But don't allow that to cause you to miss his crafting of satisfying, skillful works, including these six Episodes for Cello and Piano.

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CD Selections
4:51 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Kile Smith Recommends: David Bennett Thomas, Paths

Listeners look for categories, but artists freely create, and David Bennett Thomas is, first of all, an artist. Neo-this, post-that, or fusion-with-something-else may be of interest to others, but the artist is interested only in creating.

David Bennett Thomas works in jazz and classical music, but he doesn’t put one foot in one and one in the other. He’s a professional, so he commits to either, depending on his purpose. He’s an artist, so he’s true, regardless of what he’s composing. He laughs and loves life, so his music is filled with humor and, perhaps what is most revolutionary in our earnest age, happiness.

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Now is the Time
8:35 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A Valentine on Now is the Time

It's as if we were all sent Valentines on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 10th at 10 pm. We're proud of all the music by women composers our show has aired since we began in 2008, but this program we've set aside for them and to some pieces that could be Valentines. Maybe.

It's not that we take anything for granted, as Annie Gosfield reminds us in Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds Back. Linda Robbins Coleman's piano rag is a Valentine to a dear member of the family, her beloved cat. The Syncopated Lady may be Carol Barnett or her pianist, Tomoko Deguchi. Valentine's Day is filled with flowers and poetry; Jasmine Flower is from Victoria Bond's CD Peculiar Plants, and Jennifer Higdon wrote String Poetic for the outstanding violinist Jennifer Koh.

Warming up the day is Anne LeBaron on harp, augmented, with Heat Wave 1, and Nicola Melville plays the searing Tango Gardél of Stacy Garrop.

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Now is the Time
11:31 am
Sat February 2, 2013

The Cresset Stone on Now is the Time

The violin takes on many guises on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 3rd at 10 pm. A “Fantasy for Violin” is what Michael Horvit calls his Daughters of Jerusalem. A concerto in all but name, it’s a passionate circling of texts from the Song of Solomon. She searches for her lover; she pleads; she despairs; she looks her friends in the eyes and asks them, What would you do?

Henri Lazarof’s Violin Concerto No. 3 is every bit a concerto, dramatic and expressionistic, and enjoys a powerful reading from violinist Christiane Edinger.

Welsh-born Hilary Tann has lived and taught in the U.S. for many years. The Cresset Stone takes its name from the hollowed-out rock holding oil for light in earlier times; such a stone in a cathedral inspired Tann’s work for solo violin, and includes a Gregorian Kyrie.

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Now is the Time
11:17 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Two Quartets on Now is the Time

It's two different kinds of quartets, both inspired by great, but different, works of art, on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 27th at 10 pm. Michael Ellison heard the Borromeo String Quartet perform Beethoven's late quartet, the Opus 131, and the experience prompted a desire to write for Borromeo; to write a work with the greatness of Beethoven's in his mind. Ten years later he did just that, and his String Quartet #2, for Borromeo, is the result.

The movements in Robert Maggio's Two Quartets are 1. Desire, Movement and 2. Love, Stillness. He calls for an unusual quartet of two flutes and two cellos, which can produce a ravishing and mesmerizing sound. The title? Maggio was reading T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets at the time. The mystic, meditative parallel is apt.

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Now is the Time
10:59 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Traveling Music on Now is the Time

It’s the voice of the people on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 20th at 10 pm. Populism reigned in the very first commission from the Kronos Quartet, way back in 1973: Traveling Music of Ken Benshoof. Similar influences echo in the recent Close Tolerances of Christopher Braddock, written for the new music / Baroque ensemble Mélomanie, from their new Florescence CD.

We can’t think of the meeting of classical and popular in American music without soon encountering William Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs, and here we listen to live performances of the first two volumes, with the composer accompanying his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris.

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Now is the Time
6:13 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Coyoteway on Now is the Time

We embrace ceremonies of healing on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 13th at 10 pmCoyoteway is from a cycle of string quartets Curt Cacioppo has written on the Navajo creation story. Wreathed in smoke, and amid singing and dancing, the person seeks forgiveness through apology for past wrongs, and is healed.

David Maslanka composed Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble as a tribute to a friend, flutist Christine Nield Capote, who was also a colleague to the soloist in this work, trombonist Tim Conner, and the conductor Gary Green. Its three movements are Requiem; Beloved; Be Content, Be Calm.

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Now is the Time
8:15 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Winter Light on Now is the Time

We enter the cold new year on Now is the Time, Sunday, January 6th at 10 pm on HD-2. David Snow’s A Baker’s Tale, originally with narrator but in this version for trumpeter Chris Gekker and piano, is from the CD Winter. From Elena Ruehr’s CD of string quartets, How She Danced, comes her third. Its third movement is also titled “How She Danced,” and the quartet is filled with multiple influences of darting energy.

Edward Ruchalski was inspired to write his lovely, lingering chamber work Winter Light during winter walks. It includes a movement called “By Snowlight.”

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