Second Inversion hosts share a favorite selection from their weekly playlist. Tune in on Friday, April 20 to hear these pieces and plenty of other new and unusual music from all corners of the classical genre!
Hildegard Westerkamp: Fantasie for Horns II (Empreintes Digitales)
Brian G’Froerer, horn; Hildegard Westerkamp, electronics
Let it be known upfront that this is not your average horn solo. Composed by sound ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp, Fantasie for Horns II explores the sound of horns we hear in our everyday lives: trainhorns, foghorns, factory and boathorns. This piece is about how those sounds often give a place its character—foghorns echoing across a charming coastal village, trainhorns ringing amid a bustling metropolis, or factory horns blasting in a gritty industrial town.
But this piece is also an exploration of how horns are shaped by their surroundings: how the horn reverberates across the ocean waves, or how it changes pitch slightly as the train approaches. Fantasie for Horns II laces together field recordings of all of these different horns, creating a whole city of sounds with one single live French horn echoing across it. – Maggie Molloy
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 1pm hour today to hear this piece.
itsnotyouitsme: “Lost Nation Municipal Airport” (New Amsterdam)
Grey McMurray and Caleb Burhans
“Lost Nation Municipal Airport” is the aural version of how the world looks when your vision is readjusting after waking up from a deep sleep that you fell into while waiting for your plane at an airport gate—it’s the music of the strangers and planes and signage slowly taking shape around you. The longer and more closely you listen to this piece, the more you find in it, much like staring at one of the giant paintings in the Rothko Chapel.
There’s something about airports that’s hopeful and optimistic—maybe leftover from the Jet Age of the 1950’s and ‘60’s—with their diverse and ever-fluctuating populations, their busy purposefulness, and their technology. I like that this song slows down that perpetual motion of humanity. The album that this is from, fallen monuments, was recorded from live performances because Caleb Burhans and Grey McMurray—the members of itsnotyouitsme—wanted to capture the fleeting nature of the improvisations that they tend to play at live shows. That spirit is beautifully captured in this piece, with—I’m guessing—a little nod to Brian Eno. – Dacia Clay
Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Band: Suiren (New Albion)
Deep Listening Band
As the weather in Pacific Northwest proceeds at its typically leisurely pace toward its version of summer, I’m thinking a great deal about the pleasures of time spent outdoors. I was struck by The Deep Listening Band’s Suiren this week because it replicates a special atmosphere often found in the solitude of nature. This specific and rare character of the environment, often found in the amoral companionship of an empty and quiet sky at a high altitude, is present in this piece. That’s ironic, considering this piece was literally recorded underground. – Seth Tompkins
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 8pm hour today to hear this piece.
Nils Frahm: Kaleidoscope (Erased Tapes)
Nils Frahm, keyboards; Shards, voices
“Kaleidoscope” is one of my top three songs from Nils Frahm’s latest album All Melody. The album itself features a wider instrumental palette compared to Frahm’s earlier work, which focused mainly on piano, yet he maintains the same exploratory spirit and continues to give his works space to evolve. “Kaleidoscope” is a great example of that as it features the human voice, lots of plinky synth, and a pipe organ (which Frahm himself helped build!) among other instruments. The textures combine slowly and create a warm and gratifying listen, making “Kaleidoscope” a great starting point for anyone unfamiliar with Frahm’s repertoire. – Rachele Hales
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 10pm hour today to hear this piece.