Music is all about contrast: light vs. dark, fast vs. slow, loud vs. soft, bold vs. subdued. Often times the most beautiful, most visceral moments are found at these two extremes—but sometimes, it’s the moments between them that leave the most lasting impression.
The composer Robert Honstein explores the full spectrum of sound in his new piece Middle Ground for solo violin and electronics. Cast in three movements—“Too Far,” “Too Close,” and “Bridging the Gap”—the piece searches for a middle ground amid opposites. Airy, ethereal melodies are contrasted against gritty, snarling rhythms, the music growing in tension and drama before finding the most human dimension between them.
We’re thrilled to premiere a brand new video for Robert Honstein’s Middle Ground, performed by violinist Kate Stenberg and captured by Four/Ten Media.
Robert Honstein’s Middle Ground is out now on Other Minds Records. For more details, click here.
March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s achievements—and also a time to think critically about what all of us can do to create a more equitable world.
On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion, we’re celebrating women’s voices. We’ll hear music from women who have helped shape, inspire, and expand the world of classical music. From the modal musings of Hildegard von Bingen to the ear-expanding experiments of Pauline OIiveros and the vibrant, cross-cultural folk songs of Nathalie Joachim, we’ll hear music from women who have made a mark on classical music history. Plus, we’ll talk about why women composers have been historically underrepresented in classical music—and what you can do to help.
Have you ever looked at a piece of art and wondered: What would this painting sound like?
Well so have a lot of composers! On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion, we’ll hear music inspired by famous works of art. We’re taking a stroll through a sonic art museum—from the splatter-painted canvases of Jackson Pollock to the meditative hues of Mark Rothko and the visceral street art of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Some music is meant to be the main event: it demands your full focus and attention. And some music—is just for ambiance.
The term “furniture music” was coined by the composer Erik Satie in the early 20th century to describe music that blends into the atmosphere of a room. It’s music with color, texture, and character—but no specific storyline. On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion, stretch out on the couch, make yourself comfortable, and join us for some furniture music.
Duality is a common theme in both literature and music: good and evil, light and dark, tension and release. Sometimes these dualities are represented by opposite characters—and sometimes, they are one and the same.
Doubles, doppelgängers, and duplicity drew the Seattle-based composer and violist Melia Watras to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, a writer whose poetry is quite musical in its own right. Her new piece William Wilson draws on excerpts from Poe’s short story of the same name: the twisted tale of a man and his dark shadow—two sides of the same coin.
Watras wrote the piece for her own kindred spirit: her husband Michael Jinsoo Lim, who sings and performs the piece on violin. We’re thrilled to premiere the music video for William Wilson, which appears on Watras’s brand new album of compositions Firefly Songs.
Watras’s new album Firefly Songs is a collection of original compositions exploring themes of community and personal folklore, with performances from some of her closest friends and collaborators. Firefly Songs is out now on Planet M records. For more details, click here.