VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘Robert Henry’ by The Westerlies

by Peter Tracy

The Westerlies take us on an upbeat journey through early childhood with their performance of “Robert Henry,” an original composition by the ensemble’s trombonist Andy Clausen.

“Written shortly after the birth of my first nephew, ‘Robert Henry’ aims to lovingly capture the vibrant energy that a new member of the family contributes,” Clausen says. At times groovy and melodic, at other times rhythmically complex and jazzy, the Westerlies capture the excitement and hopeful energy of early childhood—as well as some of its unexpected turns.

We’re proud to premiere our in-studio video of the Westerlies performing “Robert Henry.”


Want more music from the Westerlies? Click here for another video from this session.

re·create percussion on Classical KING FM | Friday, Sept. 20, 8pm

by Peter Tracy

re·create percussion performs live on Classical KING FM 98.1 on Friday, Sept. 20 from 8-9pm PT. Click here to tune in from anywhere in the world.

re·create percussion is an ensemble on a mission. With mallets in hand, the duo serves up well-crafted and sparkling performances on marimba and vibraphone that range from reimagined classics to bold new compositions (and even a few pop arrangements).

You can find the duo, which consists of Rebekah Ko and Storm Benjamin, performing at a wide variety of new music events around the region, such as the recent Good Vibes Only concert in Washington Hall or with the Seattle-based Sound Ensemble. Whether as part of a larger ensemble or as a duo, re·create has been active in sharing their love of percussion music with their community and find ways to bring new listeners into the fold. Since their founding in 2017, the duo has brought energy, skill, and elegance to repertoire ranging from Steve Reich to Ed Sheeran.

This Friday at 8pm PT, we’re lucky to have the dynamic duo in the KING FM studios on NW Focus LIVE, where they’ll be treating us to a program featuring Ivan Trevino’s entrancing “2+1,” Anders Koppel’s lively Toccata for Vibraphone and Marimba, Ryan Elvert’s evocative “Ocean Dances” (written specifically for the duo), a reimagined Ed Sheeran classic, and an original re·create composition. Click here to tune in.

VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘Cheating, Lying, Stealing’ by David Lang

by Maggie Molloy

“Ominous funk” is the expression marking at the beginning of David Lang’s score for Cheating, Lying, Stealing.

It’s an apt descriptor for a pulsing piece of post-minimalism that owes about as much to rock music as it does the classical tradition. The piece has an immediacy that’s hard to shake, and its infectious off-kilter groove is heightened by its unusual instrumentation: cello, bass clarinet, piano, marimba, and some triangles and car parts for percussion.

We’re thrilled to premiere our exclusive in-studio video of the piece, performed by an all-star cast of Seattle musicians: cellist Rose Bellini, clarinetist Rachel Yoder, pianist Brooks Tran, and percussionists Melanie Sehman, Storm Benjamin, and Kerry O’Brien.


For more performances by percussionists Melanie Sehman, Storm Benjamin, and Kerry O’Brien, check out Good Vibes Only this Friday, Aug. 30 at Washington Hall.

VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘Tight Sweater’ by Marc Mellits

by Maggie Molloy

Marc Mellits makes music you can groove to. Funky rhythms, catchy riffs, and pulsing melodies—his music bursts with energy.

Tight Sweater is a prime example. Composed for the unlikely trio of cello, piano, and marimba, the piece dances through one restless and infectious groove after another, each with its own distinctive color and sound.

We’re thrilled to premiere our in-studio video of Mellits’ Tight Sweater performed by cellist Rose Bellini, pianist Brooks Tran, and marimbist Melanie Sehman.


For more music of Marc Mellits (including performances by marimbist Melanie Sehman), check out Good Vibes Only: a concert of minimalist music for vibraphones and marimbas this Friday, Aug. 30 at Washington Hall.

Sneak Peek Audio Leak: Donnacha Dennehy’s ‘The Hunger’

by Peter Tracy

Donnacha Dennehy is an Irish composer who is intensely interested in the music and culture of his homeland. Whether it be setting Irish poets like William Butler Yeats or incorporating Irish folk traditions into his music, Dennehy frequently celebrates his roots while retaining his colorful, vibrant, and forward-thinking musical style.

This is certainly the case on his upcoming album The Hunger, a collaboration with the always inventive Alarm Will Sound featuring soprano Katherine Manley and Iarla Ó Lionáird, a singer specializing in sean-nós (“old style”) singing—a typically melismatic and highly ornamented style sung in the Gaelic language. The album consists of a stirring cantata remembering Ireland’s Great Famine (1845-1849) by setting first-hand accounts from American humanitarian Asenath Nicholson and utilizing material from a sean-nós style song of the period titled “Na Prátaí Dubha” (Black Potatoes).

One of the most emotionally powerful moments on the album is the movement “I Feared He Would Die,” which depicts a starving old man (represented by Iarla Ó Lionáird) who is continually denied the food he needs for himself and the children under his care to survive. Asenath Nicholson, as represented by Katherine Manley, tells of the callousness of the English officers and the harsh reality of the famine over fluttering strings and undulating harmonies.

Hear it here first ahead of the album’s August 23 release date.


Donnacha Dennehy’s The Hunger is out August 23 on Nonesuch Records. For more information, click here.