Second Inversion hosts share a favorite selection from their weekly playlist. Tune in on Friday, July 14 to hear these pieces and plenty of other new and unusual music from all corners of the classical genre!
Trimpin: Above, Below, and In Between (Seattle Symphony Media)
Seattle Symphony; Ludovic Morlot, conductor
To say sound-sculptor Trimpin likes to think big would be an understatement—installations like a six-story-high xylophone, a tower of approximately 500 guitars (housed at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture), and an 80-foot installation that responds musically to the motions of passersby are just a few of his musical inventions.
In 2015 he was the composer in residence at the Seattle Symphony, during which time he created a site-specific installation and original composition for the Benaroya Hall lobby that was given its world premiere by the Symphony with Ludovic Morlot. Above, Below, and In Between was the name of his creation—and its centerpiece was a piano that can be conducted and played without being touched.
The resulting piece is a surround-sound fantasia of motion-controlled robotic piano, electronically activated chimes and horns, live orchestra musicians, and wandering soprano—a colorful kaleidoscope of sound and invention. – Maggie Molloy
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 2pm hour today to hear an excerpt from this piece.
Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants: The Fifteenth Collection (Pinna Records)
Sarah Cahill, piano
Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants series is born of a fascinating, elegant creation process: an exquisite combination of nature and technology. The composer worked with the “Plantron,” a device created by botanist and artist Yuuji Dogane that measures electrical fluctuations on the surfaces of leaves of plants, and converted the resulting data into sound using computer programming. Through a process he has likened to searching “in a deep forest” for “beautiful flowers and rare butterflies,” Fujieda listened for musical patterns, and used them as the basis for composing short pieces, which he then grouped into collections reminiscent of Baroque dance suites.
The result is music that has a beautiful symmetry to it, is uniquely expressive in its own way, and is ultimately peaceful to the utmost. Other collections feature a variety of different instrumental combinations, but this Fifteenth Collection is performed on solo piano. It’s given highly sensitive consideration by pianist Sarah Cahill.
– Geoffrey Larson
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 3pm hour today to hear this piece.
Quentin Sirjacq: “Far Islands” (Schole Records)
“Far Islands” is the perfect song for stress relief. Quentin Sirjacq’s enchanting minimalism gives one room to breathe and contemplate the spaces in between the sparse piano plucks and fuzzy synthesizer. Sirjacq once stated that his music “is neither nostalgic nor romantic, but ‘reminiscent’”—this is a perfect description. His delicate composition here is reminiscent, to use his word, of peacefully floating in a warm lake; it loosens the tension in your muscles and readies your mind for leisure. Listening with a glass of wine in hand would be perfection. – Rachele Hales
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 8pm hour today to hear this piece.
Philip Glass: “Floe” from Glassworks (Sony Classical)
Michael Riesman and the Philip Glass Ensemble
As the second movement in Glass’ famed six-part chamber work, Glassworks, “Floe” holds a place of esteem in its own right, featured in the 1989 Italian horror film, The Church. Throughout the movement, Glass layers contrasting timbres in the signature fashion that boosted the entire Glassworks album into popularity with a large audience, giving him widespread name recognition.
This recording by Michael Riesman and the Philip Glass Ensemble creates a beautiful, mystical trance from the outset and maintains a sense of timelessness throughout. Scored for two flutes, two soprano saxophones, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, two horns, viola, cello, and synthesizer, Glass taps into this particular group of instruments’ blending abilities in such a way that the combined parts create an entirely new and greater texture for the whole. – Brendan Howe
Tune in to Second Inversion in the 9pm hour today to hear this piece.