Staff & Community Picks: August 21

A weekly rundown of the music our staff and listeners are loving lately! Are you interested in contributing some thoughts on your favorite new music albums? Drop us a line!

Joshua Roman on Christopher Cerrone’s “The Night Mare”:

fcr162_cover.500x0“The Night Mare” by Christopher Cerrone is a piece which I had the immense pleasure of conducting on my first performance as a conductor with the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.  This piece is for seven players and electronics and it’s a very good use of electronics, sort of creating this background against which the players punctuate with various sounds.  The piece itself is not so much about a nightmare, I think as about the process of piecing together the nightmare that you’ve just had.  You’re trying to figure out what you’ve heard – is it the sound of a train, is it the sound of a flute?  All of these things are all very hazy, it’s all about the blurred lines.  There may be a moment where everything comes together and starts to make sense, you know, as when you wake up and you start to piece together that this was in fact a dream, not reality… but that doesn’t hold for very long.  It’s a wonderful piece, very evocative, very scary, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Rachele Hales on Little King’s My Friend:


Indie Chamber Pop group Little King offers up thirteen charming compositions in My Friend.  The pieces are fairly short and all are so lovely and goofy that, when accompanied by Thomas Cruz’s beautiful lilting deadpan lyrics, it’s easy to imagine they could each be used as the score for a series of adorable animated short films.  The lolling woodwinds support the wackiness of the album while also lending earnestness and warmth.


Stephen Vandivere* on Charles Wuorinen’s Six Trios:

51G9K8FeRBLThe Trios by Charles Wuorinen were all composed in the early ’80s, and most of which include at least one brass instrument. My son, who played the trombone in high school and college, and took it up again a few years ago, heard this CD and had only one comment: “wow!”. This is more approachable, though still gnarly, than much of his earlier work I’ve heard. I have the intuition that more listening will eventually allow me to grasp the structure of the compositions. For now, I listen for fall and effect.

*Stephen Vandivere is a Second Inversion listener. We’d love to hear from you, too!