Contemporary Classical Music
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      Author Archive

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      Gunther Schuller

      He’s played with Miles Davis, was principal horn of the Cleveland Symphony at age 18, is the co-creator of the “third stream” movement and so much more. In this program from 2014, Seth talks with the late Gunther Schuller about his incredible life and legacy in music.

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      eighth blackbird LIVE at the MCA

      On January 8 we’ll feature Grammy-winning super group eighth blackbird live at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where the group is in the midst of a year-long artist residency.

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      Music of Marrying and Burying

      Since earliest times, music has always had a ritual purpose in human society, but these ritualistic functions are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the modern world. We’ll play music by composers still thinking of the ceremonial importance music can play in our lives.

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      Drum Kit in it's natural habitat

      Drum Kit in it's natural habitat

      Drum Kit: Problem Child

      It’s essentially just a conveniently placed grouping of popular percussion instruments and yet, the drum kit is often cited as the dividing line between popular music and classical. We’ll examine how composers are using the drum kit today and what impact it’s having on genre boundaries.

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      Composer Spotlight: Ben Johnston

      Acclaimed micro-tonal composer Ben Johnston is justifiably famous for his rigorous work ethic, attention to detail and for constructing a sound world entirely his own. One of the few composers using just intonation who is also interested in writing rhythmic music, Johnston is a true original and we’re happy to shine the spotlight on this modern master.

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      Out of Time

      Ever since Ezra Pound’s famous advice to young artists, “make it new!” there has been a relentless interest in breaking new ground in art and music. But what about composers who are genuinely inspired by older forms like fugues, rondos, capriccios, even rags? We’ll feature music by these “composers out of time” this week on Relevant Tones.

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      We ask composers: What’s in your iPod?

      We know composers spend a lot of time alone wrestling with their sonic muse but, when they’re not composing what are they listening to? What music is currently inspiring them? How does it influence their own music? We’ll ask established and emerging composers alike to tell us what’s in their Ipod and why and then we’ll play each piece in its entirety.

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      Visual Aids

      We’ve always been fascinated here at Relevant Tones with how our perceptions of music change when it’s paired with visual imagery. With that in mind we’re asking several prominent visual artists to suggest imagery to a wide variety of different pieces by living composers. Relax, close your eyes and enjoy the view!

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      CD Grab Bag

      We’re thrilled to receive hundreds of CDs a year from around the country as well as from far-flung corners of the globe. We listen to everything we receive and then feature an eclectic mix of music we think our listeners should hear from established labels to self-producing artists making their very first recording.

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      Still Goldberg After All These Years (WFMT broadcast)

      More information about this program is available here.

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