Reviews

Iannis Xenakis. Translated by Sharon Kanach. Music and Architecture.   It is commonly known that Iannis Xenakis was more than a composer; that he studied engineering rather than composition; that he worked for Le Corbusier as an architectural assistant; that he taught himself computer programming in order to create composition algorithms, new methods for[...] Read more

Books James Harley Issue 106

Seth Kim-Cohen. In the Blink of An Ear: Toward a Non-Cochlear Sonic Art.   It’s happened more often than I’d like to admit that I will read the artist statement of a sonic work and be disappointed in its dated ideas. The odd time I’ve ever engaged in debate with a sonic artist I have usually been astonished by the gulf between current visual[...] Read more

Books Laura Paolini Issue 106

Heidi Grundmann, Elisabeth Zimmerman, Reinhard Braun, Dieter Daniels, An-dreas Hirsch, & Anne Thurman-Jajes eds. Re-Inventing Radio; Aspects of Radio as Art.   “While the death of radio as a mass medium is once again being predicted as imminent, recent developments in transmission technology underline what has long been evident: radio is not about the transmission of sound but of signal.” So states this self proclaimed “[...] Read more

Books Allison Cameron

Louise Gray. The No-Nonsense Guide To World Music.   At a mere 167 pages, this little guide might justifiably raise suspicions about exactly what nonsense was jettisoned to make this book so compact. While it is scanter on information than the books put out by Rough Guides, Gray’s guide offers a compelling issue-and-topic-driven[...] Read more

Books Nick Storring Issue 106

Diane C. Fujino, Editor. Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader.   Composer, bandleader and baritone saxophonist; theorist; revolutionary socialist, and Black-Asian-American, Fred Ho writes essays that are as uncompromising and defiant as his compositions.   This wide-ranging collection elucidates the evolution of his philosophy from 1984[...] Read more

Books Ken Waxman Issue 106

Robert Adlington, editor. Sound Commitments: Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties. “If you remember the ’60s, it means you weren’t there” is a cliché with a kernel of truth in it—especially the insistence that rock sounds then subsumed other music. Yet the ’60s also saw mass acceptance of new and electronic music, while jazz[...] Read more

Books Ken Waxman Issue 106

X Avant Festival. The Music Gallery, Toronto. October 21–25, 2009. The fourth X Avant Festival at Toronto’s Music Gallery was entitled Convergence and Collaboration. As noted in gallery artistic director Johathan Bunce’s program notes, the theme was “inspired by ambient music forefather Brian Eno’s idea of ‘scenius,’ .[...] Read more

Concerts and Events David Dacks Issue 106

Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music. Washington, D.C. September 22–27, 2009. Musicologists love to remind us how utterly primal and universal their subject has proven to be. They point to bone flutes and other instruments turned up at the earliest proto-human excavation sites and to the failure among anthropologists to find a single culture, present or past, bereft of[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Richard Sheehe Issue 106

Guelph Jazz Festival. Guelph, Ontario. September 9–13, 2009.   The annual Guelph Jazz Festival is always populist. In its sixteenth edition, it extended its support of outdoor improvisation, plus interaction between Third and First World musicians without lessening its commitment to Free Music. Much of the outstanding music making came from the[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Ken Waxman Issue 106

Jazz em Agosto. Lisbon, Portugal. August 1–2, 6–9, 2009.   There are plenty of festivals designed to exploit beautiful physical settings, but they tend to present the most accessible (and festive) musical genres. At the opposite end of the spectrum there are festivals that emphasize challenging music in ad hoc environments. Somehow, Jazz em[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Stuart Broomer Issue 106

Rainer Wiens. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.   More frequently heard playing guitar and prepared guitar in the context of jazz and improvised music, Rainer Wiens performs here on kalimbas—African thumb pianos possessing a distinctive metallic resonance—which are heard prominently at the beginning and end of this unusual[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 106

Birgit Ulher. Radio Silence No More.   Hamburg-based trumpeter Birgit Ulher uses her improvisational prowess to shape this program, treating as full partners the extended drones and blurry hisses that emanate from a stand-alone radio and its speaker. On the nine mid-length tracks here—all with the suffixes ‑welle or ‑[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 106