Alexander Varty

Maria Schneider Orchestra. Data Lords. I am finding myself irresistibly drawn to the dark side. Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider’s latest release posits a Manichaean struggle characterized as a struggle between the seductive but alarmingly fast-growing digital kingdoms Google and Facebook and the healing but[...] Read more

Recordings Alexander Varty

Mark Miller. Of Stars and Strings: A Biography of Sonny Greenwich. In 1945 World War II was over and Herb Greenidge had just returned from his stint overseas, bringing with him a guitar that fascinated his third child. But rather than emulate dad—an accomplished pianist but a mediocre plectrist at best—Herbert Junior pursued a more[...] Read more

Books Alexander Varty Issue 137

Brian Olewnick. "Keith Rowe: The Room Extended." At some point during the 1960s (the exact date is unclear, but happenings were starting and the Fab Four were still singing “yeah yeah yeah” on their radio hits) a young art-school graduate began to do horrible and wondrous things to a guitar. He took a vow to eschew tuning, for[...] Read more

Books Alexander Varty Issue 131

ISCM World New Music Days 2017 Let’s get the complaints out of the way first, shall we? An awful lot of take-out sushi was eaten during the International Society for Contemporary Music’s annual festival, held this year in Vancouver. With up to five official concerts a day, plus secret showcases not[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Alexander Varty

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival. LIKE A BENEVOLENT OCTOPUS, THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA'S ANNUAL NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL HAS BEEN EXTENDING ITS TENTACLES in a variety of occasionally surprising directions since its inception four years ago. This year, for example, the event opened with a performance by avant-jazz[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Alexander Varty

Chenoa Anderson. Krishna’s Flute. Chenoa Anderson's second collection of new Canadian music for solo flute is a fantastic—and often quite fantastical—survey of what's going on, coast to coast, in this admittedly specialized field. Focusing on works that incorporate an electronic element, either through[...] Read more

Recordings Alexander Varty

Adrian Verdejo. Modern Hearts. Recordings of new music for electric guitar are rare. Solo efforts in that field are rarer still. And albums that fully exploit the sonic capabilities of the instrument are practically unheard of, thus making Adrian Verdejo’s Modern Hearts almost a public service—at least for[...] Read more

Recordings Alexander Varty Issue 119

Jocelyn Morlock. Cobalt. Cobalt, Jocelyn Morlock tells us, is one of the most poisonous elements, but it’s hard to imagine anyone dying of exposure to this Vancouver-based composer’s music—unless it was from a surfeit of beauty. Her strongest pieces can be described in a single word: numinous;[...] Read more

Recordings Alexander Varty