Julian Cowley

Thin Edge New Music Collective and Linda Catlin Smith. Dark Flower. “The question is not what you look at,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in his journal, “but how you look and whether you see.” That insight might easily be adapted to fit the music of Linda Catlin Smith. Although written over a span of more than twenty years, these six[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 147

Christopher Butterfield. Souvenir. “Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past, but its theatre,” suggested Walter Benjamin, recalling his childhood in Berlin. The music of Christopher Butterfield has, in that sense, a theatrical dimension: It enacts perspectives on the past, placing them in dynamic[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 145

Katelyn Clark & Isaiah Ceccarelli. Landmarks. Modern eras, Umberto Eco suggested, have revisited the European Middle Ages ever since they ended. His own novel The Name of the Rose illustrates that point; so does the so-called early music revival. Katelyn Clark, heard here playing continuo and portative pipe organs,[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 143

Allison Cameron. Somatic Refrain. In the cover story of Musicworks 122, Nick Storring addressed the “beautifully puzzling” quality of Allison Cameron’s work, illuminating her music-making through its informed acceptance of her elusiveness and its grasp of her fascination with sound. Somatic[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 143

Linda Catlin Smith. Ballad. Traditional ballads, Scottish writer Willa Muir once suggested, arise from deep strata of shared human experience. They open onto landscapes of feeling and imagination that have their own unhurried rhythms, quite distinct from the regulatory measures of clock time. This performance by[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 140

Barbara Monk Feldman. Verses. The Northern Shore alludes in its title to Gaspé Peninsula, eastern Quebec, where the St. Lawrence flows into the Atlantic. The four other titles on this disc lack such site specificity, yet all five compositions may be heard as meditations on diffusion. The presence of each note as[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 140

Various Artists. Music for Violas, Bass Clarinets & Flutes. As a conceptual blueprint, Lori Freedman’s To the Bridge (2014) connects five miniatures using four bridges. As a solo performance and listening experience, it’s a riveting, visceral tour de force. This recording was made at a concert of music with spectral orientation, hosted by[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 140

Anna Höstman / Cheryl Duvall. Harbour. As a child, Anna Höstman loved to play piano. She gave a performance of her earliest written work at age twelve, a joyful experience that she later compared to setting a boat on a river and being carried downstream. On Harbour, recorded at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, and the[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 136

Linda Catlin Smith. Thought and Desire. In his “Sonnet 45” William Shakespeare muses on thought and desire as “present-absent” qualities. Both testify to a bond with the loved one, but they speak also of distance. Pianist Eve Egoyan sings the words of this sonnet as she plays Linda Catlin Smith’s[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 124