Album review: Leo Svirsky, Heights in Depths

Composer and instrumentalist Leo Svirsky’s impressively tricky to get a handle on. His latest album, Heights in Depths, a tightly focused study in minimalism (in the original sense) for solo accordion, mixes confrontational intensity with contemplative calm.

Remembering Pauline Oliveros.

I was struck, on learning late last week via social media that the composer, improviser, and teacher Pauline Oliveros had passed away on Thanksgiving morning, by how many of her friends, colleagues, and admirers posted something to the effect of “I thought she’d always be here.” And it was true: Pauline had meant so much to so many of us for so long, for a wide variety of different reasons, that it seemed her presence might continue indefinitely.

Lucy Caplan: Music in Moments of Crisis

Since the cataclysmic election earlier this month, I have struggled, at times, to find comfort or inspiration in music. With increasing apprehension, I wonder how music can make a difference going forward. We are on the brink of catastrophe. What can artists do with music in this moment, and how do we discern its limits?

What is an Ondioline?

Unless you’re already an expert in early electrical instrumentation, you may not yet know what to expect from the Ondioline Orchestra concert at National Sawdust Nov. 22. Here are five quick things you’ll want to know about the rise, fall, and revival of this historic instrument.

Gotye’s tribute to Jean-Jacques Perrey

Walter De Backer, better known as Gotye, pays homage to the late French music maverick Jean-Jacques Perrey, whose music will be featured in the debut performance by Ondioline Orchestra on Nov. 22 at National Sawdust.

So Percussion: Taking aim at guns in America

Making art in response to unspeakable acts is difficult – at least it has been for us. The first problem that is so easy to stumble over is “what do we say?” But we realized that the first question for an artist could also be: “what do we make?”

Christopher Rountree: What is Los Angeles?

“it’s somewhere where most of my meetings take place eating a coconut popsicle, walking around a lake, with dozens of people in pedal boats on it, during winter.” We asked conductor, composer, and wild Up founder Christopher Rountree to explain the funky new magic of Los Angeles; in response, he waxed poetic.

Meredith Monk: Art, spirituality, and bonds that endure

“These years, I feel that part of my time left on earth is to be working in my art on something that you contemplate, that you’re not ever going to find the answer to” – Meredith Monk talks about her new album, On Behalf of Nature, in advance of a concert at National Sawdust in November.

Early Audition: Vicky Chow, AORTA

Most likely you know the dynamic pianist Vicky Chow best for her most visible job: as keyboardist in the versatile, eclectic, and always expressive Bang on a Can All-Stars. A O R T A, her second solo album, arrives on Nov. 18, but you can hear the entire album here, now.

Shrinking arts coverage – how soon is now?

We’ve all seen signs of diminishing arts and culture coverage in New York’s two premier daily newspapers, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Now, a Deadline Hollywood article has spelled out some putative specifics.