Entries by Steve Smith

Mariel Robert and Eric Wubbels: Intensity and Immersion

As both a member of the highly regarding Mivos Quartet and as a solo artist in her own right, cellist Mariel Roberts has demonstrated an affinity for uncompromising music and a capacity for making even the most challenging works sing. Composer Eric Wubbels is among the numerous beneficiaries of Roberts’s advocacy – his gretchen Am Spinnrade, a duo for cello and piano, is featured on Roberts’s new CD, Cartography, with Wubbels himself at the piano. In advance of an album-release concert at National Sawdust on May 19, as well as a New York Philharmonic Contact! program that includes Wubbels’s katachi coming up at National Sawdust on May 22, the two sat down recently at a neighborhood café to compare experiences and agendas.


Bill Rieflin, Jaimie Branch, Roscoe Mitchell, Ben Richter, Alice Coltrane, Threefifty, Erkki Kurenniemi, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Album review: David Lang, thorn

For all that his large-scale works have commanded the spotlight over the last decade or so, David Lang initially burst into the public eye and ear with pithy, concise, and clever chamber works… On ‘thorn,’ an appealing new CD by flutist Molly Barth, Lang’s puckish instrumental miniatures assume center stage.


Igor Levit, Aaron Dilloway, Zeal & Ardor, Vanessa Rossetto, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Félicia Atkinson, Daniel Corral, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Album Review: Vanessa Rossetto, erased de kooning + rocinante

Everything that’s erased leaves its trace of its passage behind: a point as familiar to the manuscript recyclers of antiquity to modern-day digital data-recovery sleuths. Deletion rarely amounts to a positive thing, but on ‘erased de kooning,’ one of two recent recordings by Vanessa Rossetto, an act of bulk erasure results in an absorbing new piece surprisingly rich in ghostly associations.

Tristan Perich and Christopher Tignor: Intuitive Processes

Though it’s not exactly a case of “opposites attract,” those who know the music of composer-performers Tristan Perich and Christopher Tignor might not automatically pair the two creators despite a shared association with electroacoustic music and technical ingenuity. Yet in a recent interview in advance of their joint appearance at National Sawdust on May 5, they discovered a healthy amount of overlap in their working methods and philosophies.

In Review: Philip Glass, A Madrigal Opera

How do you invite an audience into an opera that has no characters to relate to, no story to follow? The inventive director RB Schlather, mounting A Madrigal Opera as the final entry in his engaging, productive National Sawdust residency, approached that challenge in an artfully literal-minded way, mingling members of the stellar vocal ensemble Choral Chameleon among the audience and engulfing them all within an elegantly simple, smartly realized common frame of reference.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Mark McGuire, Leyland Kirby, Marco Fusi, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Alex Mincek, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.