Playlist.

Víkingur Ólafsson, Syrinx, Tanner Porter, Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School, Dana Jessen, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Cage and Feldman – and more – at Hauser and Wirth

Exploring links between the visual arts and music is always a fascinating venture, and that’s certainly the case when examining the rich connections that brought together artists of myriad disciplines and persuasions in New York during the 1950s. This week, a new exhibition mining that fertile territory will open at the Hauser & Wirth gallery on the Upper East Side.

Playlist.

Kelly Moran, Nordic Affect, ACME, Morbid Angel, Linda Catlin Smith, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Heavenly rhetoric: Oracle Hysterical meets New Vintage Baroque.

The Passionate Pilgrim, a new collaboration between composer-performer collective Oracle Hysterical and period-instruments ensemble New Vintage Baroque, is a fascinating Baroque-pop song cycle based on mostly debunked Shakespeare, coming soon on VIA Records and at National Sawdust January 21.

Playlist.

The Nels Cline Singers, Alex Cline Ensemble, Steve Lacy Trio, Craig Taborn, Mark Dresser Seven, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Here be Kate Soper.

Kate Soper, a composer, vocalist, and core member of the composer/performer collective Wet Ink, has announced the New York City debut of her newest music-theater piece, IPSA DIXIT, coming to Dixon Place February 3 and 4.

Linda Catlin Smith and other timbres from Canada.

A recording of Dirt Road, a gorgeous, austere 70-minute, 15-movement work by the Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith on the label Another Timbre, landed on my year-end Best of 2016: Noteworthy Recordings list. Now, welcome news: In February 2017, Another Timbre will launch a Canadian Composers Series with a two-disc collection of works by Smith and four further volumes.

On the nature of rabbit holes.

You’re reflecting on musicians whose work you’ve long admired… say, for instance, Nels and Alex Cline, who you just heard performing a week ago with Yuka C. Honda, and whose recordings you’ve been listening to in the days since. You remember you first became aware of them because the college radio station where you once worked got a few generous packages of albums from a California label called Nine Winds, including records that featured the Brothers Cline…

Playlist.

Jaap van Zweden, Skylark Quartet, Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra, Karel Husa, Rudy Royston Trio, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Best of 2016: Noteworthy Recordings

Trying to tally the year’s “best” recordings is a thankless task, not least because there’s no realistic chance anyone has heard everything.… every listener’s taste is individual, and focus can be contingent upon situation. All of which said, the following lists comprise the new recordings and archival projects that impressed and moved me most in 2016, with an appendix of still more albums that brightened this year.