CZECH AND MORAVIAN CHRISTMAS CAROLS
JAN JIRÁSEK | JITRO
Celebrate the joy and magic of Christmas with Czech composer Jan Jirásek‘s debut Navona Records release CZECH AND MORAVIAN CHRISTMAS CAROLS. The composer presents a collection of original carols that highlight the spirit, peaceful contemplation, and mystery of Christmas, performed by the Czech children’s choir JITRO with accompaniments by traditional wind, percussion, and string instruments. For centuries, carols have been traditions in Czech and Moravian communities for Christmas festivities, filling the brisk evening air with melodies of peace, happiness, and good tiding. Reflecting the rich customs of the Czech and Moravian cultures, and displaying both Christian and folk influences, Jirásek offers wholesome and enduring songs that can warm our hearts and minds with the wonder and glory of the Christmas season. Read More
DREAM OF SAILING
It is often not until the brutal weight of loss and grief bears down upon us that we are forced to ponder the meaning of life and reconsider our own path of existence. Composer Masatora Goya presents his debut Ravello Records release, DREAM OF SAILING, a collection of chamber works inspired by the life and passing of Goya’s father, Masahiro.
As a hard working marine engineer, Masahiro dedicated great lengths of time at sea, often spending months away from his family. The ocean was where Masahiro belonged, a refuge to which he’d find himself repeatedly returning. Within this album Goya expresses a somber tribute to his father while also reflecting on his own life as a composer and man. Read More
SHE LOST HER VOICE THAT’S HOW WE KNEW
FRANCES WHITE, VALERIA VASILEVSKI | KRISTIN NORDERVAL
The profound events of our lives, including death, birth, trauma, and wonder, often provoke experiences that transcend words, creating moments better suited to the encapsulating depths of silence. Inspired by insights and personal stories, Ravello Records presents the theatrical work for soprano and electronic sound, SHE LOST HER VOICE, THAT’S HOW WE KNEW.
Composed by Frances White, written and directed by Valeria Vasilevski, and performed by vocalist Kristin Norderval, the work is open to the universal issues that are implied by the idea of this loss of voice. Described by WQXR’s Operavore as an “avant-garde diva,” Norderval’s voice provides the fingerprint for the electronic score. The album contains no explicit narrative, rather it offers an interior drama with an emerging persona, which carries many voices: an inner voice, a voice of memory, a singing voice, a silenced voice, and more. This persona is also a listener, hearing the cries of all these different voices. Read More
PLOT: MUSIC FOR UNSPECIFIED INSTRUMENTATION
MCCORMICK PERCUSSION GROUP
On their seventh Ravello Records release, PLOT: MUSIC FOR UNSPECIFIED INSTRUMENTATION, the McCormick Percussion Group, directed by Robert McCormick, delivers a diverse collection of works that explore and expand the bounds of the percussion ensemble, featuring the use of improvisation, taped field recordings, and computer-generated graphical scores.
Bones (2000), the opening piece by Stuart Saunders Smith, examines the existence between composed musical thoughts and improvisational interactions. With only the parts and no score, the musicians choose the order of the pages and improvise the musical events presented. Nine and a Half for Henry (and Wilbur and Orville) (1964) and Pacific Sirens (1969) by Robert Erickson can be considered companion pieces, both involving taped sounds – including engines, machinery, and the Pacific surf – and acoustic instrumentation. Read More
IMMERSION, ABSORPTION, CONNECTION.
On his debut Ravello Records release IMMERSION, ABSORPTION, CONNECTION., composer Edgar Barroso presents a retrospective collection of works that explore his interest with modern science and technologies, social customs, spirituality, and more, using a variety of ensemble combinations and extended techniques for an array of textures and tonal colors.
Commenting on prevailing social activities, Over-Proximity, a work in which the voices compete against each other’s seemingly disconnected phrases, addresses the hyper-connectivity and personal comparisons affected by social networking. The composer examines duration and perspective in works including Sketches of Briefness, Metric Expansion of Space, and Aion, illustrating temporal relationships and the subjectivity of time. Scientific concepts inspire much of Barroso’s music, from the study of variation and change in Morphometrics to Echoic, which features the gamelan’s unique timbre and resonance spectrum. Barroso emphasizes balance, harmony, tranquility, and resolution in works like ACU and Ataraxia, while Noemata and Kuanasi Uatoemphasize discord, struggle, and instability, evoking the hardships faced in his native Mexico. Read More