Reviews that mention Frederic Rzewski

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

July 8, 2017

Musica Elettronica Viva

Symphony No. 106
Victo cd 129

By Ken Waxman

A milestone itself, Symphony No. 106 captures one of the infrequent regroupings of Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), almost 40 years after its three founders – Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum – organized it in Rome. Recorded at last year’s festival International du Musique Actuelle du Victoriaville in Quebec the 62-minute piece is scarcely anyone’s idea of a twilight leave taking. Pioneers of electronic interface and non-jazz-sourced improvisation, the three sophisticatedly adapt computer processing and patches plus multi-keyboard crackles and jiggles to their own ends. Like modernist printers who also use precision hand presses for certain projects, the single track’s narration at point is given mournful fillip by blasts from the furthest reaches of Curran’s shofar, while connecting motifs are produced by processional melodies from Rzewski’s piano. MORE

December 6, 2014

Creative Music Studio

Archive Selections, Vol. 1
Innova 805

By Ken Waxman

Brainchild of Ornette Coleman, Karl Berger and Ingrid Ingrid Sertso, the Woodstock, N.Y.-based Creative Music Studio (CMS) has had an influence that continues to resonate past its physical presence from 1971-1984. Dedicated to erasing the false barriers among different musics, its workshops and concerts not only helped spread freer sounds among players identified with jazz or so-called classical music, but with participants from overseas welcomed, it helped birth a sophisticated variant of world music. MORE

March 8, 2010

Sound Commitments Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties

Edited by Robert Adlington
Oxford University Press

“If you remember the Sixties, it means you weren’t there” is a cliché with a kernel of truth in it – especially the insistence that rock sounds subsumed other music then. Yet the Sixties also saw mass acceptance of New and electronic music, while jazz’s most radical sounds divorced it from its role as entertainment.

Sound Commitments aims to redefine that momentous decade in a dozen essays about advanced sonic experimentation that tried to negotiate the currents between political movements and individual expression. On the evidence, triumph of the later over the former created the longest lasting sounds. MORE

July 3, 2009

Musica Elettronica Viva

MEV 40
New World Records 80675-2

Consisting of a nucleus of academically trained composers who promoted free improvisation and group interaction, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) was the sort of musical aggregation that could only have been born in the 1960s.

Yet as this absorbing four-CD set of MEV performances – from its beginning in 1967, to its 40th anniversary – proves, the group’s triumphs are musically sophisticated as well as sociologically notable. Willingly subsuming the vaulted tradition of a single composer into group interaction, MEV’s most notable pieces added the smarts of jazz improvisers and the sonic versatility of increasingly complex electronic instruments to the compositional stew. Furthermore, the group has survived all these years because it never allowed electronics to submerge its initial humanistic and populist approach. MORE