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Diary of a Mad Composer

I’m at Carnegie Hall to review a recital by pianist Denis Matsuev. Not sure what to expect, haven’t heard him play in years and my only experience with him has been in Rachmaninoff piano concertos, Matsuev soloing in front of orchestras conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Moondog Music in Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral invited Down Is Up from London, an ensemble dedicated almost solely to the music of Moondog, that old inhabitant of New York City. The cathedral is famed for both being bombed into destruction (1940) and optimistic rebirth (1962), providing a suitably majestic setting for the works of composer, performer, and Viking-robed street musician Louis Hardin.

Drums Talk

Every genre of music has its myths, and drum and bass is no different. Renegade Snares joins a bibliography of recent titles, not to mention reissues and repackages, taking to task a resurgent interest in junglism, its origins, and its cultural legacy. Written jointly by Ben Murphy and Carl Loben, it uneasily stakes ground between hagiography and oral history.

This About That

Pianist and composer Myra Melford makes wide-ranging, imaginative music that is about … music. On her new recording, For the Love of Fire and Water (RogueArt), she has assembled a superb group that she calls her Fire and Water Quintet—featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, cellist Tomeka Reid, and percussionist Susie Ibarra—to explore the sonorities and possibilities of improvised music.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2022

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