Alarm Will Sound's recording of Steve Reich's monumental orchestral/choral works The Desert Music and Tehillim, released on the Cantaloupe label in 2002, greatly benefits from the group's close connections with the composer: the ensemble's conductor, Alan Pierson, and several of the performers studied at the Eastman School with Brad Lubman, a conductor frequently enlisted by Reich. Also, Pierson's arrangements, which reconcile the chamber and orchestral versions that exist for both works, were prepared in close consultation with the composer; thus, this may well be the definitive recording of these pieces. Brilliantly sonorous in their climaxes – the burst of light near the end of Desert Music, the "Alleluias" that close Tehillim – the players also articulate Reich's intricate canonic textures with nimble precision. Voices and strings are always an Achilles heel within Reich's percussive textures (leading him to eliminate part doublings in favor of giving each line to a lone, amplified performer), but here the singers and strings maintain an impressive rhythmic vitality. This knack for precision carries over to the pristine recording, as well, which, for good or ill, was digitally recorded and heavily edited. Still, it makes up in energy and clarity what it might lack in performative spontaneity.
Since 1979 Dominique Vellard has been the inspirational driving force behind the Ensemble Gilles Binchois : more than 35 years of research and performance that have led to the creation of some of the essential recordings, especially of music from the medieval and Renaissance periods. An outstanding catalogue of recordings devoted to the music of Machaut, the Notre-Dame School, the Burgundian repertoire, early french polyphony or the spanish Renaissance, on labels such as Virgin Classics, Harmonic Records, Ambroisie, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Glossa y Aparté, have met public, critical and musicological acclaim. The Ensemble Gilles Binchois performs regularly mostrly across Europe, but also in Morocco, India, Malaysia USA and South America.
If any musical justification were needed for the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, it could be found on this striking collection, Paul Simon's post-split debut. From the opening cut, "Mother and Child Reunion" (a Top Ten hit), Simon, who had snuck several subtle musical explorations into the generally conservative S&G sound, broke free, heralding the rise of reggae with an exuberant track recorded in Jamaica for a song about death…
Music For Installations’ is a collection of new, rare and previously unreleased music, all of which was recorded by Brian Eno for use in his installations covering the period from 1986 until the present (and beyond). Over this time, he has emerged as the leading exponent of “generative” music worldwide and is recognised as one of the foremost audio-visual installation artists of his time. Eno’s visual experiments with light and video have proved to be the fertile ground from which so much of his other work has grown and they cover an even longer span of time than his recordings, paralleling his musical output in recent decades. These highly-acclaimed works have been exhibited all over the globe - from the Venice Biennale and the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg to Beijing’s Ritan Park and the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Designed by Brian and long-time collaborator Nick Robertson, this beautifully presented, 6CD, limited edition and numbered super deluxe box set comes with a 64-page Plexiglass cover book featuring rare and unseen exhibition photographs and a new essay written by Eno.
"American Epic" compilation series is a collection of releases of music associated with the film series "The American Epic", a historical documentaries are a journey back in time to the "Big Bang" of modern popular music.
In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent. The recordings they made of all the ethnic groups of America democratized the nation and gave a voice to everyone. Country singers in the Appalachians, Blues guitarists in the Mississippi Delta, Gospel preachers across the south, Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana, Tejano groups from the Texas Mexico border, Native American drummers in Arizona, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coalminer in Virginia or a tobacco farmer in Tennessee could have their thoughts and feelings heard on records played in living rooms across the country. It was the first time America heard itself.
In East Germany in the early 1970’s Martin Zeichnete worked as a sound editor for DEFA, (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned film studio. Like many young East Germans of the time he would listen furtively to West German radio at night and became infatuated with the Kosmische Musik or ‘Krautrock’ epitomised by the likes of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster emerging from his neighbouring country. Martin, a keen runner, hit upon the idea of using the repetitive, motorik beats of this new music as a training aid for athletes. He thought it could benefit the mind as well as the body with the pulsing, hypnotic music bringing focus. A ‘borrowed’ prototype of Andreas Pavel’s Stereobelt showed Martin the technology to provide music on the move already existed and could easily be adapted for runners.
Henri Seroka, born in Brussels and from Polish origin, started his musical career at a very early age. He is not only a very known composer but sings just as eassily in quite a lot of different languages. He composed various songs for children, like the world gamous theme for the "Smurfs"-cartoon. Seroka is a multi-talented composer. He composed musical themes for advertising campaigns and music for films and TV-productions. Ralph Benatar was in born in Lubumbashi, Zaire. He studied piano at the Royal Music Academy in Brussels. His musical career started with composing and arranging for various rock groups. He wrote the original music for the "Spirou & Fantasio"-cartoon (Robbedoes) and arranges film music for Henri Seroka. In the eighties Ralph Benatar was based in Los Angeles where he produced albums for well-known artists, such as Billy Preston, De Barge and Viktor Laszlo.
Gregor Theelen was born in a family of musicians. He studied at the Music College ofHilversum, Holland; he worked with several well-known artists, he composed, arranged, wrote musicals as well as pieces for string quartets and film music. He is a recording engineer, he teaches and writes for piano. He makes movies and produces for theatre. And, by the way, he plays the piano, the accordion and the guitar.