Now Hear Ensemble‘s Made in California project, which commissioned works from 11 Californian composers for a tour and record, is nearing completion. The record came out yesterday, and they’re having a release concert, this Saturday, November 2, at REDCAT. Here’s a preview video:
The whole record is pretty rad. I went to see them in San Diego last weekend (full disclosure: I have a piece in the project), and while all the music they’ve commissioned and perform is impressive, and covers a pretty wide range of styles and ideas (Todd Lerew’s Variable Speed Machine, a drone-based piece custom-made monochords, provide a fantastic and beautiful contrast to the post-minimal groove of a few earlier tracks on the CD), they’ve managed to bring something of a masterpiece into the world with Dan VanHassel’s Ghost in the Machine. It comes across well on recording, but seeing its robot-controlled deconstruction of a drumset onstage, which is far more peaceful and introspective than it sounds, is the rare completely-new-experience-that-actually-sounds-great that we so often fall short of. This piece needs to be heard, seen, talked about, and learned from.
Full info on the record is at nowhearensemble.com/MadeInCaliforniaAlbum. Tickets for the show are at redcat.org/event/now-hear-ensemble. No streaming links just yet, but it’s available on iTunes and Amazon, among all the other standard places.