new morse code

And All the Days Were Purple

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So happy for Alex Weiser’s new album, just released on Cantaloupe Music.

Alex sets Yiddish and English poems with beauty, grace, and poignancy. I was proud to be able to contribute a little bit of vibraphone and glockenspiel, and to be part of such an amazing ensemble : Eliza Bagg (voice), Lee Dionne (piano), andPlay (Maya Bennardo and Hannah Levinson, and Hannah Collins (cello)

Alex wrote a nice blog post about the album’s genesis HERE. This project hits home for me. It combines study of archival texts, personal cultural history, and new work which rethinks historical ideas. Alex is the perfect composer to tackle these texts, and the disc is really amazing.

At the same time, being on a Cantaloupe release has been a dream of mine for many years, since my first year at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, when I realized all my favorite music was being released by one record company. As always, it was a privilege to record at Oktaven Audio.

Listen and purchase here, or below:

Dream Team!

Dream Team!

And find a common language that we could speak

Practicing George Lam's "The Emigrants" before New Morse Code premieres the piece next week in Queens. In this movement, "Translations," George has Hannah and I weave in and out of unison with the spoken text. How am I doing?

Heard in this excerpt are:
Chris Yip, NYPD sergeant and pianist
Hikaru Tamaki, cellist, member of Duo YUMENO 夢乃
Nivedita Shrivraj, Carnatic musician
Harold Gutierrez, composer

Catharsis Update

Last summer, Hannah and I spent a week with David Crowell at Avaloch, workshopping his new piece for cello/percussion and pre-recorded cello/percussion. We spent a few days at Guilford Sound tracking, and David has been busy mixing the piece, adding some synthesizer parts and fine tuning the sound.

I’m happy to report that Catharsis is done. Two movements, each of which includes multiple cello and percussion parts. Take a listen here:

I can’t wait to play this piece with the rest of the consortium!

Limestone and Felt

New video alert! Caroline Shaw’s Limestone and Felt, arranged for cello and marimba (from the original viola/cello) by New Morse Code. Once again, HUGE thanks to Four/Ten Media for their amazing videography. I love the way Evan and Kevin use shadows and light to mirror the echoes and ostinati in the piece. The light is also a sly nod to Caroline’s inspiration—hearing music in big, reverberant (and shadowy) cathedrals. Thanks as well Vic Firth for distributing.

Mariel

In February of 2017, Hannah and I brought Kevin and Evan of Four/Ten Media out to Kansas for 2 full days of filming. It was freezing outside, but a broken HVAC left the concert hall at about 90 degrees. I think I toweled off after each take…

I’m so glad to share one of the duos we recorded that weekend, Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel.

Mariel was commissioned by the Steve Schick/Maya Beiser project, a group who provided a much inspiration for NMC’s work. I remember buying their CD from the Steve Weiss print catalog, and delighting in its sonically diverse, expressively immediate and brilliantly performed world. For Hannah and I, Mariel is a classic—it’s older than many of my students, and wasn’t written for us. We love the way it speaks to audiences, and we never fail to hear stories and memories of listeners after a performance. Enjoy!