Virtual Choral Festival, Downtown-Style

Big changeover on Postclassic Radio today – more than a 30 percent change in content since yesterday. For one thing, Charlemagne Palestine month continues, and I’ve got some new tracks that will surprise you even if you know his work. Last week I went to Other Music in New York, the store where I go to find things so obscure even I don’t know about them, and I came across four new Palestine discs, of which I bought two. One I’m playing for you is a hauntingly strange little vocal performance, only four minutes, from a gig at Sonnabend Gallery (in 2001, I’m guessing, though there’s almost no info on the disc). The other is a very peculiar 1998 soundscape called Jamaica Heinekens in Brooklyn. Charlemagne made an environmental recording during the Jamaica Day parade in Brooklyn, then superimposed it beneath a multilayered drone texture. Very weird and beautiful, and I hope not too irritating for radio, because it’s 61 minutes.

Also, I’ve put up a choral festival. There’s very little Downtown choral music, but a few people have cultivated it. I’m playing three large works for chorus and orchestra:

Daniel Lentz’s Apologetica (50 minutes), a work in honor of the indigenous people wiped out by European colonization of the New World;

Janice Giteck’s Tikkun – Mending (42 minutes), a work on Jewish spiritual texts featuring tenor John Duykers (her former husband) (and unless you live in Seattle or California you haven’t heard this, because it’s unreleased); and

my own Transcendental Sonnets (35 minutes), based on poems by Emerson’s mad protege Jones Very, which will surprise you.

Around those I’ve interspersed four lovely a capella works by Mary Jane Leach, from her CDs Celestial Fires and Ariadne’s Lament. I’m not including Bill Duckworth’s Southern Harmony, because I played that in its entirety last November. But it’s already some three hours of choral music, all in a row. I hope you like choral music. I meant to ask, forgot to.

Plus, a major chamber work by political composer Jeffrey Schanzer, No More in Thrall, a tribute to an armed uprising of prisoners at the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp in 1945. If you’re as tuned in to the Left as you should be to be listening to this station (and a man of your age, after all), you’ll recognize the title as being a quote from “The Internationale.” New mbira music by Richard Crandall and music box music by John Morton, too. One nice thing about Postclassic Radio – if you’re not springing for the ad-free version, you’ll hear fewer ads here because I play a lot of pieces longer than half an hour.