OK, kiddies, gather around, it’s time to reap the benefits of your uncle Kyle’s globe-trotting. I’m back, having paid $50 US to carry an extra 10 kilos of new CDs onto the plane in my suitcase, not to mention the box of CDs that I paid good Euros to mail home from Dublin. I must now be considered southern Columbia County’s leading expert on Dutch and Irish composers, and so I pass the expertise on to you via Postclassic Radio, which will be very heavy in Dutch and Irish music for awhile. Line up the bottles of Guinness and Hoegaarden, and be ready to mix.
First, music from The Netherlands. I had already put up several pieces by Dutch sampling champion Jacob Ter Veldhuis, who performs nonlocally as Jacob TV. (Good idea; one problem Dutch composers have getting exported is that their names often require diphthongs we Englishers just don’t have on our tongues.) Now I’ve added several pieces by Peter Adriaansz, a composer of slow, sensuous drone music who’s spent time in the States, and whose music sounds like a real Dutch-American hybrid. Particularly keep an ear out for his Prana, a 63-minute, glacially moving continuum that I enjoyed hearing live at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam. There are several pieces up by Anthony Fiumara, composer of nicely nonobvious process pieces, plus works played by the Orkest de Volharding, which Fiumara directs, composed by Geert van Keulen, Wim Laman, Paul Termos, and Willem van Manen.
Interspersed with this is a travelogue of Irish new music. Some of the liveliest pieces are by Donnacha Dennehy, the postminimalist who was my gracious host at Trinity College, and whom musicologist/raconteur Bob Gilmore has been describing to me as “THE best young composer in Europe.” Well, I haven’t heard every 30-something composer in Europe yet, so I defer to Bob for the time being. A more unexpected find, in-between new music and pop, was Roger Doyle, who, as virtuoso of the recording studio, appears to be kind of the Brian Eno/Harold Budd of Ireland. I’ve put up several virtual piano pieces from his disc Baby Grand, Satie-like in their humor, plus music from his five-CD set Babel. Gerald Barry is, of course, by all acclaim the leading Irishman of my generation, and I’ve posted a couple of quite listenable chamber works for your validation. And I let in one very knowledgeable young composer I met in England, Neil Campbell, whose Assembly and Mass are so relentless that the “post” in postminimalist begins to fade away.
The Netherlands has a national style, against which people like Peter Adriaansz and Renske Vrolijk can profitably rebel. The Irish seem to be all over the place, but I’ve got a couple more Irish complilation discs to make my way through, and the Irish Music Center was very helpful. But along with Serbian music by Vladimir Tosic, Postclassical Radio has taken on an international cast, and it’s all guaranteed postclassical.