This week on Extra Eclectic, Steve Seel explores themes of space, galaxies, and communication with extra-terrestrial beings -- in such works as Urmas Sisak's "The Milky Way" and Nimrod Borenstein's "The Big Bang and Creation of the Universe." Also, a salute to the classical endeavors of Jon Lord, known best to many as the man who spent years behind the Hammond organ in the rock group Deep Purple.
In 1968, Arvo Part essentially went dark. He stopped composing for several years as he entered a period of, as he called it, "artistic reorientation." When he re-emerged, he had a completely new style. One of the major works he created during this time was one that had a particularly appropriate title for him -- Tabula Rasa, or "blank slate." Steve Seel shares it on this week's program, in addition to some other works from the Baltic region, including Estonia's Erkki-Sven Tuur and Latvia's Peteris Vasks.
This week on the first night of the new year, Steve has meditations on the meaning -- and endless cycle -- of life, in two works drawing from the book of Ecclesiastes from composers David Lang and Norman Dello Joio. Also, a rock pioneer sees his music adapted for the concert hall by composer Timo Andres in his "Paraphrase on Themes of Brian Eno." That plus music of Philip Glass, Nico Muhly and more.
This week's edition of Extra Eclectic falls on Christmas night, and Steve Seel has an all Christmas-themed two hours of 20th and 21st century music in store for us -- in a program that promises plenty of musical discovery while keeping with the perfect atmosphere you're looking for to wind down the holiday. Tune in for selections on yuletide themes by Alan Hovhaness, Ola Gjelo, Chilly Gonzalez, Stephen Paulus, Eric Whitacre, and much much more.
As we approach the winter solstice this week, Steve Seel has music in a chilly mood this time ... or is it a warm one? Bundle up and enjoy 20th and 21st century classical music on wintry themes from Johann Johannssen, Alan Hovhanness and Ola Gjelo, as well as cellist Maya Beiser's ethereal rendering of the largo from Vivaldi's Winter concerto and Minnesota violinist Gaelynn Lea's duet with her looping pedal in a beautiful rendition of "O Come O Come Emmanuel."
Sometimes, things that are out-of-focus can be that much more dramatic. This week, Steve brings us works with titles that eschew sharp edges, including "Soft Focus" by Patrick Zimmerli, "Blurred" by Bill Ryan, and "Chiaroscuro" by Giya Kancheli. The second hour of the program showcases a new work by Nico Muhly written for Thomas Gould and his six-string electric violin.
With this edition of Extra Eclectic coming the night before Thanksgiving, Steve Seel has a late-night winter tapestry with an American slant to go with the evening vibes. A "Plea for Peace" by Augusta Read Thomas, John Adams' "Shaker Loops," and a work by Peter Garland that references chimney-smoke and kitchen warmth all inform the atmosphere of the program.
Modern music for strings is the first order of business on this week's program: Steve Seel brings us an hour of 20th and 21st century works for string ensembles big and small -- from Steve Reich's "Duet" for two violins to Michael Tippett's "Concerto for Double String Orchestra," a piece from the 1930s which sounds like it could have been written yesterday. For the second hour, Steve plays a selection of works loosely inspired by the shorter days and cooler temperatures this time of year.