Guest host Valerie Kahler features pieces that explore themes of "above and below" on this week's episode, including Jeffrey Mumford's "her eastern light amid a cavernous dusk," Michael Daugherty's "The Marfa Lights," Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa," and Nico Muhly's "Choral Pointing Downwards."
Were you around for the "Be-Ins" of the 1960s? You might remember them as gatherings of hippie culture, some specifically devoted to opposing the Vietnam War and racism. Bass clarinetist and composer Evan Ziporyn takes a look back at those counter-culture gatherings of old, in a work called "Be-In" on this week's episode. Steve Seel also features music by Michael Torke, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and more.
The 13th-century poet Rumi was the inspiration for the work that's the centerpiece of the first hour of this week's show: "Dance" by composer Anna Clyne. Steve Seel also showcases works by Missy Mazzoli, Harold Budd, Lou Harrison, and Clint Mansell.
Philip Glass wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 for pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who is universally known for her interpretations of Bach. In 2016, Glass saw Dinnerstein perform a concert of his piano etudes, and he instantly knew she was the pianist for whom he wanted to write his new work. Steve Seel features that concerto as the centerpiece of the first hour of this week's show, which also features works on the subject of birds by composers John Luther Adams and Somei Satoh.
While Michael Gandolfi's "Imaginary Numbers" uses mathematical concepts as the centerpiece of the first hour, music about time and its passing make up a philosophical second hour on this week's program. Steve Seel shares Jason Thomas' "Time's Timeless," Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir's "Clockworking" and Bartosz Chajdecki's "Clockwork," and Norman Dello Joio's "Meditations on Ecclesiastes" offers a path to meaning amidst our powerlessness to stop time.
Steve Seel offers up an essay on poets and poetry for this week's episode, featuring such works as Lou Harrison's "Air for the Poet," John Corigliano's "Soliloquy" for clarinet, and Jennifer Higdon's "Scenes from the Poets Dreams." Plus, John Adams' choral symphony "Harmonium," with sung text based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and John Donne, is the centerpiece of the first hour.
This week's episode features composers honoring the past in some way: from salutes to earlier composers (Lukas Foss' "For Aaron," Thomas Canning's "Fantasy on a Hymn Tune of Justin Morgan") to tributes to American history (John Cage's "Aparatment House 1776"). Steve Seel also features works by Peter Sculthorpe, Erkki-Sven Tuur, and more.
It's a meditation on "vastness" this week, as Steve Seel showcases music exploring the sky, the sea, and the horizons where they meet. Works include John Adams "The Dharma at Big Sur," Elena Rueher's "Let's Sit Beneath the Stars" from her String Quartet No. 1, Max Richter's gorgeous "Written on the Sky II," and works from Nico Muhly, Osvaldo Golijov, and more.