Lisa Moore is one of modern music’s great interpreters; she’s always turning up on this or that program of brand new piano music in New York. So good for Cantaloupe, the record imprint of the Bang on a Can collective, for giving her the opportunity to put out EPs more or less at will. After her economical disc of compositions by Don Byron earlier in 2011 comes this program of new pieces by Downtown eminence Annie Gosfield. (Though Gosfield’s work has received consistent attention from John Zorn’s Tzadik label, it’s good to see her cropping up on other imprints.)
Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers, a three-movement work for sampling keyboard and pianos (both played by Moore), is a howler: jagged, buzzing electronics vie for your attention right from the drop, though the stately block chords of the acoustic piano are loathe to give up so easily. This battle between differing keyboard sonics stays gripping until its final seconds, before ending more or less in a high-BPM tie. But Gosfield’s writing isn’t looking to have either the piano or the sampling keyboard achieve primacy; the race, not the outcome, is the thing. Moore’s talents show no favoritism, either — she’s equally good whether plugged-in or acoustic — which serves the piece perfectly. After the audacity of “Slingers,” Gosfield’s short composition “Brooklyn, October 5, 1941″ (look it up in your baseball history books) feels slight by comparison, though it’s nice to have, too.