NY guitarist/composer Phil Kline is perhaps best known for his walking holiday piece for multiple boomboxes called "Unsilent Night," which annually takes place in and around Manhattan's Lower East Side and now in other cities around the world. Here Kline channels both Franz Schubert and Jim Morrison. In Vietnam, soldiers etched little slogans, some of them surprisingly poetic, onto the sides of their Zippo lighters. With America now embroiled in a Middle Eastern version of Vietnam, Phil Kline assembled those fragments into a cycle of electric art-songs, with voice, violin, guitar and percussion all heavily amplified and processed into a psychedelic haze of love, loss, lust, drugs, war and more drugs. The bonus "3 Rumsfeld Songs" takes some of the unintentionally hilarious obfuscations of everyone's favorite Defense Secretary and reveals Rumsfeld's inner Broadway belter. (Just in case you didn't get the Iraq-Vietnam connection.)
By Seth Colter Walls on 10.28.14 in Features
John Luther Adams tells Seth Colter-Walls why he spent the premiere of his Pulitzer-winning work on an operating table.
By Britt Robson on 09.30.14 in Reviews
Become Ocean is both profound and easy to grasp. Composer John Luther Adams sets the premise: "Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing th...
By John Schaefer on 04.29.14 in Reviews
Julia Wolfe's masterful meditation on the legend of John Henry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, and it's not hard to see why. Written for the Bang On A Can All-Stars (Wolfe is a co-founder of Bang On A Can)...
By Jayson Greene on 03.30.14 in Features
The Wilco drummer talks about making the leap to composition.