Monthly Playlists

A Survey of 20th Century American Orchestral Works

Posted on Thursday, November 06, 2008

by Adam Shanley

Music has been written for the orchestra in recent times that could rival any of the old standby “classics” of the Romantic Era, which predominate the programs of orchestras around the country. Concert bills are filled with the same canon of classical works from the 19th century and earlier. With good reason these works continue to show up in programs--they are great works of art, cultural milestones of the evolution of Western music. However, I do not believe this evolution stopped with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. In recent times, numerous works for orchestra have been produced that are often overlooked.


70's Experimentalism: SoHo Scene

Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008

Contributed by Chris McIntyre

Throughout the 1970's, the avant garde music community in New York City experienced a uniquely fecund period of aesthetic, cultural, and technological discovery. Conceptual and interdisciplinary work developed during the 1960's led to several strains of activity, all of which were manifest in or near the area in Lower Manhattan known as SoHo (a neologism meaning "South of Houston"). This playlist addresses two distinct yet overlapping areas of work prevalent within the so-called "SoHo Scene": Minimalism (of the drone, static variety) and Conceptualism.


A Too Brief Introduction to the New York School

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2008

Contributed by Newton Armstrong

In the diverse range of approaches that constitute the work of the painters associated under the rubric New York School—a group that included figures such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, and Franz Kline, among others—there's a palpable sense of a shared concern for the creation of an art freed from the constraints and formalisms of the European tradition. In much the same way, it's not difficult to discern in the diverse musics of the New York School composers—John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, and David Tudor—a radical rethinking and reformulation of the traditional models of musical material and form. As Feldman would put it, the basic elements of musical composition were "decontrolled"; that is, they were systematically disassociated from the linear, discursive, expressive, and rhetorical ends to which they had been put in the European art music of the preceding two centuries.


Drone in American Minimalist Music

Posted on Friday, August 01, 2008

Contributed by Nate Wooley

Starting in the late 1950s, drone started to make its way into American classical music, tied in neatly with the beginnings of the minimalist movement of the same era. Starting with the music of Lamonte Young, Tony Conrad, Marian Zazeela, Angus MacLise and John Cale of the Theater of Eternal Music, drone, and especially using slow changes in microtonal tunings, became fertile ground for composition, separate from the treatment of silence and repetition by Morton Feldman, or the rhythmic propulsion of Steve Reich and Philip Glass.


New York "Downtown" Jazz as featured in DRAM

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Contributed by Nate Wooley*

The term “downtown music” or “downtown jazz” refers to a style of music originating in the Lower East Side of Manhattan starting in the late 1970s.  “Downtown” was used to separate this brash new music from its “uptown”, more sedate counterpart and to underscore the cross pollination between the composers and improvisors of "downtown" jazz with the underground punk scene simultaneously flowering in the same neighborhood. 


A Collection of Works Featuring Microtonal and Alternate Tunings

Posted on Friday, June 06, 2008

Contributed by Adam Shanley

President, Ethos New Music Society at SUNY, Fredonia

1.)  Charles Ives – “Three Quarter-tone Pieces: III. Chorale”
From - The Unknown Ives, Vol. 2 - NWR80618

This first selection may be familiar to many listeners. I believe that music has the power to change lives, and this piece, in particular, remains very close to me, as it led me to pursue the study of new music, and cemented my interest in new American music in particular. During my second semester as an undergraduate student at SUNY Fredonia, Continuum, a new music ensemble performed.


DRAM Welcomes Spring with a Collection of Works Dedicated to the Season

Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2008

With winter's thaw and new buds appearing on the trees, DRAM offers a selection of works dedicated to the spring season. The works here are drawn from a wide array of composers, time periods and styles, from the ancient Bean Song of the Natchez Indians to Kitty Brazelton's eclectic composition Come Spring! composed in 1996.

Click on a link below to listen to a selection or read the associated liner notes.

Dominic Argento - Songs About Spring
This song cycle for soprano and piano is a setting of five poems by E.E. Cummings on the theme of spring, full of vivid, brilliant, joyful, childlike imagery.


DRAM Honors Women's History Month

Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008

In honor of Women’s History Month, DRAM would like to highlight some of the many talented female musicians and composers in the DRAM catalogue.

Click on any of the links below to view the liner notes or listen to the associated album.

Many of these exceptional artists feature on numerous recordings within DRAM. We hope that the list below, far from exhaustive, will serve as an entry point into the oeuvres of these artists and their peers, awakening curiosities and fostering further appreciation of, and exposure to, women in music.


DRAM Honors Black History Month

Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008

In recognition of Black History Month, DRAM seeks to highlight the recordings of some of the many extraordinary black musicians and composers in our collection.

Please click on any of the links below to listen to the associated recording or read the liner notes.

Deep River: Songs and Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh
Oral Moses - bass-baritone

Black Manhattan: Theater and Dance Music of James Reese Europe, Will Marion Cook, and Members of the Legendary Clef Club

Newer ArticlesNewer Articles    Older ArticlesOlder Articles