Steve Reich refers to Caleb Burhans as "a unique, unusual, and distinctive voice" — all of which the young composer and multi-instrumentalist brings to bear on his Cantaloupe Music debut EVENSONG (July 30). Order now at iTunes and you'll get two exclusive bonus tracks: “In Time of Desperation” (with Caleb on piano) and “As Desperation Sets In” (Bill Kalinkos, clarinet and John Orfe, piano).
Featuring ALARM WILL SOUND, the TRINITY WALL STREET CHOIR and the TARAB CELLO ENSEMBLE, the recording is a testament to Burhans' versatility as a composer and the defining statement of his complex connection to the church — an “emo-classical” epic where sacred meets secular in a pure, dynamic expression of musical influences that range from classical to ambient to post-rock. While the album presents motifs from the Christian church service (book-ended with the opening “Magnificat” and the closing “Nunc Dimittis,” recorded with the Trinity Wall Street Choir), it refracts them through the modern lens of new music and the avant garde.
Order the CD, with liner notes by Grey Mcmurray, here: http://bangonacan.org/store/music/evensong
OUT APRIL 29 on Cantaloupe Music
From the liner notes: "Modernism scares people. Is it because it’s new? That can’t be the whole explanation, because everybody likes to discover new things, right? Maybe it's the amount of newness. While discovery always involves a degree of unfamiliarity, modernism can drive really far into unfamiliar territory, becoming distant from any known landmarks. So much unfamiliarity can be scary.
It can even be alienating. The unpopularity of Revolution 9 (by one of the world’s most popular bands) is the evidence that the Beatles' experimentation with found sound, tape loops, and studio technology pushed their fans away. Revolution 9 is modernist because it is a song that’s not a song, something so unfamiliar that it not only breaks with the past, but also breaks its own category.
Varèse’s Poème électronique must have also seemed like a categorical contradiction: poetry created on machines?! The piece—no less than its title—expresses his modernist zeal through never-had-a-past electronic sounds. 'The world is changing, and we change with it. The more we allow our minds the romantic luxury of treasuring the past in memory, the less able we become to face the future and determine the new values in it.'"