XEN RADIO this week featured a little jazz, rock, electronic music, and other genres of microtonality by Billy Stiltner, Johnny Reinhard, Neil Haverstick, Trauma Triad, and others. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there is no XEN RADIO on November 30, but I’ll return on Saturday, December 7.
Episode 28 (November 23, 2019)
Trauma Triad — “Wittgenstein on Ecstasy” from Visceral Defects Tenores Di Bitti — “Su rosignolu” Billy Stiltner — groovy4.stiltner17.2.ji.submomentsp17.g7 Johnny Reinhard — Rhap(Sody) Stick Man (Neil Haverstick) — Prelude No. 1 Philipp Gerschlauer, David Fiuczynski & Jack DeJohnette — “Hangover” from Mikrojazz Feeding Goats — “Dawn” from Lights Radionics Radio — Social Media (“More Friends”) Dollshot — “She” from Lalande Neil Haverstick — Iraq
XEN RADIO broadcasts on kpiss.fm Saturday at 09:00 EST, 14:00 UTC. There is no program on November 30.
XEN RADIO is back! I took a few week off to get married and then visit St. Lucia, but now I’m back, and at a new time: 09:00 Eastern / 14:00 UTC. Episode 27 was a “classic” episode with a mix of tracks from the Western classical tradition and some rock/ambient tracks. Most exciting this week is Syzygy, a string quartet by Charles Corey, which was newly recorded and released on Navona Records’ Figments Vol. 2.
The October 22 episode of XEN RADIO featured “non-classical” music by Jack Tickner, Chicken & the Chick Flicks, and Elaine Walker (aka, Zia), but the episode was anchored by two recordings by the Los Angeles band, PARTCH. The first work is their Grammy-winning recording of Harry Partch’s Castor & Pollux, and the second was their collaboration with PRISM Quartet on Ken Ueno’s new work for Partch instruments and saxophone quartet, Future Lilacs.
This week’s show explores different vocal music from around the world. Some of this deliberately explores microtonality, but much of this comes from a place of simply going for what sounds good and right. In addition to some tracks from the European/Western tradition, we hear music from Australia, Indonesia, India, Tuvu, and Cameroon.
Mostly rock — that’s the theme for this episode. Groups such as The Mercury Tree and Horse Lords are a couple of the groups heard this week among others creating what can only be described as rock music that utilizes microtonality. Among this, are some laid back “traditional” microtonal works by Lou Harrison, Aepiel, and Georg Dimitrov.
Joined this week by my good friend and dynamic singer/performer Siobahn Sung, XEN RADIO took a listen to microtonal music by post-war American experimental composers such as as John Cage, Joan La Barbara, and others. With the exception of James Tenney, most of these composers are not known specifically for their microtonal works, so these works either unintentionally use microtonal techniques, or are specific works that reach in that genre.
After a two week break (sadly, an unforeseen one), XEN RADIO returns with our occasional “single-track” show. This week featured Alvin Lucier’s Small Waves. This unique work is best described by the record company’s website:
six glass vessels, some partially filled with water, are mounted on pedestals scattered around the performance space. Microphones are inserted into the mouths of the vessels, then routed through compressor-limiters to amplifiers and monitor speakers. During the course of the performance, the volume levels of the amplifiers are raised and lowered, causing feedback at pitches determined by the size and shape of the containers and their proximity to the loudspeakers. Following a sequence notated in the score, the players closely tune with the feedback strands causing interference patterns. At times, two water pourers empty water from one container to another, raising and lowering the pitches of the sounds from those containers.