Almost by surprise –with barely a warning– not one but two albums of new music are about to be released by Nico Muhly, the young contemporary-classical composer you will probably know as an arranger and collaborator of Björk, Grizzly Bear, Rufus Wainwright and Antony And The Jonsons. Two years after “Mothertongue” (Bedroom Community, 2008) Muhly returns with “I Drink Air Before Me”, an album that collects the ecstatic and celebratory score he composed for one of Stephen Petronio’s dance pieces. The composer explains his work using personification, assigning to every instrument the qualities and personality features of a rational being: “I wanted the ensemble to be a little quirky community of people living by the edge of the sea: a busybody flute, a wise viola, and the masculine, workmanlike bassoon, trombone, and upright bass. The piano acts as an agitator, an unwelcome visitor, bearing with it aggressive electronic noises and rhythmic interruptions.”
The results of Muhly’s community will be released this very week, by Bedroom Community. Joining the aforementioned instruments are Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost, who add electronic salt and pepper to three of the twelve songs on the album, which also features the Young People’s Chorus of New York. If you purchase “I Drink The Air Before Me” via the Bedroom Community online store you’ll also get the download of two extra exclusive songs for free, “Twitchy Organs” and “A Long Line”.
Nico Muhly - “I Drink Air Before Me”01. Fire Down Below 02. First Storm 03. Salty Dog 04. Varied Carols 05. Music Under Pressure 1 – Flute 06. Music Under Pressure 2 – Piano 07. Jagged Pulses 08. Music for Boys 09. Music for Gino 10. Music Under Pressure 3 – Ensemble 11. Storm Center 12. One Day Tells its Tale to Another
At the same time as “I Drink The Air Before Me”, this week a second Nico Muhly album will come out. The Decca label is releasing “A Good Understanding”, a record including five pieces by Muhly interpreted by the Los Angeles Master Chorale directed by Grant Gershon. More details here.
Nico Muhly - “A Good Understanding” “Bright Mass with Canons”01.Kyrie02.Gloria03.Sanctus04.Agnus Dei “First Service”05.Magnificat06.Nunc dimittis “Senex puerum portabat”07. Senex puerum portabat “A Good Understanding”08. A Good Understanding “Expecting the Main Things from You”09. 1. I Hear America Sing10. 2. A Farm Picture (Interlude)11. 3. Poets to Come7:29