Gems from the New World Records & NWCRI catalogue

edited January 2012 in Classical
This thread is an attemt to highlight some of the albums from the massive drop on Amie Street. I ended up with 200+ albums, so it can be a bit overwhelming just to browse through the titles. I just know there are still gems I have not discovered yet.
- And maybe there are others who are in the same situation around here. If there is, feel free to chip in.

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RE:
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Composers Recordings Inc. (CRI)

Profile:
"Non-profit label founded in 1954 in New York City by Otto Luening, Douglas Moore, and Oliver Daniel. The label released over 600 recordings, mainly of contemporary classical music by American composers.
It went out of business in 2003 due to financial pressures, and the rights to CRI's recordings were transferred to New World Records in 2006, all releases are now available from them."

Sublabel: American Masters
Parent Label: New World Records

- Discogs.
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Andrew Imbrie:
- "Born in New York City on 6 April 1921, Andrew Imbrie studied with Leo Ornstein, Nadia Boulanger, and Roger Sessions, with whom he studied from 1937 to 1948. He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley since 1949, and at the San Francisco Conservatory since 1970. Imbrie has composed works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, and stage, and his music has been praised for its profound integrity, ardent expression, and an intense drive and conviction. Imbrie's list of prestigious commissions and honors begins from his earliest days as a composition student. The first of his five string quartets, written while at Princeton, won the New York Music Critics' Circle Award in 1944. Other commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Halle Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, the Naumburg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Pro Arte Quartet. His awards include the Prix de Rome, two Guggenheim Fellowships, The Walter M. Naumburg Recording Award, and membership in the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Andrew Imbrie passed away on Dec. 5, 2007 at his home in Berkeley, CA."
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Comments

  • edited January 2013
    - Another five star album from NWCRI:

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    Chamber Works of Cindy Cox

    Alexander Quartet; Earplay Ensemble; Paul Dresher Ensemble; George Thomson, conductor; Karen Bentley, violin; Karen Rosenak, piano; Peter Joseff, clarinet
  • edited October 2015
    61m0wDqrSOL._SL500_AA280_.jpg<div><span style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 51, 0);">Meridian Arts Ensemble; New Millennium Ensemble; Bradley Lubman, conductor; Eve Beglarian. Voice & keyboards; Jean DeMart, flute; Kathleen Supové, keyboards & piano; Lynn Chang, violin</span><br></div>
  • edited October 2015
    - more Randall Woolf:

    MI0002851878.jpg?partner=allrovi.com<div><span style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 51, 0);">Ann Klein; Dafna Naphtali; Danny Tunick; Elizabeth Knowles; Frank London; Julian Allen; Julie Josephson; Kathleen Supove; Kitty Brazelton; Mat Fieldes; Meg Busch; Michael Lowenstein; Patti Monson; Randall Woolf; Todd Reynolds; Wayne Du Maine</span><br></div>
  • edited April 2012
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    Paul Lansky
    - "(b New York City, 18 June 1944) composes works for computer that tend to be focused not on the invention of “new sounds,” but on the ways in which this technology can be used to expand and deepen our sense of the sounds of the world around us. To this end, his pieces have involved the sounds of speech, of people going about their business, of machines and musical instruments—with the computer serving as an “aural camera” that transforms and repositions our perceptions of these sounds. It is his contention that the meaning of a sound lies not only in its musical context, but also in the ways in which we understand its physical origin."
    - From the Linernotes.
  • edited February 2012
    Oh man !

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    - "The Aquarium is Beckley’s on-going series of musical
    compositions, texts, performances, sculptures, and paperworks.
    The musical composition was first conceived in a version for
    solo voice and electronics, as presented on this CD. An
    expanded performance version, which includes six other
    musicians, was presented in a preliminary form at the opening of
    the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria, in September
    1995. Sculptures and paperworks from The Aquarium were
    presented at the Nicholas Davies Gallery in New York City in
    1995 and 1997. The complete performance version, with newly
    developed visuals, will be presented at the 1997 Lincoln Center
    Festival."

    - From the liner notes. - http://conniebeckley.net/
  • edited January 2013
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    Martin Bresnick (b 1946):
    - Studied composition with György Ligeti and computer music with John Chowning at Stanford University (where he received his doctorate). His compositions have been widely performed and he has received numerous awards, including the Rome Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship, NEA grants, and First Prize in the Premio Ancona, Sinfonia Musicale, and Composers Inc. competitions. He has been commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, Chamber Music America, and the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer Commissioning Program, among other societies and ensembles. He has been a highly influential teacher at the Yale School of Music where he is currently professor of composition and coordinator of the composition department.
    - From the liner notes - http://www.martinbresnick.com/
  • edited December 2012
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    - ""I think of my music as simple; easy for listeners though not so easy for the performers. Auroras is expressive music-music of feeling. For me its meanings are non-verbal and non-visual-musical. Nevertheless they are as precise, definite and rich in detail as visual and verbal meanings, and for me deeper too, close to ultimate things."
    - Robert Erickson.

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    Born in Michigan but for most of his life a true Californian, Robert Erickson (1917 -1997) had a reputation as a maverick. His musical path was never a straight line, nor, really, a line at all but a landscape, with ranges of features rather than mere points of interest. Composing was the central activity of his life. He was a profound and original musical thinker who embraced the expressive possibilities of all music, from the Western classics and moderns of his own early education to Indian and Balinese traditions and all manner of contemporary experimentation, as long as it served a musical purpose. When encountering his work, one doesn't need to know more than one hears: what's important are the sounds one encounters and the expressive journey they suggest for each listener. These four works- Night Music (1978), Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra (1954), East of the Beach (1980), Auroras (1982, rev. 1985)-all (except Night Music) world-premiere recordings, represent the best of his orchestral output, including the piece considered its apex, Auroras."
    - New World Records
  • edited January 2013
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    Mendelssohn String Quartet; Anthony Orlando, marimba; Carol Brown, flute and piccolo; Charles Abramovic, piano; Charles Holdeman, bassoon; Don Liuzzi, vibraphone; Ida Levin, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Kathleen Carroll, viola; Lloyd Shorter, English horn; Lori Barnet, cello; Marcy Rosen, cello; Marshall Taylor, saxophone; Nicholas Mann, violin.
    - New World Records (with Liner notes)

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    - "Tina Davidson, a highly regarded American composer, creates music that stands out for its emotional depth and lyrical dignity. She has been acclaimed for her authentic voice, her "vivid ear for harmony and colors" (New York Times) and her works of "transfigured beauty" (OperaNews). She writes "real music, with structure, mood, novelty and harmonic sophistication - with haunting melodies that grow out of complex, repetitive rhythms" (Philadelphia Inquirer) that is both "intellectually rigorous and deeply moving" (Star-Tribune).

    Over her twenty-five year career, Davidson has been commissioned by well known ensembles such as National Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware, Roanoke Symphony, Women’s Philharmonic, Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, VocalEssence, Concertante, Kronos Quartet, Mendelssohn String Quartet, Cassatt Quartet, and public television (WHYY-TV).Her music has been widely performed by many orchestras and ensembles, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Florida Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony, Relâche Ensemble, and Orchestra 2001.

    Long-term residencies play a major role in Ms Davidson’s career. As composer-in-residence with the Fleisher Art Memorial (1998-2001), she was commissioned to write for the Cassatt Quartet, Voces Novae et Antiquae, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also created the city-wide Young Composers program to teach inner city children how to write music through instrument building, improvisation, and graphic notation. She was composer-in-residence as part of the innovative Meet The Composer "New Residencies" with OperaDelaware, the Newark Symphony and the YWCA in Delaware (1994-97). During this residency, she wrote the critically acclaimed full-length opera, Billy and Zelda, as well as created community partner programs for homeless women, and with students at a local elementary school.

    The recipient of numerous prestigious grants and fellowships, Davidson was the first classical composer to receive a $50,000 Pew Fellowship, the largest such grant in the country for which an artist can apply. She has been awarded four Artist’s Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, CAP grants from the American Music Center and numerous Meet the Composer grants. Her work, Transparent Victims was selected by the American Public Radio as part of the International Rostrum of Composers, held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

    Ms. Davidson’s music can be heard on Albany Records, CRI, Mikrokosmik, Callisto, and Opus One recording labels. Her second solo compact disc, "It is My Heart Singing," was released on Albany Records and features three works for strings performed by the Cassatt Quartet. "I Hear the Mermaids Singing" was released on CRI's Emergency Music label and includes six of her chamber works. The Cassatt Quartet recorded her string quartet, Cassandra Sings for CRI. In June 2002, WHYY-TV released her piano trio, Bodies in Motion on CD and DVD formats as apart of their documentary, "Thomas Eakins: Scenes from Modern Life." Her work, Antiphon for the Virgin, recorded by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, was released by St. Patrick Guild on compact disc.

    Tina Davidson was born in Stockholm, Sweden and grew up in Oneonta, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BA in piano and composition from Bennington College in 1976 where she studied with Henry Brant, Louis Calabro, Vivian Fine and Lionel Nowak. She founded the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum and served as its director from 1999-2001. She was president of the New Music Alliance, a national organization, which has been responsible for the New Music America Festivals. She organized a nation-wide festival entitled "New Music Across America," which ran in 18 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In 1992 she wrote a widely-circulated article on women in music for Ms Magazine. She lives in central Pennsylvania in the historic town of Marietta with her husband, designer, Scott A. Stultz, and their children, and is currently working on a new opera called Pearl, based on a novel by acclaimed author, Mary Gordon."

    - http://www.tinadavidson.com/
  • edited March 2016
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    New World Records - 2004

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    James Tenney - ((August 10, 1934 – August 24, 2006)
    - "A link between American mavericks such as Varèse, Partch, Ruggles, and Cage (with whom he worked and studied) and today’s downtown experimentalists, Tenney was a pioneer in electronic and computer music, though later in his career he turned to composing almost exclusively for acoustic instruments. He also wrote widely on aspects of musical acoustics, form, and perception. He had held the Roy E. Disney Family Chair in Musical Composition at CalArts since 2000.

    Critic Kyle Gann, who has published a memorial for Tenney, is widely quoted for noting that “when John Cage, who studied with Schoenberg, was asked in 1989 whom he would study with if he were young today, he replied, ‘James Tenney.’ ”

    New Music Box

    The Barton Workshop:
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    Jos Zwaanenburg, flutes; Alex Geller, cello; Nina Hitz, cello; Marieke Keser, violin; Jacob Plooij, violin; Judith van Swaaij, cello; Elisabeth Smalt, viola; John Anderson, clarinets; Gertjan Loot, trumpet; Krijn van Arnhem, bassoon, contrabassoon; Frank Denyer, melodica; Charles van Tassel, baritone; Theo van Arnhem, contrabass; Jos Tieman, contrabass; James Fulkerson, conductor.
  • edited November 2012
    In memory of the late Elliott Carter.
    - May he rest in peace.

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    "It is always fascinating to explore the vocal music of a master composer who is regarded primarily as an “instrumentalist” to the musical public. The case of Elliott Carter is particularly interesting because the composer’s output of vocal music is mostly from his earliest creative period, the 1930s and 1940s. Carter’s choral music is limited entirely to these years, the most recent work dating from as long ago 1947. After a flurry of songs in the early 1940s, he did not return to vocal literature until 1975 when he created three important works for solo voice and ensemble from the years 1975 to 1981 (A Mirror on Which to Dwell, Syringa, and In Sleep, in Thunder). But the case of Carter’s choral and vocal music is doubly interesting because the works display a deliberate accessibility, characterized by popular American themes and diatonic writing—traits in sharp contrast to Carter’s demanding later music. . . . ."
    - Much more in the linernotes.
  • edited January 2013
    Time for yet another gem:
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    Marty Walker, bass clarinet; Vicki Ray, piano
    Composers:
    Wadada Leo Smith, Jon Fink, Bernardo Feldman, Barney Childs, Arthur Jarvinen, Shaun Naidoo, Jim Fox

    13662_101667769858350_931142_n.jpg Marty Walker (b 1953)
    - "Has devoted himself to new music and improvisation for over two decades, concentrating on collaborating with composers to inspire new works, and earning a reputation as one of the finer new music clarinetists in the country. Premiering over 80 pieces written especially for him, many of which highlight his bass clarinet playing, he has performed as a soloist at venues throughout the United States and Mexico. These include the New Music America, Miami, and Houston Festivals, the International Festival of New Music at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mexico City’s New Music International Festival, Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Chicago’s Links Hall, Berkeley’s Maybeck Recital Hall and Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. In Los Angeles, he has performed in concerts presented by the Monday Evening Concerts, FaultLines, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Wires, the Alligator Lounge’s New Music Mondays, and more. Walker has also broadcast live performances for Pacifica and National Public Radio.
    Walker is a member of both the California E.A.R. Unit, recognized as one of today’s premiere contemporary chamber ensembles, and Ghost Duo, an improvisation duo with composer/electric guitarist Michael Jon Fink. He performs and records regularly with Art Jarvinen’s Some Over History and the Gong Farmers. Walker’s playing can be heard on several labels, including Advance Recordings, O. O. Discs, Cold Blue Records, Raptoria Caam, Grenadilla Records, Bare Bones Records, Tzadik, and Rastascan Records."

    - From the linernotes @ New World Records
  • Something about bass clarinet jazz is captivating.
  • edited January 2013
    - More bass clarinet:
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    - "As the world collapses into a global village, and technology offers composers and listeners an ever-expanding menu of diverse musical traditions, the idea of “world music”—with its promises of broken stylistic barriers and leveled hierarchies—begins to take on an air of delicious inevitability. Evan Ziporyn’s music testifies to the artistic richness of that prospect.
    Born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1959, Ziporyn has the credentials of a more conventional composer: he studied music at Eastman, Yale, and the University of California at Berkeley, and now teaches composition at M.I.T. As a clarinetist and saxophonist, he has been an important advocate for new music, most notably through his involvement with New York's Bang on a Can Festival and through his commissioning of new works. His education has also included extended stays in Bali and South Africa, several years as a performing member of the Oakland-based Gamelan Sekar Jaya, and stints in jazz and rock bands. Elements from those disparate musical strands jostle beguilingly against each other in his music, which draws from an eclectic range of styles and languages.
    Yet Ziporyn’s music offers no easy one-world homily—it says as much about the powerful differences between musical traditions as about their common bonds. When elements from Balinese gamelan or African pop show up in Western art music, they inevitably sound deracinated and out of kilter—without the context that provides those gestures their original meanings, the gestures metamorphose into something different, usually unintended. By the same token, familiar rhythms and tonal formulas from close to home can become strangers when dressed up in foreign garb."

    - From the linernotes @ New World Records.
  • edited March 2016
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    Composers:
    Dan Becker, Ed Harsh, Carolyn Yarnell, John Halle, Marc Mellits, Melissa Hui, Belinda Reynolds, Randall Woolf

    The Common Sense Ensemble:
    Patti Monson,flutes ; Jennifer Yeaton-Mellits, flutes ; Libby Van Cleve, oboe ; Matthew Sullivan, oboe d’amore ; Michael Lowenster, clarinets ; Neil Mueller,trumpet, flugelhorn ; Julie Josephson, trombone ; David Spies, tuba ; Sara Laimon, piano, keyboards ; Gregor Kitzis, violin ; Danny Tunick, percussion ; Bradley Lubamn, conductor ; Jeannine Wagar, conductor.

    The Common Sense Composers’ Collective is characterized
    by an optimistic, energetic American pragmatism. Arriving
    after the great ideological debates of the late twentieth century
    have receded into mere historical curiosities (modernism/-
    minimalism versus post-modernism, etc.), the composers of
    the collective remind us again that new music survives simply
    because people need to make it and to listen to it.
    The composers of the collective, trained in the academies and
    the streets of urban America, ask the obvious question, so
    hard to grasp because so close at hand—how shall we engage
    ourselves and our listeners with the best new music we can
    make?

    Leaving the metaphysics to the metaphysicians, they
    concentrate on the processes of creation—from the composer
    to the performer and back again in a self-regulating feedback
    loop. If the music works it will play and be played. If not, fix
    it and try again. These composers’ aesthetic choices are not
    (as with so many other new groups) their manifesto. What
    music delights and intrigues the composer, performer, and
    listener is itself their statement, their credo.
    Instead of an end of the century malaise, a cynical and
    fatigued sigh of weary despair, hear here a joyous, witty,
    necessary music—a music that celebrates the notion that,
    among all of its proud refinements, our musical sensibility is
    also a common sense."

    - Martin Bresnick - from the linernotes @ New World Records - http://commonsensecomposers.org/home.htm
  • edited March 2013
    Time for yet another gem . . .
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    Arizona State University Symphonic Band; Richard E. Strange, conductor; Judy May Sellheim, mezzo-soprano; Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Arthur Weisberg, conductor; Susan Lee Pounders Ung, viola; Barbara Martin, soprano; Joan Heller, soprano;
    New World Records

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    - "Composer Chinary Ung emerged from relative obscurity in 1989 when he was given the highly coveted Grawemeyer Award for his 1986 choral work, Inner Voices. A meteoric ascent followed, bedecked with prestigious commissions and frequent performances of his works. It seemed an unlikely reception for an immigrant composer whose expressive language was progressive and often challenging for the listener, not least because of its occasional blending of Western and Far Eastern sonorities. But Ung's music has attracted a wide following over the years: even at its most intractable, it is colorful and full of invention, rife with a sense of individuality. Ung's vocal writing often calls for vibrato-like and other effects; his instrumental works sometimes feature exotic (i.e., Cambodian or Far Eastern) instruments, and his orchestral and chamber music often exhibits layering techniques. Yet, works such as Grand Spiral (1990), for symphonic band, are Impressionistic in character and relatively accessible. Ung's works are available on a variety of labels, including Bridge, Composers Recordings, Albany Records, and New World Records.
    Chinary Ung was born in Takeo, Cambodia, on November 24, 1942. His first advanced musical studies were at the Ecole de Musique Phnom Penh. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1964, he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music for clarinet studies, but transferred to Columbia University to study composition with Chinese-American composer Chou Wen-Chung.
    Ung achieved success with his first significant compositions, Mohori (1970) and Tall Wind (1974), both for vocalist and chamber ensemble. But between 1974, the year of his Columbia graduation, and 1985 he virtually abandoned composition, producing but a single work, Khse Buon (1980), for solo cello or viola. Ung used the decade-long hiatus to aid relatives and artists escape the murderous and oppressive Khmer Rouge regime, then in control of Cambodia.
    After winning the Grawemeyer Award in 1989, Ung enjoyed a string of successes, including Spiral VI (1992), for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano; Antiphonal Spirals (1995), for orchestra; and Seven Mirrors (1997), for solo piano. In 2002 Ung returned to his native country for the first time since 1964. There he performed in several concerts of his music. Ung has remained active as a composer in the new century, producing such pieces as the 2008 choral work Spiral XII: Space Between Heaven and Earth. He also teaches at the University of California at San Diego, where he has been professor of composition since 1995."

    - Allmusic
    ICIYL - 5 questions to Chinary Ung
  • edited June 2013
    Time for yet another gem . . .
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    http://www.newworldrecords.org/album.cgi?rm=view&album_id=17438

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    Brief Biography:
    - "The conceptual and multifaceted composer/conductor Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world's music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical, multimedia, Eastern and Western musical systems. Central to his body of work, Tan Dun has composed distinct series of works which reflect his individual compositional concepts and personal ideas — among them a series which brings his childhood memories of shamanistic ritual into symphonic performances; works which incorporate elements from the natural world; and multimedia concerti. Opera has a significant role in Tan Dun's creative output of the past decade, mostly recently with the premiere of The First Emperor by the Metropolitan Opera in December 2006 with a title role created for Plácido Domingo. In 2008, Tan composed Internet Symphony No. 1: "Eroica" commissioned by Google/YouTube as the focal point for the world’s first collaborative online orchestra. Recent works include Piano Concerto: The Fire for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic; Violin Concerto: The Love, for soloist Cho-Liang Lin, and Earth Concerto for Ceramic Percussion and Orchestra. Of his many works for film, Tan Dun’s score for Ang Lee's film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, received an Oscar Award for best original score."
    G. Schirmer Inc.
    http://www.tandunonline.com - http://www.talujon.com/
  • edited November 2013
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    John Hollenbeck, drums, percussion, piano, berimbau; Dan Willis, English horn, tenor sax, soprano sax, flute; Jonas Tauber, cello; Skuli Sverrison, electric bass and banjo sexto; Theo Bleckmann, voice and piano
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    Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble;
    Scott Wheeler, conductor; Andrew Mark, cello; Christine Fish, flute; Clayton Hoener, violin; Cyrus Stevens, violin; Donald Berman, piano; Ian Greitzer, clarinet; Marti Epstein, piano; Sandra Herbert, piano; Scott Woolweaver, viola; Susan Robinson, harp

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  • In memory of the great Fred Ho, who is the composer and plays solo saxophone on track 9.

    More breathtaking solo saxophone is hard to find.

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    It seems to be free on Amazon UK, but I doubt that.
    New World Records

    - And there's also an excellent track from Jason Kao Hwang (among others)
  • edited July 2016
    A New World Records gem from 2013, so it is not a part of the overwhelming number of albums that was available on Amie Street . . .
    - Those weeks back in 2009 where the albums was literally pouring in (and most of them for free), have had a massive impact on my listening patterns ever since.
    (more James Tenney upthread.) <div><a href="http://www.emusic.com/album/eclipse-quartet/parkins-rzewski-tenney-music-for-string-quartet-percussion/14065303/"><img src="http://cf-images.emusic.com/music/images/album/140/653/14065303/600x600.jpg"; alt="Parkins, Rzewski & Tenney: Music for String Quartet & Percussion album cover"> </a><br></div><div>Eclipse Quartet: Sara Parkins, violin; Sarah Thornblade, violin;
    Alma Lisa Fernandez, viola; Maggie Parkins, cello;
    with William Winant, percussion]


    - "The evolution of the string quartet repertory has accelerated during the last half of the twentieth-century and beyond as composers from both the mainstream and the avant-garde have mined its seemingly inexhaustible creative resources. This CD features the virtually unprecedented combination of string quartet and percussion. It contains three works by prominent American experimentalist composers from several generations exploring the ensemble’s unique sonic resources in diverse stylistic settings, each with its own original approach to musical form.

    A “whim-wham” is a “fanciful or fantastic notion or object.” In Frederic Rzewski’s Whimwhams (1993) the “fanciful” occurs within a pre-conceived formal design. The formal structure in Whimwhams provides time units, “empty containers” for the free play of the composer’s imagination, which yield striking successions of musical moments, each with its own distinctive identity. An attentive listener will encounter musical ideas, which return in altered form, giving the work a certain sense of coherence, a magical quality absent from more rational, thought-out composed music.

    In James Tenney’s Cognate Canons (1993) the canons occur between the percussion and the string quartet. The durations of the two canonic “voices” are related by a series of proportions, creating the effect of simultaneous tempi, which Nancarrow used in his player piano music. Each of the work’s thirteen canons uses its own proportion. The repetitions both within and between the two parts (which include statements of individual musical gestures within each voice in retrograde) create a static, timeless atmosphere.

    Zeena Parkins describes s:c:a:t:t:e:r:i:n:g (2012) thusly: “Flickering sound and shifting colors subvert the linear. s:c:a:t:t:e:r:i:n:g is composed of ten movements, evolving things, and objets sonores that acquire a modulated presence through accumulation. Resonance piles up and is dispersed by the “scatterers” as they journey within conditions of motion and stasis. The title refers to these acts of collection, disruption, and dispersal that occur over and over again throughout the work creating a landscape of diversion.”


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  • edited October 2015
    - One more "Non Amie Street" album:<div><a href="http://www.emusic.com/album/various-artists/annea-lockwood-in-our-name/14693177/"><img src="http://cf-images.emusic.com/music/images/album/146/931/14693177/600x600.jpg"; alt="Annea Lockwood: In Our Name album cover"> </a><br></div><div>- Annea Lockwood (b. 1939) distinguishes herself with works ingeniously combining recorded found and processed sounds, live-performance and visual components, and exhibiting her acute sense of timbre. While perhaps best known for her 1960s “glass concerts” featuring manifold glass-based sounds and her notorious Piano Transplants—burning, burying, and drowning obsolete pianos—she was drawn to the complex beauty of sounds found in the natural environment, which she captured on tape. Lockwood was especially fascinated with the sonorities of moving water and water’s calming and healing properties and thus started an archive of recorded river sounds. From the 1970s, she explored improvisation and alternative performance techniques and asked her performers to use natural sound sources and instruments including rocks, stones, and conch shells. Having long been an attentive listener to nature and having given fragile and volatile nature a voice in many of her works, Lockwood has also occasionally drawn attention to vulnerable humans, such as a dying friend and prisoners deprived of their rights, in works like Delta Run (1981) and In Our Name (2009–10). The current CD brings together three such works—Jitterbug* (2007), In Our Name**, and Thirst*** (2008), emphasizing non-human and human dignity and imaginatively merging musique concrète techniques with live performance."
    New World Records 2012</div>
  • edited October 2015
    It's time to dig in the 200+ albums from the Amie Street avalanche of almost free albums<div><a href="http://www.newworldrecords.org/album.cgi?rm=view&album_id=17676"><img class="fullScreen" style="width: 354.7px; height: 334px; margin-top: 10px; margin-left: 121px;" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BtKq+C64L.jpg&quot;&gt;&nbsp;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Orquestra Ciudad de Malaga, Odon Alonso, conductor; Orquestra Sinfonica de Valencia, Ernest Martinez Izquierdo, conductor; The Miami String Quartet; Luis Gomez Imbert, solo contrabass; Angel Lemus, viola; Keith Aleo, Jorge Grossman, Li Ju Chen, wind chimes and glasses; Robert Davidovici, violin

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    - "Through more than one hundred and fifty works composed for a wide range of performance genres, Orlando Jacinto Garcia has established himself as an important figure in the new music world. The distinctive character of his music has been described as “time suspended- haunting sonic explorations” qualities he developed from his studies with Morton Feldman among others.

    Born in Havana, Cuba in 1954, Garcia migrated to the United States in 1961. In demand as a guest composer, he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from a variety of organizations and cultural institutions including the Rockefeller, Fulbright, Dutka, Civitella Ranieri, and Cintas Foundations, the State of Florida, the MacDowell and Millay Colony, and the Ariel, Noise International, Matiz Rangel, Nuevas Resonancias, Salvatore Martirano, and Bloch International Competitions. Most recently he has been the recipient of 3 Latin Grammy nominations in the best Contemporary Classical Composition Category (2009-11). With performances around the world, his works are recorded on New Albion, O.O. Discs, CRI /New World, Albany, North/South, CRS, Rugginenti, VDM, Capstone, Innova, CNMAS, and Opus One Records and available from Kallisti Music Press.

    Garcia is the founder and director of the NODUS Ensemble and the Miami Chapter of the International Society for Contemporary Music as well as several international festivals including the New Music Miami ISCM Festival. A dedicated educator, he is Professor of Composition for the School of Music and Composer in Residence for the CARTA Miami Beach Urban Studios at Florida International University in Miami."</div>
  • edited October 2015
    Oh boy, what a gem ! <div><a href="http://www.emusic.com/album/various-artists/music-of-henri-lazarof/15437579/"><img src="http://cf-images.emusic.com/music/images/album/154/375/15437579/600x600.jpg"; alt="Music of Henri Lazarof album cover"> </a><br></div><div>Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; New Philharmonia Orchestra of London; Utah Symphony; Henri Lazarof, conductor; Roger Wagner Chorale, Roger Wagner, conductor; James Galway, flute; Thomas Stevens, trumpet
    New World Records

    635
    - "Henri Lazarof was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and began his musical studies at the age of six. He emigrated to America in 1957 and studied at Brandeis University with composers Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero. In 1958, during his Brandeis residency, his string quartet was awarded first prize in a competition sponsored by the Boston area’s Brookline Public Library, and his Cantata was commissioned by Brandeis for its 1959 arts festival. He received his M.F.A. in 1959.

    In 1959 Lazarof relocated to Los Angeles, where he began his association with the University of California (UCLA), teaching French language and literature. He joined its music department faculty in 1962, and a year later he organized a festival of contemporary music, featuring works by Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Leonard Stein, the renowned Schoenberg scholar. During that same season, Lazarof’s new work, Concerto for Piano and Twenty Instruments received its premiere, after which the New York Times reviewer characterized it as “theatrical and colorful.”

    In 1966 Lazarof’s international reputation was boosted by his award of the first International Prize of Milan for his Structures Sonores. Between 1970 and 1971 he completed seven additional works, and during that period he was an artist in residence in what was then West Berlin. Upon his return from Berlin, he was appointed artistic director of the 1973 Contemporary Music Festival at UCLA. In that capacity he commissioned works from four fellow composers, and they were premiered during the festival’s 1974–75 season. Also in 1974, pianist Arthur Weisberg performed Lazarof’s Third Chamber Concerto at Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall) in New York as well as his Duo-1973, which became one of his most frequently played pieces.

    Lazarof’s catholic views on contemporary music and its appreciation and promotion are summed up in his statement in the brochure for the 1973–74 season of the Contemporary Arts Festival. He observed that the concert series was “dedicated to the presentation of the entire broad range of this historically evolving art without adopting a single ideology, but one of continuity—accepting tradition and altering it in terms of contemporary experimentation, which in turn is to become our legacy for the next generation to alter.”

    Lazarof was known for his open-minded and ongoing experimentation with evolving contemporary trends and styles. His works have been performed by such major orchestras as the Seattle Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic, and his dance scores have been presented by such prestigious companies as the San Francisco Ballet. He prided himself in continually searching not only for new means of expression but for fresh instrumental combinations as well. “I believe you should not repeat yourself,” he was quoted as saying. “I try always to write for new instrumental forces—to search out the limits of the performer and one’s own limits as a composer.”

    Lazarof passed away on December 29, 2013 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81."</div>
  • edited October 2015
    Gem time

    The computer referred to by the composer is a 1974 IBM 360 series mainframe which was installed at Princeton University in February of that year. The composer goes on to specify the 12-tone set from which pitches are derived: F F# C B A D# E G G# D C# A#. He states the properties of these eventuate in tritone-related structures and long-term associations of pitch-class tetrachords, trichords, and dyads. The title of the work is from the lexicon of the United States Senate Watergate hearings, which were in progress at the time of composition."

    The effect and general sound of the work approximates sets of cowbells with both subtle and moderate dynamic and intensity variation. It performs out at just over seven minutes"

    - Allmusic.

  • edited December 2015
    - One more "Non Amie Street" album:
    Computer Cantata (1963)
    Helen Hamm, soprano; University of Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players; Jack
    McKenzie, conductor

    Quartet No. 6 for Strings (1973)
    Concord String Quartet: Mark Sokol, Andrew Jennings, violins; John Kochanowski, viola;
    Norman Fischer, cello

    A Portfolio for Diverse Performers and Tape (1974)
    Gregg Smith Singers; Gregg Smith, conductor
    Tape parts realized at the Experimental Studio, Polish National Radio, Warsaw

    Lejaren Hiller(1924-1994)
    - " Was a musically eclectic composer, often combining several different types of techniques in the same piece. In the mid-sixties, he asserted that his "objective in composing music by means of computer programming is not the immediate realization of an aesthetic unity, but the providing and evaluating of techniques whereby this goal can eventually be realized." In this sense Hiller was a forward-looking composer, in that each piece was an experiment that lead toward the next piece. The three works contained in this collection-Computer Cantata (1963), Quartet No. 6 for Strings (1973), A Portfolio for Diverse Performers and Tape (1974)-demonstrate his love of musical diversity and eclecticism. These works also exhibit other trends that are common in Hiller's music, including collaboration, an interest in microtonality, symmetrical and arch forms, and indeterminate instrumentation. The works span a little more than a decade, from 1963 to 1974, which were amongst his greatest years as a composer. The works also use a variety of instrumentations, from purely acoustic to electronic, and computer music with live ensemble.


    These three works are drawn from the CRI LP back catalog and will be making their first appearance on CD. Virtually none of Hiller's music is currently available on disc and this reissue restores some of his most representative works to circulation." 

    New World Records 2008 

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    - "Lejaren Hiller (23.02.1924 in New York City - 26.01.1994 in Buffalo/New York) is an American composer, founder of University Of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in 1958. Hiller's notable pupils included composers James Fulkerson, Larry Lake, Ilza Nogueira, David Rosenboom, Bernadette Speach and James Tenney."


  • edited January 2016

    Marion Dry, contralto; Ivan Tcherepnin, psaltery, organ, santur; serge modulator electronics and electronic processor; Jean-Pierre Dautricourt, flute; Peggy Pearson, oboe; Wilma Smith, violin.
    NWCRI - 2007


    - "Ivan Tcherepnin was a member of an illustrious musical family. Grandson of the Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin, and son of Alexander Tcherepnin and Chinese pianist Lee Hsien Ming, he received his first musical training from his parents. His talent appeared very early, and by his teenage years, he had already composed significant works such as Four Pieces fromBefore (1957-1962), Deux Entourages (1960), and Cadenzas in Transition (1963). He graduated from Harvard College in 1964, where he studied with Randall Thompson and Leon Kirchner. He later studied with David Tudor, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen. After teaching at San Francisco Conservatory, then Stanford University (where he led the new music group Alea II), from 1972 until his death he was professor (composition) and director of the Electronic Music Studio at Harvard. Yo-Yo Ma wrote, “Ivan was the most tolerant and supportive teacher I ever had."
     
    Among Tcherepnin’s many commissions are Set, Hold, Clear and Squelch (1976) and The Creative Act (1989), composed for Merce Cunningham's Dance Company; 7 opuses for American Wind Symphony Orchestra, including Statue (1986) and Constitution (1987), commemorating the U.S. Bicentennial (recorded on the AWSO label); The New Consonance(1982) and Summer Brass (1970) written at the behest of students; and Le Va et le Vient for orchestra (1977/78), composed for a concert of music by 3 generations of the Tcherepnin family at the Lucerne Festival: ’... a fascinating stream of creative richness ... a tightly-argued affair of microintervals and deftly overlapping sonorities.’ (The Times, UK).
     
    Tcherepnin’s works often involve acoustic instruments transformed by electronic devices. These include Five Songs (1979) and Flores Musicales (1980) recorded on New World/CRI. In 1980, Peter Sellars staged the Paris premiere of his one-man virtual opera, Santur Opera, in which Ivan performed on santur and a synthesizer designed by his brother Serge. In 1982, this work was awarded Grand Prix at the Ars Electronica Festival (Austria). Deeply concerned by the Gulf war, he wrote the oratorio And so it came to pass (1991), based on the story of Joshua and texts from Ecclesiastes. In 1996 he was awarded the Grawemeyer Prize for his DoubleConcerto (1995), commissioned and premiered by the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra with soloists Lynn Chang and Yo-Yo Ma. Tcherepnin was equally at home conducting or performing on piano, psaltery, Persian santur, synthesizers and electronic devices.
     
    Ivan Tcherepnin believed that the most important avenue for communication and for development available to humans is the ear-mind connection. Keeping this channel open and free of artificial constraints was one of his primary artistic goals, to which his musical legacy is a fitting tribute."
    - Schott Music


  • Characters:
    The Woman: A soul, journeying.
    The Seaweed: The Sea-Goddess, covered in green algae and sea-slime, biological Aphrodite.
    Shiva: Shiva, as the erotic god adorned with flowers, and the ascetic god smeared with white ash, inhabitant of graveyards. Also called Dionysos.
    Chorus: (and Attendants)
    Sometimes an austere Greek chorus, sometimes wild revelers in a forest, sometimes a bloodthirsty mob.
    Apocalypse is an electronic opera for live and recorded singers, choreographed with movement patterns from the Hindu Bharata Natyam dance-drama. The present recording contains selections from the complete opera, and is essentially the tape part of Apocalypse, created with MIDI and analog electronic music technology. In live performance, the soloists and chorus sing along with their already-recorded electronically-manipulated voices on tape. All of the voices you will hear on this disc are my own—sometimes heavily manipulated, the only exceptions being Scene 46 "Aeon" and Scene 60 "Organ Screaming," in which the role of Shiva is sung by the baritone Michael Willson; and Scene 50 "Eating," which is rendered by myself and Jim Matus, Jim being a gifted belcher who can perform upon command. Jim also soloed in this scene on broccoli; I accompanied him with yogurt. The various "bird" and "sea-lion" sounds are also my own voice; I'm sure my operatic voice teachers would be proud.
    The central character in Apocalypse is "The Woman," who journeys from conception, to birth, to her meeting with and initiation by the Goddess, whom I've called "The Seaweed." The Seaweed is a sort of biological Aphrodite who emerges from the ocean covered in green sea-slime and algae. She communicates with the Woman through phrases based on the Bhagavad Gita. But instead of Krishna's emphasis in the Gita on duty and emotional detachment, the Seaweed teaches empathy, emotional attachment, and reverence for all life.
    After taking on herself the persona of the Goddess, the Woman prepares for her meeting with the God, whom I have termed Shiva. Shiva appears as both the ascetic god covered in white ash, the inhabitant of graveyards, as well as the erotic god covered in flowers, the riotous companion of a forest full of women. In Apocalypse, Shiva teaches identification with all life, the breaking of the illusion of separateness, through the vivid metaphor of sexuality. The opera culminates in the Woman's ritualized union with Shiva in the form of a stylized enactment of the Tantrik maithuna, the love-making of Shiva and Shakti, of spirit and matter, mind and energy, asceticism and sensuality.
    In Apocalypse I use certain aspects of South Indian musical techniques, such as the rhythmic tala system, which I manipulate in "Heat Drum" in ways outside the traditional uses of the tal.
    I hope the following biographical vignettes give a feeling for how I came to write Apocalypse.

    - Alice Shields, from the Liner Notes at New World Recordings



    - A really amazing album !

  • It's gem time . . .
     
    The Sirius String Quartet: Laura Seaton, violin; Mark Feldman, violin; Ron Lawrence, viola; Mary Wooten, cello; Kevin Norton, percussion

    Jeffrey Schanzer

    Jeffrey Schanzer is a composer and guitarist involved in a wide variety of music, ranging from fully notated to fully improvised. He has studied composition with Morton Feldman and Anthony Davis and guitar with Oswald Rantucci. No More In Thrall, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father was a prisoner, performed by the Sirius String Quartet with percussionist Kevin Norton, was released on the CRI label in 1997. Jeffrey performs with his wife, composer/pianist Bernadette Speach, in Schanzer/Speach Duo, and leads the Jeffrey Schanzer Ensemble. Within the context of the Duo and his Ensemble, Jeffrey has worked with such musicians as Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Bobby Previte, Ned Rothenberg and Wadada Leo Smith.

    - Mode Records - New World Records
  • In memory of the late Karel Husa . . .

     
    Karel Husa’s triumphant return to his native Czechoslovakia in February 1990 to conduct the orchestra version of his Music for Prague, was the culmination of a distinguished career as an American-based composer of international reputation. Though it had been forty-four years since he left his homeland, Husa’s prodigious musical output since then has been infused by his ties, both spiritual and political, to Czechoslovakia. No work shows greater evidence of this than Music for Prague (1968) a distressing but ultimately hopeful memorial to the city’s Russian invasion. It was originally scored for wind band and is perhaps Husa’s most popular work. Humanitarian themes play an important role in other major Husa works including Apotheosis of This Earth (1970), An American Te Deum (1976) both for chorus and wind ensemble, and the ballet The Trojan Women (1980).

    Born in Prague, in 1921, Husa studied music at the Prague Conservatory and Academy where his first composition teacher was Jaroslav Ridky. He left Czechoslovakia in 1946 on a scholarship from the French government to study in Paris where he remained until 1954. While in Paris, Husa studied composition with Boulanger and Honegger, and conducting with Eugène Bigot, Jean Fournet, and André Cluytens. Among the notable works of this period were his first two string quartets dating from 1948 and 1953 respectively. (His String Quartet No. 3 earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1969.)

    Though the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague awarded Husa his doctorate in 1947 while he was in Paris, the demands of his burgeoning career and the continual political upheavals in Czechoslovakia resulted in his prolonged state as an expatriate. Husa left Paris in 1954 to accept a faculty position at Cornell University which has remained his home base ever since, as he continues to pursue an active career as both conductor and composer.

    Upon his arrival back in Prague in 1990 in an interview for the newsletter Music News from Prague, Husa commented on being an American citizen with Czech roots: “I belong to Czechoslovakia and to America. This double allegiance is in me and it will always be that way.” As the compositions on this disc display, Husa’s unique double allegiance is surely in his music as well.

    Dating from the time of Husa’s Paris residency is his Symphony No. 1 (1953). Although the work resembles a Classical symphony in its three-movement design, its construction is based more on contrasts and large designs than on traditional sonata form. Music writer Elliott W. Galkin points out the stylistic influences of Bartók in harmony and Honegger in rhythm and orchestration. “One of the most dramatic of Husa’s effects,” Galkin writes of the Symphony No. 1, “is his ability to pile one motive upon another almost incessantly, and to create hypnotically a long and sustained crescendo which builds to a climax ofoverwhelming intensity.” The work was premiered in 1954 by the Belgian Radio and Television Orchestra conducted by Daniel Sternfeld.

    Mosaïques for orchestra (1961) was commissioned by the Hamburg Radio Orchestra which gave its first performance in 1961 conducted by the composer. The work is structured in five sections, or mosaïques, each scored for different instrumental groupings of the orchestra and each exploring new and shared motivic ideas. Husa writes: “The work, in some parts, is written in a strict serial system and, in other parts, it is constructed more freely. Groupings of two, three, or four notes are used in a similar way as materials of different colors are used in constructing a mosaic. The rhythms as well as the dynamics are used freely at times, and at other times they are subordinated to the same serial system as are the pitches.”

    Serenade for Woodwind Quintet with Stings, Harp and Xylophone
    (1963) was composed for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra which premiered the work in 1963 under conductor Peter Herman Adler. It is scored in three movements entitled “The Mountain,” “The Night,” and “The Dance,” though the composer points out that the titles are intended to be suggestive rather than programmatic. The melodic, conversational approach of the writing for thewinds has led critics to compare the work to character pieces of Mozart and other composers of previous eras.

    The latest work on this disc, Landscapes, dates from 1977 when it was premiered by the Western Brass Quintet. Husa has said of the piece: “The work reflects our time and our view of majestic, mysterious nature embellished by travelers such as northern geese and spaceships exploring the universe.” The movements’ titles, though again not intended to be strictly programmatic, are nonetheless evocative in a rather Romantic sense. In his notes to the original album release, Donald Bullock said the first movement, a fanfare entitled “Northern Woods,” reflects the grandeur and majesty of North American forests. The second movement, “Northern Lakes,” uses an A-B-A song form wherein serenity is interrupted by violence and followed by an altered, tempered serenity. Of the third movement, Bullock writes: ‘“Voyageurs’ is a perpetuum mobile. The composer indicated his interest in creating a single, continuously sustained crescendo on the order of Ravel’s Bolero or Honegger’s Pacific 231. By his ingenious use of mutes and special effects the composer is successful in creating the long voyage which anticipates with each passing measure the arrival at the final destination.”
    —Joseph R. Dalton
    - From the linernotes at New World Records
  •  

    - "We have long heard about the widening chasm between composers and performers, between new music and the public, between popular and contemporary “classical” music. Today, however, a new generation of engagé composers and performers are closing both of those gaps. This is not just a matter of composers writing in the vernacular or performers taking up the cudgels in defense of new music. These creative and interpretive musicians are themselves active collaborators in the act of bringing new work to life, crossing the lines that formerly divided schools, styles, categories, and even countries.

    Take Quintet of the Americas. This is a classical wind quintet—flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn—that was founded in 1976 in Bogotá, Colombia, by the principals of the Orquesta Sinfònica de Colombia. In 1979, they relocated to New York City, committing themselves to new music from all parts of the hemisphere. They have worked closely with a wide range of composers, premiered more than fifty works (over half of them commissions), and made numerous arrangements of their own, adding folk music to the contemporary classical repertoire which they are helping to create.


    The current album, which celebrates their fifteenth anniversary season in New York, consists of five new works, four of which were commissioned and premiered by the performers, and two of the pieces, the Pauline Oliveros and the Elliott Sharp, have strong improvisational elements; they are, in effect, creative collaborations between the composers and their interpreters. . . ."

    - From the linernotes at New World Records

      

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