the script of storms is a new record of music by Michael Hersch. It contains two pieces; each just under thirty minutes long. The first, cortex and ankle, sets fragments of poems by Christopher Middleton. The general theme is death and decay so it’s not exactly cheerful. It was written for the Klang Ensemble and is scored for their combination of saxophones, trombone, keyboards, percussion, guitar and electronics plus soprano; in this case Ah Young Hong. The vocal line is mostly high sustained notes sung with little or no vibrato though at times it becomes speech or near speech. The accompaniment varies from extremely sparse; just the occasional note from the piano, to quite dense and sometimes abrasive and dissonant. The overall effect is quite disturbing. The recording was made in the Jurrianse Zaal (Rotterdam) in 2016.
I just listened to my new copy of An AIDS Quilt Songbook:Song for Hope and I’m in a bit of a state of shock. It’s nearly 80 minutes of music featuring many of America’s best singers and musicians singing songs inspired by AIDS along with some poetry readings. Participants include Yo Yo Ma, Joyce DiDonato, Tony Deane-Griffey, Matthew Polenzani, Isobel LeonardSharon Stone and many more. All profits go to amFAR; the Foundation for AIDS Research. www.amfar.org