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ACO's Latest Release
Orchestra Underground: X10D

World Premiere Live Recordings by Keeril Makan, Evan Ziporyn, Fred Ho, Ned McGowan & Neil Rolnick

Emerging Composers Series Vol. 1

Release Date: June 1, 2012.
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Orchestra Underground: X10D explores some of the more extreme ends of what's possible when some uncommon solo instruments join the orchestra as soloist. This album contains five works by as many composers featuring music for unusual instruments that extend the range and sonic possibilities of the orchestral ensemble.

Three of the pieces are what we might call "bottom-feeders," as they explore and gather their power from the extreme low register. Evan Ziporyn demonstrates the virtuosic possibilities of the bass clarinet, integrating his own ideas with influences ranging from Balinese Gamelan to jazz to Stravinsky, in his Big Grenadilla. Fred Ho, makes "real dragons fly" in a tour-de-force and call-to-action for baritone saxophone and orchestra that combines Chinese folk song with an avant-jazz perspective. Perhaps the most unusual instrument on this album is the seldom-heard contrabass flute, an instrument that, in the hands of Ned McGowan, is capable of everything from near breathless calm to amazing driving bass riffs that propel the orchestra forward.

The other two works on the album partner electric instruments with an otherwise acoustic orchestra. Keeril Makan's Dream Lightly features the electric guitar of Seth Josel. But you won't find any amped-up power chords here, only the most delicate and ethereal guitar harmonics, making the piece an almost anti-concerto. Finally, Neil Rolnick, a pioneer in electronic music, introduces us to the cyborg-fiddle he created with soloist Todd Reynolds—an instrument that seamlessly takes us from flashy Pagagini-esque pyrotechnics to cyberspace.

Read the liner notes...

More About the Composers:
Keeril Makan:
Evan Ziporyn:
Fred Ho:
Ned McGowan:

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ACO’s recording initiative is made possible with the support of
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

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