One of my students in the Contemporary Music Ensemble at University of Northern Colorado asked if I could put together a list of works they should listen to because, he said, the "new" music he was used to hearing was not as weird as the new music we are doing in class (so far we've had units on Deep Listening and the Wandelweiser Collective).
So, here are some composers that students should know if they're studying with me, in no particular order. I left out some important collaborators and intriguing new discoveries, but I need to go run and teach the viola:
Andrew Norman, Play (2013, rev. 2016)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Aeriality (2011)
Dai Fujikura, Engraving (2014)
No listening guide for this one, but I'll be publishing some brief thoughts in the next issue of the American Viola Society Journal on Engraving, which I gave Dai feedback for when he was writing it. Here's the blurb on Dai for AVS:
. . . I think that’s part of what Dai Fujikura wanted to do by the asking the performer to determine the order of the “elements” and therefore the form in Engraving. By forcing the performers to chose which permutation of the piece to play, he is making them think about how these textures or systems of organization could be put together to create a piece. He asks them not just to learn the notes, or to be able to execute the piece on a “surface level,” but also to take part in the process of thinking deeply about how one thing leads to another.
(I have one of Dai's manuscript pages up in my office, for curious students . . . )
Caroline Shaw, To the Hands (2016)
From the composer herself:
I’ve made all parts available here. With the understanding that any performance of this piece is accompanied by rigorous solicitation of donations for those without homes (locally and globally), and strong support for active & informed conversation with policy makers. Let us open our hands to those of others. (What are these wounds, in my hands, and in yours?) Walls are not the answer. We are all creatures.
Tyshawn Sorey, Verisimilitude (2017)
Alex Ross's piece in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/10/tyshawn-sorey-defeats-preconceptions
Eliane Radigue, L'Île Re-Sonante (2000)
Kate Molleson's wonderful interview with Radigue: http://www.edition-festival.com/?p=252
Vijay Iyer, Far From Over (2017)
This is the album I brought into class to add to our little studio lending library. Here's a teaser from ECM (and some of you may notice Tyshawn on drums!).
Kate Soper, Ipsa Dixit (2010–16)
Alex Ross's piece in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/kate-sopers-philosophy-opera