Monday, June 7, 2010

"In Low Key Buffalo, a New Music Milestone"

Wrapping up his series of articles and reviews on JiB 2010, Allan Kozinn of The New York Times contributed a lengthy writeup on several of the festival's concerts, including recitals by Signal, Ensemble SurPlus, and the Arditti Quartet.

While Kozinn had much to say about works by JiB master composers, including Steve Reich, Augusta Read Thomas, Olivier Pasquet, and David Felder, he also devoted substantial space to works by this year's participants, including Daniel Bassin, Matthew Heap, Ashley Wang, Emily Koh, Peter Van Zandt Lane, Huck Hodge, David Wightman, Ray Evanoff, and Jordan Kuspa.  Kozinn described Heap's Illicit Trysts as "an engagingly noisy, rhythmically sharp-edged essay, full of sudden starts and stops and colorful instrumental effects (including quiet sections that sounded as if they were a tape being played backward)."

Noted Kozinn, "Emily Koh’s beautifully eerie circum perceptio, built in layers of delicate string, piano and woodwind timbres, was another highlight of the Signal program. And Peter Van Zandt Lane’s Magana, with a repeating, syncopated clarinet figure taken up contrapuntally in the cello and percussion writing, was one of several student works that used Minimalist techniques as a springboard but headed off in different directions.

"Another, on the Ensemble SurPlus program, was Huck Hodge’s Apparent Motion, which began with a thoroughly Reichian figure and evolved into a harmonically fresh work with a variegated texture full of both sparkle and thunder.

Regarding Kuspa's Piano Trio, Kozinn wrote, "His writing here was sharply focused, carefully shaped and attuned to coloristic possibilities of the piano, violin and cello. The resulting four-movement work, animated and melodically opulent, sounded consistently alive and inspired."

You can follow Allan Kozinn (left), a writer whose interests range from Buxtehude to the Beatles, on Twitter at, also via

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