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During the pandemic I have been taking more walks in the area. Often, I take the opportunity to listen to a piece of music or album that I’ve been meaning to listen to, but haven’t yet found the time. My headphones are not noise cancelling, so I still hear birds chirping or stray sounds as I’m listening, but what has really struck me is how some music seems to go well with certain walks. I find that I notice more of the landscape and small details this way, especially if it's a trail that I’ve walked before. There is some serendipity to this as well - sometimes the music has an expansive section just as you come to a crest or a field; sometimes there is a very rhythmic section that matches your pace as you walk along. 

I invite you to try out these pieces and locations. Perhaps you will enjoy them as much as I did. Maybe you will mix and match the pieces to different places you visit - I would love to hear if you do.

October 1, 2020

Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary New Paltz

This was a new spot for me, so I walked without music from the parking lot, along the river, to the trail that parallels the river. When I got to the end of the trail (about 10 minutes), I started to listen to Healing is a Miracle, Extended Versions by Juliana Barwick. The piece is very peaceful, and I paced myself more slowly coming back along the trail. At one point the trail opens to a meadow, and this is definitely music that invites you to simply stop, admire nature and listen to the music. There are also spots along the river with spots to sit (tree trunks I believe, and maybe a bench or two) where you can do this. My timing also brought me back to the flowing river as the music had a percussive rumbling in it, which was a nice coincidence.

The album is 3 tracks (approx. 30 minutes total), so you might want to explore more of the trails in this nature preserve as you listen. I think this would also work in places like Poet’s Walk, Peach Hill, Vassar Farm (when that opens up again to the public), and probably lots of other spots. Of course, it also works if you want to just sit somewhere outside, close your eyes and listen.

Hope you enjoy:

Other walks/music pairings:

Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail, Hyde Park

Eve Belgarian,  “In and Out of the Game” 

4’ 20”  (I listened to this as I started on the path in)

Flutronix, “Brown Squares”

Flute and electronics  3’ 35”

(once I got to the first fork in the road I stopped, turned back and listed to this on my way out)

Peach Hill, Town of Poughkeepsie

Caleb Burhans, “Evensong”

Vocal, 7 tracks, approx 60 minutes

Waryas Park, by the Hudson River, Poughkeepsie

Alexandra Gardner, “Tides”

Saxophone quartet and soundtrack

4 tracks, approx. 20 minutes total

Walking on the streets of a city or the Rail Trail on a busy afternoon 

Try Shelley Washington, “Big Talk

Baritone saxophone duet, 10’ 42”

Pieces that I think would work on a spot like Walkway Over the Hudson, or on the Rail Trail (though I haven’t done yet - let me know if you try any)

Christopher Cerrone, “Liminal Highway”

Alexandra Gardner, “Fade”

Alex Temple, “All We Could See from the Window was Water”

© Eve Joslyn Madalengoitia 

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Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Waaaaaaay back in February, before COVID-19 changed the landscape, I starting hosting "Listening Labs" at the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory. The idea was to get together with others and hear some pieces by contemporary composers. My goal was to explore what new music is, introduce people to things they may not have heard before, and have a discussion. A big part was also to just listen for a bit, uninterrupted by other distractions. I'm hoping that they will continue once we can safely gather again.

Listening Lab; New Music

Presented by Eve Joslyn Madalengoitia

at the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Lab

Each of the links will take you to the video or audio of the piece played, and can also lead you to more info about the artist, performer and work. In some cases you will see the entire album (play more music!) or the artist’s profile on Bandcamp or Soundcloud. All of these are ways to hear more from the artist or record label, stream music, and purchase pieces to support the artists. 

Here’s a link to the pop-up concert that I mentioned for this Saturday in Beacon:

Zoe Keating, “Arrival, Cello, 4:34 min

Andrew Norman, “For Ashley”, Performed by Ashley Bathhate, cello, 5:08 min

Caroline Shaw, “Entr’acte”, String quartet, performed by the Attacca Quartet, 11 min

Gabriela Smith, “Carrot revolution”, String quartet, performed by the Aizuri Quartet, 11 min

------ BREAK ------

Micheal Gordon, “I Moved”, Vocal, from the album “Anonymous Man”, 10:42

Maura O’Reilly, I, II and III from “Hockets for Two Voices”, Vocal, 4 min

Timo Andres, “Art”, From the album “Work Songs”, Voices, guitar, piano, keyboard, accordion, 1:34 min

Reema Esmail, “Phenomenal Woman”, Women’s choir, 2:31 min

Hildur Gudnaduttir, “Folk faer andliit”, Vocal, 5:10 min

Listening Lab Feb 18 playlist
Download PDF • 108KB

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Listening Lab: New Music

Presented by Eve Joslyn Madalengoitia

at the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Lab

March 3, 2020  - Playlist with links  and resources

Each of the links will take you to the video or audio of the piece played, and can also lead you to more info about the artist, performer and work. In some cases you will see the entire album (play more music!) or the artist’s profile on Bandcamp or Soundcloud. All of these are ways to hear more from the artist or record label, stream music, and purchase pieces to support the artists. 

1  Sarah Kirkland Snyder, Thread and Fray, 2006

chamber strings, winds, marimba. From from Wax and Wire by Latitude 49; 4:05 minutes

Latitude 49 is a sextet dedicated to championing the works of living composers. The members' diverse musical backgrounds directly influence the diversity in artists they create work with.

2  Arvo Part, Fratres, 1980

Violin and piano. From BSP by Paolo Ghidoni and Stefano Giavazzi; 9:42 minutes (not the exact link that was played - also look for this piece in various instrumentations)

Composed in Pärt's very own Tintinnabuli-style, Fratres allows many different settings because it is not bound to a specific timbre. “The highest virtue of music, for me, lies outside of its mere sound. The particular timbre of an instrument is part of the music, but it is not the most important element. If it were, I would be surrendering to the essence of the music. Music must exist of itself … two, three notes … the essence must be there, independent of the instruments.” (Arvo Pärt)

3  Angelica Negron, Turistas, 2018

From PCF 2018 Commissions, played by Bang on a Can; 8:35 minutes

4  Ruby Fulton, I'm sorry Not Sorry, 2018-2020

From This is my Letter to the World by Kate Amrine; 4:28 minutes

This is My Letter to the World is an exploration of music for trumpet inspired by politics and social concepts. In her second album, Kate Amrine chooses to address pressing topics facing each of us. Many of these pieces bring up issues that are extremely important to everyone and I hope that upon listening, you will act and inspire others to do everything they can to make this world a better place.” These works are meant to start a conversation and inspire people to reflect. And yes, increase awareness to what is possible on the trumpet.

Video and info about piece:

// BREAK //

1  NPR story: The Sound Of The Hagia Sophia, More Than 500 Years Ago; 4:37

2   Lost Voices of the Hagia Sofia, Choral stichologia (Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Constantinople, from the office of Sung Matins, Antiphon 7, selected verses of Psalm 109-112, “Palaion) Sung by Cappella Romana; 3:21

3   Julianna Barwick, Nebula, 2020

vocal and electronics; 5:34

4  Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Gone Black, 2006

From IBM 1401- A User's Manual; 6:59

Jóhannsson's father worked at IBM as a maintenance engineer for the 1401 Data Processing System, an early and popular business computer that arrived in Iceland in 1964. At that time, keeping a computer up and running involved knowledge of machinery as much as electronics; you needed to understand how ball bearings worked and know where to pour the motor oil. His father was also a musician, and he figured out a way to program the machine's memory so it emitted electromagnetic waves in a pattern that could be picked up by a radio receiver. The IBM 1401 was taken out of service in 1971, and his father gave it a farewell ceremony that included playing some of the short melodies he had composed. These tracks were recorded.

5  Caroline Shaw, Its Motion Keeps, 2013

Commissioned and performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus; 7:27 minutes

Britten's attraction to his native English folk songs and hymns comes through in so much of his music, from his choral and opera works to his chamber music and vocal arrangements. Taking a step in that direction, and then sideways and back and around, Its Motion Keeps is based on the words from the first verse of the American shape note hymn Kingwood, found in The Southern Harmony (1835) and other early 19th century hymn books. (Very likely it is a text that immigrated from England.) It begins with a palindromic viola pizzicato line that gestures to the continuo lines of Henry Purcell, to whom Britten wrote several homages. The choir echoes this contour at first and soon splits into swift canonic figures like those found in "This Little Babe" from Britten's Ceremony of Carols, eventually expanding into the "swirling spheres" above string arpeggiations in a texture that recalls the vivace movement of his second string quartet (one of his homages to Purcell). The ecstatic double choir section evokes the antiphonal sound of the early English choral tradition, with harmonies overlapping overhead in the reverberant stone cathedrals, creating brief dissonances while one sound decays as the next begins. The last line, "Time, like the tide, its motion keeps; Still I must launch through endless deeps," is just one of those perfect, beautiful lyrics — resilient and bittersweet.



you tube

Listening lab March 3 playlist
Download PDF • 168KB

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