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Wild Cities

by Francesca Anderegg

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Violinist Francesca Anderegg has gathered an exciting collection of new works for violin and piano from young composers influenced by the minimalist heritage of John Adams. Inspired by Ginsberg’s poem, “After Dead Souls”, Anderegg explores an ever evolving American compositional tradition that romanticizes life on the road, freedom, exploration, individualism, and virtuosity. With her pianist collaborator, Brent Funderburk, Anderegg presents these works by Hannah Lash, Ted Hearne, Ryan Francis, Reinaldo Moya, and Clint Needham as heirs to the minimalist tradition, but also as contemporary contextualizations of the romantic character piece and early 20th century impressionism.

Ryan Francis’ Remix takes EDM layering as a jumping off point, but owes much to Adams in the manner that it builds on that foundation. Displacing motivic material to different parts of the beat, and sequencing up in register to reach a climax, Francis paints an exuberant picture and the piece opens the disc with an unmistakably American sensibility. Hannah Lash’s Adjoining reaches back to late 19th century romanticism and early 20th century impressionism as its models. Cadences are continuously suggested but constantly evaded, as the entire piece unfolds without truly resolving. In Clint Needham’s On the Road, unabashed neo-romanticism conjures open Americana landscapes. Ted Hearne’s Nobody’s is a deconstructive approach to Appalachian fiddle music, merging that tradition’s violin technique of “clogging” with avant-garde extended techniques on the instrument, for a hypnotic and visceral effect.

Reinaldo Moya’s Imagined Archipelagos explores a duality between repetition in two very different traditions, the American minimalist tradition and Venezuelan folkloric music. In the opening movement, "The Island of Many Calendars", there is a sense that the piano and violin are simultaneously together and also in two separate planes at once. Movement three, "The Island at Noon", features an insistent rhythm and energetic foreground activity. The final movement, "The Island of the Imaginary Birds", opens with solo moto perpetuo passagework in the violin, returns to the rhythmically disjointed ensemble presentation of the opening movement, sprinkling in more oblique references to Venezuelan folkloric tradition. Anderegg and Funderburk play with energy and lyrical beauty throughout, and bring this refreshing program of new American music to life with the sense of freedom and openness its theme suggests.


released June 28, 2016

Recorded by Cameron Wiley at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul Minnesota
Produced by Francesca Anderegg and Sam Bergman
Album Artwork and layout by Jeff Sheinkopf




New Focus Recordings New York, New York

New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers. ... more

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