CROSSINGS New Music for CelloKate Dillingham, cello & Amir Khosrowpour, piano

About

<FURIOUS ARTISANS RELEASE> CROSSINGS: New Music for Cello, performed by Kate Dillingham, cellist, and Amir Khosrowpour, pianist, is a collection of contemporary compositions for solo cello and cello and piano.

Audio

# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 79:32
01Almost Within Reach…
Almost Within Reach…
8:13
02Behold, The Lamb of God
Behold, The Lamb of God
6:22

…e io li tenni dietro

David Fetherolf
03I
I
2:20
04Agitato
Agitato
1:59
05Contemplative-Fast
Contemplative-Fast
5:21
06Moderately Fast
Moderately Fast
2:11
07Very Slow
Very Slow
3:40
08Tian Jing Sha
Tian Jing Sha
6:06
09Chemins: Three Episodes And Aria For Solo Cello
Chemins: Three Episodes And Aria For Solo Cello
10:49
10All I Ever Wanted
All I Ever Wanted
9:41
11Adagio Para Amantaní
Adagio Para Amantaní
9:02
12A Dance Of Shadows
A Dance Of Shadows
8:19
13Bhakti 4 “atma Shatakam”
Bhakti 4 “atma Shatakam”
5:29

Kate Dillingham is an avid proponent of the music of living composers. Following her New York debut, which featured world premieres of works by Augusta Read Thomas and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, the press deemed her “an excellent cellist; dignified, intelligent, and compelling. An adventurous, dedicated champion of contemporary music…an extraordinary performer who displayed musical insight and emotional depth…

Praised by The Los Angeles Times as having “irresistible verve, unpretentious directness, and fingers of steel,” pianist and composer Amir Khosrowpour “seeks out what is new and vital and delivers it with passion, considerable drama, and poetry” (NY Concert Review). This includes his involvement in an Allora & Calzadilla exhibition at MoMA in New York City calling for the pianist to stand in a hole cut out of the middle of the piano while playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the opposite side of the keyboard. In 2012, a collaboration with Turin-based filmmaker and artist Simone Catania, Khosrowpour performed his own composition in a fog-filled art gallery while hanging from the ceiling.

Producer and Recording Engineer: John C. Baker
Editing and Mastering Engineer: Sam Ward
Engineering Assistant: Lucas Gregory Hamren
Piano Technician: Arpad Maklary
Cover painting: Avy Claire
Photo: Daniel Shearer

Kate Dillingham

Kate Dillingham is an avid proponent of the music of living composers. Following her New York debut, which featured world premieres of works by Augusta Read Thomas and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, the press deemed her “an excellent cellist; dignified, intelligent, and compelling. An adventurous, dedicated champion of contemporary music… an extraordinary performer who displayed musical insight and emotional depth…”

She has performed as a soloist with The St. Petersburg Philharmonic, The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, The Salzburg Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, Bargemusic and Symphony Space in New York City. Recent highlights include concerts at the Tsereteli Gallery in Moscow, and Weill Recital Hall and the Dimenna Center in New York City, where she performed a recital of new compositions. Dillingham was a student of Bernard Greenhouse at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and studied with Maria Tchaikovskaya at the Moscow Conservatory.

A long association with Mr. Greenhouse led to collaboration on an edition of the Sonatas for Violoncello and Keyboard BWV 1027-1029 by J.S. Bach, published by G. Schirmer Inc., which she presented in a combined concert and lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her enthusiasm for broadening the range and repertoire of the cello has led her to commission, perform, and record music written by composers of the 21st century. Prior to this one, Dillingham recorded three CDs of varied repertoire: Haydn Cello Concertos with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra; Lutoslawki and Herbert Concertos with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra; and the music of Debussy, Honegger, and Fauré, all of which are available through iTunes, Amazon.com, and cdbaby.com.

Amir Khosrowpour

Praised by The Los Angeles Times as having “irresistible verve, unpretentious directness, and fingers of steel,” pianist and composer Amir Khosrowpour “seeks out what is new and vital and delivers it with passion, considerable drama, and poetry” (NY Concert Review). This includes his involvement in an Allora & Calzadilla exhibition at MoMA in New York City calling for the pianist to stand in a hole cut out of the middle of the piano while playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from the opposite side of the keyboard. In 2012, a collaboration with Turin-based filmmaker and artist Simone Catania, Khosrowpour performed his own composition in a fog-filled art gallery while hanging from the ceiling. Improvisation is also an important component to Khosrowpour’s concerts, and is a trademark of his duo, Corky Has a Band, with pianist David Broome. 2013 marked their third season of concerts based on improvisation, guest artist showcases, audience participation, and general silliness. Previous shows have included a book burning, a piece for piano and Legos, and a music video about the alphabet.

As a company composer for The Actors Company Theatre, Khosrowpour has scored for 15 of their readings and productions. He is collaborating with playwrights on two musicals—one has zombies in it—and regularly writes for theater and dance companies in New York City, Colorado, and Los Angeles. As a teaching artist, Khosrowpour lectures at the Manhattan School of Music, and performs and coaches at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy. He studied with Phillip Kawin for his Master’s and Doctorate degrees at Manhattan School of Music, with Jack Winerock for his Bachelor’s at the University of Kansas, and with Scott McBride Smith during his younger years in Los Angeles.

09 Feb, 2015

CROSSINGS New Music for Cello makes Q2 Album of the Week

Violinist Marina Kifferstein reviewed Kate Dillingham and Amir Khosrowpours new album on Furious Artisans for Q2 Album of the Week. From the review: In a world where performers often find themselves gravitating towards a temporal niche, cellist Kate Dillingham is somewhat rare as a declared proponent of music she feels strongly about, regardless of when it was written; she has performed and …

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Reviews

Q2 Music Album of the Week

Dedicated Proponent of Music for Cello Goes All New in 'Crossings'
Monday, February 02, 2015

By Marina Kifferstein

In a world where performers often find themselves gravitating towards a temporal niche, cellist Kate Dillingham is somewhat rare as a declared proponent of music she feels strongly about, regardless of when it was written; she has performed and recorded music ranging from Haydn to Higdon.

Major career achievements to date include solo appearances and recordings with orchestras such as the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, as well as the commissioning of over 60 new works for cello. "Crossings: New Music for Cello," Dillingham’s fourth album, features a line-up of new music for both solo cello and cello/piano duo.

One stand-out track on the album is Yuan-Chen Li’s Tiang Jing Sha (Shivering Winds, Serene Sky), in which Dillingham performs a virtuosic and colorful cello line as accompaniment to her own singing. Her airy and melodious voice achieves a ghostly, eerie effect that pairs beautifully with Li’s timbral shifts. Another highlight is Federico Garcia de Castro’s Chemins: The Episodes and Aria for Solo Cello. Dillingham performs the explosive and complex work with energy and precision, bringing out the contrasting characters of Garcia’s writing with apparent ease.

The final track on the album, Jonathan Pieslak’s Bhakti 4 ‘Atma Shatakam', lends the album a meditative and relaxing aftertaste. After over an hour of music that runs a wide spectrum of tonality, it feels good to finish with a drone.

This album showcases nine very different living composers at varying stages of their careers. Dillingham and pianist Amir Khosrowpour do an admirable job of transitioning between these distinct voices, giving life to these new additions to the cello repertoire. 

Crossings: 'A Whole CD Of New Music'

by Porter Anderson

The necessary focus that many of us maintain these days on the development of the self-publishing sector in the books world can sometimes cause us to look right past the fact that contemporary classical music artists are also learning to be their own producers of what’s important to them.

It’s a big change that’s happened in both literature and in music. The DIY aspect of it. Do it yourself.

That’s the cellist Kate Dillingham, whose new album from Furious Artisans is Crossings: New Music For Cello. It’s to be released on the 15th of this month.

Thanks to New York Public Radio’s Q2 Music, a 24/7 Internet streaming service in contemporary classical, you can preview the entire album now as you read. It’s this week’s Album of the Week at Q2 Music, with a brief write-up from Marina Kifferstein here.

From the first chord in the opener, Almost Within Reach, by Gilbert Galindo, you’re hearing exactly the kind of resonant quandary that Dillingham’s canny curation offer you. She is accompanied by pianist Amir Khosrowpour. And this is richly rendered music of its time: disturbing, provocative rhapsodies on quieter moments of internal need and grace — perfect for the melancholic intelligence of the cello’s prized voice.

And the oldest piece is from 2009, she points out to me as we talk about it.

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Like many of us who use Q2 Music as a virtual HQ for a fast-rising new-music army of listeners and artists, Dillingham is keenly aware of the curiously deep bench of outstanding composers we’re hearing from in these early years of the century.

“A lot has happened to us humans since the year 2000,” she says, “on a global scale, on a personal scale, on a spiritual level. There’s been a lot of amazing change of thought, and representation of thought — which is how I think music really works, expressing something that we don’t really have words for.”

Getting this new collection recorded and beautifully produced to full professional standards required a sustained act of purpose on Dillingham’s part in the importance of delivering “a whole CD of new music.”

“I’d had it in my mind for a long time to do a recording of new music, but didn’t have a repertoire of new music that I felt strongly enough about that could fill out a whole album. I wanted to do something that was unique to my experience.”

Wry and articulate in conversation — with the classic wintry bare branch of a sturdy tree just outside her window as she talks — Dillingham suddenly widens her eyes and laughs in mid-sentence at the thought of what she and her associates have accomplished in making this album appear.

Number One, it’s an amazing feat that we pulled it off.

Number Two, the editing process took a long time to get the real feel of each piece.

This has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

The Genres Come Tumbling Down

Almost eerily echoing current debates among authors about the book industry’s overly restrictive genre designations and writers’ needs to cross styles and customs where necessary, Dillingham talks about the newly flexible, evolving scene today, frequently involving composers who perform.

In the world of music, there’ve been such strict rules, strict academic rules for the last 50 years — many, many years. But in the last 10 years, I would say, the younger set and really all people who are composing music seem to be knocking down those walls.

They’re taking some [influences] from the pop idiom and the rock idiom and jazz and hip-hop. We’re humans, we don’t categorize things, we listen to music we enjoy. And if [those influences] leak into the thing we’re composing, all the better.

I think a lot of people are much more open to what’s out there. Writing the way your teacher wrote works for a while, you emulate people you admire.

But you have to get to know your own voice. You have to go within yourself to find that. And have conviction with it.

Things are loosening up, Dillingham says. But the most important way to be sure that’s happening? — is in the work.

The time for this change, she insists, has arrived:

Some people are talking about it more now. But it’s being lived in composition. At least I like to think it is.

With three albums produced in the more traditional way — under the sponsorship of labels — Dillingham was prompted by her festival performances with a collective of artists, the New York-based Random Access Music (RAM), to try something daring and difficult: She wanted to bring all-new music forward with the collaboration of these composers and put the album together with their help, controlling every element of the result.

Self-publishing authors will be familiar with her approach to  getting the money the project required: “I used a site called RocketHub, which is like Kickstarter. I raised a good deal of the money that way. But it was a very collaborative business.”

When asked by RAM members if she would return and play for an upcoming festival, she told them, “Well, if you’ll write for me, I’d love to.”

They wrote for her.

Crossings features music of RAM composers Galindo, David Fetherolf, Jonathan Pieslak, B. Allen Schulz, and Wang Jie, as well as others including Jorge Muñiz, Federico Garcia-de-Castro, Yuan-Chen Li, and Gabriela Lena Frank.

With another RAM composer, Guy Barash, Dillingham is preparing a new performance for his TalkBack series, in which she’ll play cello and Barash will “play” computer programming, sampling her output and reconfiguring its sound onstage. And she’s a member of the newly forming ensemble of players attached to RAM, she says with excitement. She has surely earned that seat.

In a video about the production of the new album, you hear Dillingham and some of the Crossings composers talk about the work on the new CD.

Notice an unintentional near-theme in some of the titles, from Almost Within Reach and Shivering Winds, Serene Sky to All I Ever Wanted, A Dance of Shadows, and Song of the Self. Longing is a kind of unspoken ether that connects and tones this work in Dillingham’s exacting, poised, elegant performances.

You get a sense for how closely these artists have worked — in most cases, the music on the album is written expressly for her. And these performances, you can tell, are precision-tuned to their composers’ concepts.

They Trust My Judgment’

So intimately did performer and composer work in some of the recordings on the new album that Dillingham tells of basically co-composing with Yuan–Chen Li “over the Internet.” The composer would offer up a proposal, asking, “Does this work?” And they’d talk about texture and range together.

As it happens, the vocalise on that work, the haunting fourth track, Tian Jing Sha (Shivering Winds, Serene Sky), is sung by Dillingham herself. Her gentle, almost timid soprano might remind you of the work of Jónsi Birgisson of Sigur Ros, a great favorite of many followers of Q2 Music.

There’s voice in one other piece, as well: In Pieslak’s Bhakti 4 “Atma Shatkam” (Song of the Self), that’s the composer, himself, providing a superb, powerful monsastic basso chant, at once familiar and unnerving.

One of the biggest satisfactions of the Crossings project, Dillingham says, is that despite the myriad details of creating and producing this album, the artistic aspect of the work “wasn’t that difficult.” And she knows this has to do with something authors are told about, day in and day out: patience.

Partly because I’ve been around for awhile, people trust my instinct. When I say I’m going to put out an album of all new music, they may not like all of it — they may not like any of it! But they trust my judgment in terms of what I think its value is.

‘You have to get to know your own voice. You have to go within yourself to find that. And have conviction with it.’
Kate Dillingham

And in performance — as in the recent release party for the album at which she performed some of the CD’s tracks — it all came together in a profoundly satisfying moment.

Kate Dillingham:

People are hearing music they’ve never heard before. And in some instances, they’re sitting next to the person who wrote it. That’s awesome! And look, there’s another person who wrote for the disc, sitting over there!

All of what we do in our own personal place, our own personal hell,  organizing and putting it out? — when people come together and experience it in this fashion, it’s a very powerful experience.

People are thrilled to be hearing something like this new music…the ink is still wet.

christianbcarey.com

On Crossings, cellist Kate Dillingham brings energetic artistry to a program of new works. The CD includes a number of solo pieces. Bhakti 4, “Atma Shatakam” (Song of the Self), by Jonathan Pieslak, pairs a meditative modal melody over a drone.Tian Jing Sha, by Yuan-Chen Li, calls upon the cellist to sing in delicate tones alongside a vigorously arpeggiated accompaniment rife with trills. Behold the Lamb of God by Jorge Muniz  is a supple work, its ardent melodic lines creating a rhapsodic ambience that alternates with brusquely repeated notes. Chemin, Three Episodes, and Aria for solo cello byFederico Garcia de Castro exploits the cello’s full range in insistent low double stops, long glissandos, and penetrating harmonics. These surround a mid-range melodic thread built out of unconventional scalar fragments. David Fetherolf’s … E io li tenni dietro is an extended suite featuring a variety of demeanors and playing techniques. Passages of pizzicato (plucked) figures, multi-stops, and harmonics are complemented by dancing figures and moody angular melodies.

Joined for duos by pianist Amir Khosrowpour, Dillingham digs in to Gilbert Galindo’s Almost Within Reach, relishing its passionate long breathed melodies and altissimo register cries. Khosrowpour is equally impressive, performing limpid cascades and stentorian chordal outbursts with precision and forceful authority. Allen Schulz’s A Dance of Shadows finds the duo in a dramatic colloquy filled with syncopated gestures and brusquely dissonant verticals. The recording’s highlight, Adagio pour Amantani  by Gabriela Lena Frank, is an expansive and beautiful piece, filled with lyrical cello recitatives and soaring passages for the piano. Frank’s harmonic language is intriguingly varied, at some points incorporating triadic writing while at others delving into more intricate chromaticism. Crossings does indeed provide an intersection between a multiplicity of compositional voices and aesthetics. It is unified by the commitment and considerable capabilities brought to each and every performance on the recording. Recommended. - Christian Carey, 2/14/2015