Monday, March 21, 2011

Minimalism Meets Maria? I Love That Idea For Reasons Too Numinous to Mention

While catching up on Twitter this afternoon, I happened to read a tweet from Darcy James Argue, the "steampunk big band" composer who has been discussed in these pages before (and whom I had to miss a few weeks ago when he led the One O'Clock through a program of his music in Denton). He mentioned that he was going to see a show by a group called Numinous, and for whatever reason, my curiosity was piqued.

So I visited the Numinous blog, which led to the group's website, where I learned that Numinous is the project of a composer named Joseph C. Phillips, Jr., and he has a fascinating story: Started out as a school band director in the suburbs of Seattle; came to composition late; saw a Maria Schneider clinic at Washington State and was summarily blown away; went to NYC and spent six years in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. And what he's come up with is music that skirts the jazz/classical border, heavily influenced by Schneider as well as minimalists like Steve Reich and John Adams, but with a sound all its own that has to be heard to be described. Here's a small sample of one of his newest works:

(And for something a bit more on the jazz side, watch this.)

I'm always on the lookout for new sounds, so I'm really glad that DJA tweeted about this today (and I look forward to my eMusic credits refreshing next week so that I can snag a copy of this latest work, Vipassana; check out more here or here, or at the iTunes Store, which has the lengthiest samples).

I love discovering new music! What else will cross my path this week?

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