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New American Mandolin Ensemble | Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings

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Classical: New Music Ensemble Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Contemporary Works for Plucked Strings

by New American Mandolin Ensemble

Contemporary classical music for plucked string instruments (mandolin, mandola, classical guitar, string bass) reflecting folk, jazz and world music influences.
Genre: Classical: New Music Ensemble
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dances for the Mandolin and the Moon - R. Charlton
4:53 album only
2. Urban Sketches: Circuits - O. Hartford
2:03 album only
3. Urban Sketches: Underground - O. Hartford
1:33 album only
4. Urban Sketches: Walkabout - O. Hartford
2:15 album only
5. Urban Sketches: Fast Lane - O. Hartford
1:38 album only
6. Dreamtime - A. Kruisbrink
6:33 album only
7. Homeward Bound - E. Macadam-Somer
4:05 album only
8. The City Awakens - E. Stopler
7:12 album only
9. Song for My Father - C. Assad
3:26 album only
10. Philoxenia - J. Kellaris
7:02 album only
11. The Song of Japanese Autumn - Y. Kuwahara
11:35 album only
12. Yutuma - C. Acquavella
5:24 album only
13. Tema De Soto - M. Davis
4:05 album only


Album Notes
Notes on the Music by Robert A. Margo:
Guitarist Richard Charlton is one of Australia’s most prolific composers for plucked strings. His “Dances for the Mandolin and the Moon” (Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag, Hamburg, Germany) imagines that the mandolin in Picasso’s Girl with a Mandolin comes to life, dances under a full moon, and sings a serenade to the girl in the painting.
Each of the four movements of “Urban Sketches” (ediciones mundoplectro.com, Nájera, Spain) by the American composer and mandolinist Owen Hartford echoes the rhythms of city life, such as the constant pulse of “Circuits” or frenetic pace of “Fast Lane.” The work received second prize in the prestigious “Concurso Internacional de Composición para formaciones de Plectro José Fernández Rojas” (Logroño, Spain) in 2012.
The Dutch guitarist and composer Annette Kruisbrink frequently incorporates extended techniques into her works, such as tapping on the soundboard, plucking behind the nut, or Bartok pizzicato. She describes “Dreamtime” (Musikverlag Vogt & Fritz, Ettlingen, Germany) as a “fusion of dreams … [on] the one hand there are the hurried Western people who do not consider dreams … as important … [then] there is the Aboriginals’ world in which dreams are directly connected with life and the hereafter.”
Born in 1978 in Rio de Janeiro and currently living in Chicago, Illinois, Clarice Assad is a highly successful composer, singer, and pianist. Written in a Brazilian style, “Song for My Father” (Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag) is an affectionate tribute to her father, Sergio Assad, one of the world’s great classical guitarists.
The Dutch composer Emiel Stöpler began his musical studies on recorder, clarinet, and drums, but soon switched to classical guitar. His compositions are strongly influenced by jazz, pop, rock, and world music (a mix that he calls “filmic”) all of which are strikingly evident in “The City Awakens.”
An innovative and virtuosic performer on fiddle, Eden MacAdam-Somer is based in Boston, Massachusetts, where she teaches at the New England Conservatory. “Homeward Bound” is a foot-tapping, rollicking homage to all things old-time and bluegrass, and a delight to play.
Born in Kobe, Japan, Yasuo Kuwahara’s (1946- 2003) vast oeuvre includes numerous major solo, chamber, and orchestral pieces for plucked strings, none more widely performed than “The Song of Japanese Autumn” (Musikverlag Vogt & Fritz). Written in a neo-romantic style, and incorporating Japanese scales and melodies, the centerpiece of “Autumn” is a dramatic solo cadenza, performed here by Mark Davis.
James Kellaris divides his time between academic work as a professor in the business school at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio), and musical composition in a variety of idioms, including plucked strings. Written for NAME and suffused with Greek-inflected harmonies, melodies, and rhythms, “Philoxenia” translates as “love of the stranger,” the subtext being the hospitality shown by Greece towards the recent refugees from Syria.
One of the world’s leading classical mandolinists, American-born Chris Acquavella makes his home in Germany, where he is in high demand as a performer, educator, recording artist, and composer. “Yutuma” (Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag) highlights several of Acquavella’s compositional influences – a love of unusual meter, Eastern-European scales and harmonies, minimalism, and rock and pop music.
NAME director Mark Davis wrote his “Tema de Soto” on solo guitar early one morning while visiting friends in a tiny village in the mountains of northern Spain. Unable to find pencil and paper in his host’s home, he carved the musical notation onto a piece of wood. The spare, haunting melody is reminiscent of those of the great Spanish Renaissance vihuelist, Luis de Milán.



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