YOUNG PEOPLE’S CHORUS OF NEW YORK CITY’S THIRD COMPOSER COMPILATION ALBUM TRANSIENT GLORY III,
DIRECTED BY FRANCISCO J. NÚÑEZ,
TO BE RELEASED ON CANTALOUPE MUSIC ON NOVEMBER 13, 2015
Recording features music composed by John Corigliano, Paquito D’Rivera,
Michael Gordon, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and Bora Yoon
“It’s hard to know which is the more impressive achievement – the fact that the YPC has spurred the creation of such a rich and varied body of new choral works,
or the completely convincing and professional performances that these
gifted young singers have produced.” – John Schaefer/WNYC
The Young People’s Chorus of New York City will release Transient Glory III, the third installment of its flagship recording project, on Cantaloupe Music this November. The Transient Glory series seeks to spotlight the children’s chorus as a serious and glorious instrument by harnessing the particular poignancy and innocence of youth voices. Transient Glory was created in 2001 by YPC founder and artistic director Francisco J. Núñez to expand the limited repertoire for children’s voices with new and challenging music. YPC has now contributed more than 80 new works to the repertoire by some of the most important and celebrated composers of the day through its Transient Glory and Radio Radiance new music programs.
Transient Glory III is the first of the Transient Glory recordings to be distributed worldwide and the most diverse in the burgeoning YPC catalog. It comprises five compositions commissioned by YPC from John Corigliano, Paquito D’Rivera, Michael Gordon, Meredith Monk, and Bora Yoon and one composition by Terry Riley, Another Secret eQuation, co-commisisoned by YPC and the Kronos Quartet. In his review of the first Transient Glory album, WNYC’s resident music guru John Schaefer encapsulated what makes this series so special: “While the project title itself acknowledges the fleeting beauty of the voices that these pieces were written for, there are some real gems here, works of character and substance that could potentially endure for many years.”
ABOUT THE MUSIC
Every Stop on the F Train: When YPC director Francisco J Núñez approached Michael Gordon for a new composition, he asked him to pick an urban topic. Gordon mused, “what’s more urban than the subway?” Implementing his trademark technique of close canon counterpoint, Gordon’s chosen text was the name of every stop on the F train in order, from Jamaica, Queens to Coney Island, Brooklyn. “I picked the F Train simply because I liked the names of the stops,” Gordon explains in his program notes. A music video for the piece was created by Gordon’s long-time collaborator, filmmaker Bill Morrison.
Semaphore Conductus is a choral sound installation sung in surround, inspired by the conduction of energy and the language of signals and sound. Composer Bora Yoon performs with the choir, mixing in layers of Morse code, radio signals, cell phone sounds and heartbeats to create a stereophonic performance piece, incorporating altered early music techniques of Latin conductus through hocket, ventriloquated double choir, and antiphonal calls through the history and evolution of signaling and sound devices (conch, gramophone, megaphone and cell phone).
Things Heaven and Hell: The text for Meredith Monk‘s piece is taken from Electric Chocolate, a poem written by 11-year-old Tennessee Reed: “There are 3 heavens and hells, people heaven and hell, animal heaven and hell, things heaven and hell. What’s the difference? There is none.” This is Meredith Monk’s first composition using words; she has historically only worked with the voice without text. Monk chose the text because it gave her “space to work with my own rhythms and phonemes as well as an intriguing set of images to play with. I’ve always believed that the voice itself is a language, which speaks more eloquently than words.”
Terry Riley’s Another Secret eQuation is dedicated to the memory of prominent physicist Hans Sigmann – the project director at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and the husband of Katrina Krimsky, who performed the piano pulse on the world premiere recording of In C in 1968. The composition is in three sections and features a text written by Riley. “I wrote the text keeping in mind that young people would be singing, and that the ideas expressed would gently address the actions of their elders and the overwhelmingly messy world the kids were being handed. The third section offers up some nonsense syllables as a possible antidote to the gobbledygook that poses as wisdom from some of our esteemed leaders.”
One Sweet Morning is the titular final song in the cycle of composer John Corigliano’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The poem, by E. Y. Harburg (The Wizard of Oz), ends the cycle with the dream of a world without war. “An impossible dream, perhaps,” writes the composer, “but certainly one worth dreaming. In this short poem, Harburg paints a beautiful scene where ‘the rose will rise…spring will bloom…peace will come….one sweet morning.’”
Paquito D’Rivera’s vocal work Tembandumba is inspired by Tembandumba de la Quimbamba, the main character of the poem Majestad Negra (Black Majesty) by Puerto Rican poet Luis Pales Matos. The composition is physically engaging – onomatopoeic lyrics, foot stamps, and Cuban claves punctuate the beautiful poetry of the Puerto Rican maestro. D’Rivera dedicates the piece as “my humble musical tribute to the master poet from Borinquen.”
The Young People’s Chorus of New York City is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded in 1988 by Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “genius” Fellow, YPC has heightened an awareness of the ability of a youth choir to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Its repertoire spans four centuries and includes works from the renaissance and classical traditions to gospel, folk, pop, contemporary, and world music. More information from www.ypc.org.
Cantaloupe Music is the record label created and launched in March 2001 by the three founders of New York’s legendary Bang on a Can organization—composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe—with Bang on a Can managing director Kenny Savelson. Cantaloupe Music has made a massive impact in the new music community, and has been recognized by critics and fans worldwide for its edgy and adventurous sounds.