We chose to call this album Modern Muses, because the legendary Muses of Greek mythology evoke a spirit of inspiration, art, ancient epic history, and something revealed for a special purpose; putting them in a modern context binds the present with something timeless, eternal. That’s how this music feels: songs about universal themes and human experiences, told with a modern voice in an intimate instrumentation.
The oldest piece in our collection is from 1987, and the newest was just written over the summer! Suffice to say, this is all very modern sounding music. Some pieces, like the music of Willem Stoppelenburg and Antonio Bibalo, are heady and complex with an emphasis on feeling and contour over “hooks” and tame harmonies. Others are almost bordering on minimalist, using silence and precious few notes to make a big impact. Still others have a very “mainstream” sound, almost like something out of a film score. What this means for the listener is that this album doesn’t play through with a steady pace, but instead makes many twists and turns, lots of dramatic ups and downs. It’s an album with a rich, intimate emotional landscape; perfect for a contemplative rainy afternoon/twilight with a fire and a cup of tea.
Alexis Bacon – Alba (2018)
Ronald Tremain – from “Four Blake Songs” (1987)
- Ah! Sunflower
- The Sick Rose
Willem Stoppelenburg – from “Three Cavafy Songs”
Jean Hatmaker – ahimsa (2020) [solo cello]
Stacy Garrop – Dawn (2020)
Willem Stoppelenburg – Olga [solo soprano]
Paul Ayres – Moon Sister (2020)
Katherine Dudney – Vocalise (2016*)
Antonio Bibalo – Il Lamento di Fedra (2002)
Bernd Johannes Wolf – This is just to say (2020)
Adrián A. Cuello Piraquibis – Canción de cuna (2012*)