Known as the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music, BMOP/sound today announced the November 19th release of Steven Mackey: Time Release, led by conductor Gil Rose and performed by the musicians of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and percussionist Colin Currie. Growing up playing in rock bands in California, Grammy Award-winning composer Steven Mackey brings those influences to his classical concert music writing on his second BMOP/sound CD.
Lauded by Gramophone for his “explosive and ethereal imagination,” Mackey is regarded as a leading composer of his generation. His compositions range from orchestral and chamber music to dance and opera. Mackey is currently Professor of Music and former chair of the Department of Music at Princeton University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. BMOP’s recording of Mackey’s Dreamhouse (BMOP/sound, 2010) was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2011: Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Engineered Album, Classical, and Producer of the Year, Classical, for producer David Frost. “My collaborations with Gil Rose and BMOP over the past 20 years are among the most significant of my artistic life and I am so grateful for Gil’s musicianship and friendship,” says Mackey.
With the disc-opening Urban Ocean, Mackey explores the coexistence of marine life with the city life of Southern California. The title track features Scottish soloist Colin Currie showcasing the marimba along with a coterie of what Mackey calls “timbral extensions” in this percussion concerto. Tonic—a 20-minute work for strings, winds, and timpani— takes its inspiration from the composer’s idea of “Shadow Chords,” his son’s seizures, a lullaby for his daughter, and an improvised guitar tune. Tonic is in roughly two equal parts: “the first made entirely from the interplay between instances of the shadow harmonics and the rustic melody; in the second half the sustained tension becomes more of a twitch and the Scotch snap becomes ubiquitous,” explains Mackey. Closing the CD is Turn the Key, drawing on the idea of the clave rhythm in some Latin dance music.
BMOP/sound, BMOP’s independent record label, was created in 2008 to provide a platform for BMOP’s extensive archive of music, as well as to provide widespread, top- quality, permanent access to both classics of the 20th century and the music of today’s most innovative composers.
BMOP/sound has garnered praise from the national and international press; it is the recipient of six Grammy Award nominations and its releases have appeared on the year- end “Best of” lists of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, American Record Guide, DownBeat Magazine, WBUR, NewMusicBox, and others. Admired, praised, and sought after by artists, presenters, critics, and audiophiles, BMOP and BMOP/sound are uniquely positioned to redefine the new music concert and recording experience. Launched in 2019, BMOP’s digital radio station, BMOP/radio, streams BMOP/sound’s entire catalog and airs special programming. BMOPsound.org