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Are there any other pieces by Abrahamsen that anyone would particularly recommend? Or similar composers?
The quartets are good - very attractive, full of interesting sounds (sometimes it is hard to believe you are listening to a quartet) and ideas (Abrahamsen seems always to be full of genuine surprises). Not the most profound music, perhaps, but certainly very good - delightful, even - music. Not everything has to be profound.
 
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Bump! I see from the beginning of this thread, that it's hyper informative! Right now, I'm looking for a good book that has information on all the modern styles and key composers, and I hope for an easy way out...
Music After the Fall by Tim Rutherford Johnson.

For something a little bit more general and focussing on a lot of what was going on in Europe in the 20th century, there's also New Ears for New Music by Constantin Floros.
 
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Thank-you! I read a review and got a little confused. Have you read the book? I'm actually after "labels", which the review said was not considered in this book...
Music After the Fall? I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's the only book I know that actually goes into a good amount of detail examining the kinds of music being written since 1989.

The Floros book is more of an overview of the previous century, but with many interesting essays and chapters that discuss trends that have carried over into the last 18 years.

Honestly, I have no clue what you mean by 'labels'
 

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Music After the Fall? I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's the only book I know that actually goes into a good amount of detail examining the kinds of music being written since 1989.

The Floros book is more of an overview of the previous century, but with many interesting essays and chapters that discuss trends that have carried over into the last 18 years.

Honestly, I have no clue what you mean by 'labels'
Is that Constantin Floros-New Ears for New Music? With "labels" I mean styles, like newcomplexity for Ferneyhough or spectral music for Grisey. You have anyway made it easy for me! No need to surf this whole thread... :)
 
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Is that Constantin Floros-New Ears for New Music? With "labels" I mean styles, like newcomplexity for Ferneyhough or spectral music for Grisey. You have anyway made it easy for me! No need to surf this whole thread... :)
Well, I listen primarily to 21st (and late 20th) century music and I can tell you it's really really hard to come up with unifying labels for different groups of composers.

We can be descriptive in how we compare composers with others in terms of things they share in common......Mark Andre and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf have written a number of slow, sparse compositions with very airy or still sounds interrupted with bursts of colour or sudden contrasts. Mahnkopf, again, has some similarities with Haas, Coates and Catherine Lamb in their use of micro-intervals (Bernhard Lang's Monadologie XII The Saucy Maid is a significant example of microtonal music on a massive scale: two orchestras tuned a quartertone apart!).

Dench and Finnissy have composed some of the most substantial additions to 'new complex' piano repertoire but their music is so distinct from one another that it's hard for me to even use the same label to describe them.

Composers like Moritz Eggert, Olga Neuwirth and Wolfgang Mitterer have made use of post-Schnittke polystylist techniques each in their own way, with their own sound. Mitterer is particularly fascinating in that he has worked extensively with electronics as well, and there are many other composers whose works featuring live electronics with acoustic instruments are particularly exciting and all unique (Clemens Gadenstätter's Comic Sense is a personal favourite). But then again Panayiotis Kokoras is creating incredible works for solo instruments and fixed-media electronics that seem to want to exist in a category all on their own.

Helmuth Lachenmann is so difficult to categorise, but he has had such an enormous influence on the way people think about sound, music, tradition (Wolfgang Rihm as a traditionalist/modernist as well!) and innovation in the 21st century, especially when it comes to instrumental technique, including all I have mentioned above (and below). Czernowin and Liza Lim have a comparable exploratory approach to instrumentation, but both of their styles are uniquely melodic (so is Mahnkopf's, in his own way) and in contrast to other composers with an interest in colour but whose music tend to be far less lyrical (like Adámek, Steen-Andersen and usually Bernhard Lang.)

I could keep going, actually I don't really know where to stop, but I will probably just end this post saying that I honestly do not know how to label and categorise these composers or why it would be much of an achievement to.........

I don't know how to label composers like Ulrich Krieger, Elena Rykova, Rupert Huber, Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander, Nikolaus Brass, Natasha Barrett, Richard Barrett, Atli Ingólfsson, Adriana Hölszky, Joanna Wozny, Wenchen Qin, Elena Mendoza, Dai Fujikura, Clara Iannotta, Saed Haddad, Jason Eckardt, Lisa Streich, Marianna Liik, Matthias Pintscher, Aaron Cassidy, Misato Mochizuki, Keeril Makan, Peter Ruzicka, Salvatore Sciarrino, Ramon Lazkano, Lucia Ronchetti, Unsuk Chin, Édith Canat de Chizy, Andreas Pfügler, Isabel Mundry, Alberto Posadas, Johannes Schöllhorn, Johannes Maria Staud, Johannes Kalitzke, Beat Furrer, Ruben Seroussi, Peter Jakober, Rupert Huber, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Milica Djordjevic or Anthony Pateras and I'm not sure exactly why I would want to come up with any definitive label.

Making comparisons is the best I can do for you, I'm afraid. Music After the Fall is still probably the best book you can find as well, unless you have access to some musicological journals on New Music.
 
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I tend to use a different kind of label-the record label-to aid my own exploration in 21st century music. There are two main ones which I can't live without: KAIROS, NEOS (especially NEOS) and Wergo are the big three, but Col Legno, Edition Wandelweiser, Aeon and Mode have heaps of good stuff as well, not to mention the more area-specific labels like Ondine, NMC, Musikszene Schweiz, Naïve etc.
 
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Wow! Nice post, you should keep going :) That's what this thread is about! I guess I'm still old-fashioned and have only heard 6/7 of the ones you mentioned...I ordered both of the books.
Thanks :)
Rutherford-Johnson writes way better than me, and I guess my own biases and preferences are pretty clear anyway, but I will write some more later, just from my own perspective I guess.
 

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I also check out record labels. NEOS is great! I sometimes wonder how to describe new music, and your way of seeing similarities between composers will probably work, but I find it hard to categorize just by listening. I play guitar and want to have a repertory that touches on so many aspects of modern music as I can handle :) I also collect scores and have many by composers from all over. My problem is that I'm lazy...That's why my coming projects are with duopartners, now I have to practice :)
 
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I also check out record labels. NEOS is great! I sometimes wonder how to describe new music, and your way of seeing similarities between composers will probably work, but I find it hard to categorize just by listening. I play guitar and want to have a repertory that touches on so many aspects of modern music as I can handle :) I also collect scores and have many by composers from all over. My problem is that I'm lazy...That's why my coming projects are with duopartners, now I have to practice :)
I play guitar as well. Actually, I've composed a couple of pieces for guitar duo including a recent one for a couple of friends of mine. A recording of the premiere will be up on YouTube soon, and I could send you the score if you like. :)
 

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I play guitar as well. Actually, I've composed a couple of pieces for guitar duo including a recent one for a couple of friends of mine. A recording of the premiere will be up on YouTube soon, and I could send you the score if you like. :)
I'd love to hear your piece :) This spring I performed with a guitar buddy who also likes new music. I would love to see the score and hopefully play it!
 
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https://www.swr.de/-/id=21966288/property=download/nid=2136962/6hbgge/donaueschinger-musiktage-2018-programmflyer-pdf.pdf
Here's the program for the Donaueschinger-Musiktage this coming October. Does anyone here like going to contemporary music festivals? Here in Norway we have the Ultima festival.
Thanks for posting! I'm familiar with probably just under half of the composers mentioned here so I'm looking forward to some new discoveries when the NEOS recordings come out. :)
Lots of Isabel Mundry, yay! Big fan :cool:
And nice to see some Malin Bång, Agata Zubel, Poppe and Aperghis as well! Wish I could go there for the festival this year.
 

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New label: elsewhere
http://www.elsewheremusic.net/


elsewhere is a new music label founded by Yuko Zama this year, releasing contemporary classical, improvisation, and experimental music.

Biliana Voutchkova / Michael Thieke - Blurred Music (elsewhere 001-3)
Melaine Dalibert - Musique pour le lever du jour (elsewhere 002)
Jürg Frey - 120 Pieces of Sound (elsewhere 003)
Clara de Asís - Without (elsewhere 004)
Stefan Thut - about (elsewhere 005)

I listened to the Dalibert. Music to hear decays, resonances and overtones.
 
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