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But I hope this is not just a one-man show and that anyone knowledgeable about the era can provide some guidance or anyone simply interested can share their opinions on the music. After all, I'm hoping to learn as much as anyone else through this process.
Since I'm due up to present a work by Philippe Manoury in the 1980-2000 listening group, I'll use this opportunity to listen/re-listen to a number of his works over the next couple weeks and then create a list of recommendations. He's a good one to add to the project and is a good example of being one of those composers who's famous everywhere in the contemporary music world except on TC.
 

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Apologies for waiting so long to do Manoury. I was going to work my way through his music and develop a list as I went, but I got about half way before getting sidetracked with other composers. It's hard to listen to one composer at a time with no breaks for other music. Lesson learned, I guess.

Anyways, I just compiled tonight Manoury's most important works with your rating system. One thing I'm not sure of is whether to include pieces that get regularly performed (that is, "regular" as far as contemporary music is concerned) but have no commercial recording or recording of a live performance. I did include several of those, but I can take them out if you want. On the other hand, if you want all of Manoury's works, I can do that too.

EDIT: I just made Tensio and Le Livre des claviers ***. I also suspect La Trilogie Köln will become a *** as time goes on, but it's too early to tell.

I also added Partita II

- Cryptophonos [piano solo] (1974) **
- Numéro huit [103 musicians] (1980, rev. 1987)
- Zeitlauf [mixed choir, ensemble, tape & live electronics] (1982)
- Jupiter [midi-flute & live electronics] (1986-1987, rev. 1992, 1996) ***
- Le Livre des claviers [six percussionists] (1987-1988) ***
- Pluton [midi-piano & live electronics] (1988, rev. 1989) ***
- La Partition du Ciel et de l'Enfer [midi-flute, piano, midi-piano, ensemble & live electronics] (1989)
- Neptune [2 midi-vibraphones, marimba/tam-tam & live electronics] (1991)
- Michigan Trio [clarinet, violin & piano] (1992)
- En écho [soprano & live electronics] (1993-1994)
- Passacaille pour Tokyo [piano solo & 17 instruments] (1994)
- Métal [six sixxens] (1995)
- 60e Parallèle [opera] (1995-1996)
- Ultima [clarinet, cello & piano] (1995-1996)
- Fragments pour un portrait [30 musicians] (1998) **
- Toccata [piano solo] (1998)
- Sound and Fury [109 musicians] (1998-1999) **
- K … [opera] (2000-2001) **
- La ville [piano solo] (2001-2002)
- Fragments d'Héraclite [mixed choir] (2003)
- Partita I [viola & live electronics] (2006) **
- Trakl Gedichte [mixed choir] (2006)
- Veränderungen [piano solo] (2008)
- Stringendo [string quartet] (2010)
- Synapse [violin & orchestra] (2010)
- Tensio [string quartet & live electronics] (2010) ***
- Echo-daimónon [piano, orchestra & live electronics] (2011-2012)
- Partita II [violin & live electronics] (2012)
- Illud etiam [soprano, clarinet & live electronics] (2012, rev. 2015)
- Melancolia (d'après Dürer) [string quartet] (2013)
- Zones de turbulences [two pianos & orchestra] (2013)
- La Trilogie Köln (2013-2019) **
--- Ring [grand spatialized orchestra] (2016)
--- In situ [group of soloists, string orchestra & eight spatialized orchestral groups] (2013)
--- Lab.Oratorium [2 actors, soprano, contralto, chamber choir, grand amateur choir, grand spatialized orchestra & live electronics] (2019)
- Le temps, mode d'emploi [two pianos & live electronics] (2014) **
- Bref aperçu sur l'infini [cello & orchestra] (2015)
- B-Partita (in memoriam Pierre Boulez) [violin, ensemble & live electronics] (2016) **
- États d'alerte [two percussionists & orchestra] (2017)
- Kein Licht [opera] (2017) **
- Saccades [flute & orchestra] (2018)
- Anticipations [grand spatialized orchestra] (2019)
 

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Though I won't get to them right away, other more recent, well-known contemporary composers I can do are:

Mark Andre
Pierluigi Billone (Andre and Billone are, imo, Lachenmann's two best students)
Rebecca Saunders (one of Ferneyhough's best students, though her aesthetics is closer to Lachenmann)
Simon Steen-Andersen (a creative multi-media composer like van der Aa and who challenges the boundaries of music in a Cagean fashion)
Enno Poppe
Bernhard Lang (Poppe and Lang use algorithms to generate their music. Specifically, Poppe uses mathematical models of plant growth and Lang is into "loop aesthetics")

Also, someone should do Richard Barrett, though I'm familiar with his work.
 

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Simon Steen-Andersen (1976-; Danish)

Steen-Andersen has some of the most creative music I've ever heard. He's a hybrid of Schaeffer's musique concrète, Lachenmann's extended techniques, Cage's philosophizing, and Kagel's theatrics, but he goes in a direction all his own. It's the way he combines sampler sounds with instruments, or the way he prepares the instruments, or the way he integrates visual media with sound, or the way he uses everyday tactile objects, that is unlike anything I've heard. Some of his early stuff can be hit or miss -- though if you're familiar with the ideas behind the music and have a good ear, they're still pretty interesting, the problem with them is that they're very performance dependent -- but starting with his work Run Time Error, he's really taken off with some great pieces. Run Time Error in particular is an experimental piece fertile in musical ideas like Cage's 4'33" (in my opinion, it's more interesting than 4'33"); in fact, I'd go as far as to say that, were it not for the cultural milieu Steen-Andersen is currently composing in and were Run Time Error created in the fifties like 4'33", it would've achieved the level of infamy 4'33" currently has.

The 2 pieces I recommend hearing first are:
TRIO, which premiered at the 2019 Donaueschingen festival and is an amazing spectacle of video and sound (piece starts at 1 hour 39 minute mark)
Run Time Error, a site specific video installation performance, where every performance of it is essentially a different composition (this youtube video is one such performance)

I've posted a bit about his music here on TC, so I'll just link to some of my posts:
post on TRIO that I wrote last week in one of those stupid "I hate contemporary music" threads.
post on Run Time Error
post on his Piano Concerto
couple posts on Black Box Music and Double Up

As far as ranking the pieces for Trout's list, I weighed different types of evidence. I checked for number of performances on youtube, checked for what's been commercially recorded, checked for amount and variety of information from a simple google search, the number of performances listed on the Steen-Andersen's personal website, and my personal opinions of the pieces (I listened to every work I could find and read the scores while listening; most of the scores and program notes can be found here). I've also listened to a couple interviews on youtube and this 2 hour lecture given by Steen-Andersen on his own music. But the best pieces of evidence are:

This essay "Have you Seen the Music"

The only two books I've read on more recent contemporary music had extended discussions on Steen-Andersen's Run Time Error and Black Box Music. I doubt that's a coincidence.

This 2017 survey of over 100 music professionals asking who they thought were the best composers since 2000 and what were the best works (when you click on the link, then click on "Get More Information" for the survey results). Steen-Andersen had the second highest point total, behind only G. F. Haas. As an aside, this survey is a *fantastic* place to start checking out 21st century music.

Anyways, here's the list. Some notes:

1. loloopop is more of a visual art installation than a piece of music and is a collaboration effort with artist Carl Krull. I included it because I found it to be pretty interesting and I think it showcases in a different way the connections between Steen-Andersen's music and other artistic media, but if you think it's beyond the scope of this list, you can take it down.

2. It's rather difficult to give the instrumentation for (Self Reflecting) Next to Beside Besides. Steen-Andersen composed a work called Besides in 2003. He then wrote 13 solo pieces (the first of which is called Beside Besides, the others called Next to Beside Besides) that are each different takes on the coda of Besides. These 13 works can also be played simultaneously in any combination. This is the Next to Beside Besides series. Steen-Andersen then added an option for these solos to be projected onto video screens while other solos are being played, again in any combination. This is the Self Reflecting Next to Beside Besides series. I put "Self Reflecting" in () in order to condense these two series into one entry while indicating that the video part is optional. I'll leave it up to you if you have a better way of writing it. I'm also gonna leave the individual entries in the series below, so that you have the complete information, but I know you'll want to condense it all down to one line. Again, I'm not sure how to phrase the instrumentation in such a way so that I capture all the necessary information, so I'm leaving it up to you :)

3. TRIO would easily be a *** piece except for two things. First, it was only composed two years ago. Second, it's the product of a specific time and place and is essentially a glorification of the SWR radio station and the Donaueschinger festival (whose 100th anniversary is this year). This implies that only the SWR orchestra can play it and can only be played for a short while before it loses its wider significance, thus limiting the number of performances. But other than that, it's an impeccably composed work. I gave it **, but if you think otherwise, go for it.

EDIT: I just listened to The Loop of the Nibelung, which came out last July, and it's definitely good enough to be included. It's basically Run Time Error meets Wagner.

- String Quartet No. 1 (1999)
- Praesens [14 musicians] (2001)
- Besides [amplified piccolo flute, amplified piano, amplified violin & dampened string trio] (2003)
- Rerendered [amplified & prepared piano solo, 2 assistants & video installation] (2003, rev. 2004)
- (Self-Reflecting) Next to Beside Besides [combinations of 1 or more solo instruments (optional video installation)] (2003-2008)
o Beside Besides (Next to Beside Besides No. 0) [dampened cello solo (optional amplification)] [2003]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 1 [amplified & dampened double bass solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 2 [amplified & dampened saxophone solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 3 [amplified & prepared accordion solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 4 [amplified & prepared snare drum solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 5 [amplified & prepared piccolo solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 6 [amplified, dampened & prepared violin solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 7 [amplified & prepared piano & whammy pedal] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 8 [amplified & prepared guitar solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 9 [amplified & prepared double bass solo] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 10 [miniature camera & visual installation] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 11 [amplified vibraphone solo] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 12 [amplified & prepared accordion solo] [2008]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 13 [amplified & prepared guitar solo] [2008]
- Amid [flute, Bb clarinet, prepared piano, guitar, percussion, dampened violin & dampened cello] (2004)**
- Amongst [amplified guitar solo & orchestra] (2005)
- loloopop (with Carl Krull) [audio-visual installation] (2006)
- In spite of, and maybe even therefore [amplified flute, amplified Bb clarinet, contrabassoon, amplified & dampened F horn, percussion, prepared piano & double bass] (2007)
- Studies for String Instrument Nos. 1-3 [1 or more string instruments, whammy pedal & video installation] (2007-2011)**
- Difficulties Putting it into Practice [2 or 4 amplified musicians] (2007, rev. 2010/2014)
- On and Off and To and Fro [prepared soprano saxophone, vibraphone & double bass; 3 prepared megaphones] (2008)
- Pretty Sound (Up and Down) [amplified piano solo] (2008)
- Ouvertures [amplified gu-zheng solo, sampler & orchestra] (2008-2010)
- Run Time Error [site-specific video installation performance] (2009-present)***
- Double Up [chamber orchestra & sampler] (2010)**
- History of my Instrument [amplified & prepared harp, amplified toy harp & video installation] (2011)
- Black Box Music [conductor solo, sinfonietta, amplified black box & video installation] (2012)***
- String Quartet No. 2 [with amplified & prepared bows] (2012)
- Inszenierte Nacht [music theater & live electronics] (2013)
- Buenos Aires [opera] (2014)
- Piano Concerto [piano solo, orchestra, sampler & video installation] (2014)**
- Asthma [amplified accordion & video installation] (2017)
- TRIO [orchestra, big band, choir & video installation] (2019)**
- The Loop of the Nibelung [singers, musicians & site-specific video installation performance] (2020)
 

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In case anybody's interested, here's a list of every work Steen-Andersen composed (sans some works composed in the last year) plus my personal ranking of every work I could find on youtube. Rankings are out of 10 at the end of each entry.

• 4 Petitesses [cello solo] [1998]
• Study for Alto Saxophone and Percussion [alto saxophone & percussion] [1998] [5.7/10]
• Suite [ensemble] [1998]
• Aurora Ritual [orchestra] [1999]
• Étude No. 1 [piano solo] [1999]
• Polaroid [tape] [1999]
• Punctus Contra Punctum [organ] [1999]
• Sinfonietta Variations [saxophone & sinfonietta] [1999]
• String Quartet No. 1 [string quartet] [1999] [6.4/10]
• De Profundis [soprano saxophone & percussion] [2000] [5.2/10]
• De Profundis [soprano saxophone & percussion, arranged for bass clarinet & percussion] [2000, revised 2000] [5.2/10]
• Impromptu [english horn, bass clarinet, bassoon & baritone saxophone] [2000]
• in-side-out-side-in [guitar solo] [2000-2001] [5.3/10]
• Electro Miniature [tape] [2001] [4.1/10]
• Praesens [14 musicians] [2001] [6.6/10]
• Among (Unattended Ones) [2 percussionist with adjustable amplification] [2002]
• Spin-Off [soprano saxophone, C trumpet, accordion & double bass] [2002] [3.4/10]
• Split Point [percussion solo] [2002] [3.8/10]
• Besides [amplified piccolo flute, amplified piano, amplified violin & dampened string trio] [2003] [5.0/10]
• Drownwords [amplified soprano & amplified guitar] [2003] [3.6/10]
• Rerendered [amplified & prepared piano solo, 2 assistants & video installation] [2003, revised 2004] [6.8/10]
• (Self-Reflecting) Next to Beside Besides [combinations of 1 or more solo instruments (optional video installation)] [2003-2008] [5.5/10]
o Beside Besides (Next to Beside Besides No. 0) [dampened cello solo (optional amplification)] [2003]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 1 [amplified & dampened double bass solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 2 [amplified & dampened saxophone solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 3 [amplified & prepared accordion solo] [2005]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 4 [amplified & prepared snare drum solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 5 [amplified & prepared piccolo solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 6 [amplified, dampened & prepared violin solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 7 [amplified & prepared piano & whammy pedal] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 8 [amplified & prepared guitar solo] [2006]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 9 [amplified & prepared double bass solo] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 10 [miniature camera & visual installation] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 11 [amplified vibraphone solo] [2007]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 12 [amplified & prepared accordion solo] [2008]
o Next to Beside Besides No. 13 [amplified & prepared guitar solo] [2008]
• Amid [flute, Bb clarinet, prepared piano, guitar, percussion, dampened violin & dampened cello] [2004] [6.4/10]
• [sproglyd] [interactive webpage] [2005]
• Amongst [amplified guitar solo & orchestra] [2005] [5.2/10]
• Within Amongst [amplified guitar solo] [2005] [4.2/10]
• loloopop (with Carl Krull) [audio-visual installation] [2006] [7.2/10]
• Tal Vez Quizás [clarinet & video installation] [2006]
• Chambered Music [12 musicians & sampler] [2007] [4.1/10]
• In spite of, and maybe even therefore [amplified flute, amplified Bb clarinet, contrabassoon, amplified & dampened F horn, percussion, prepared piano & double bass] [2007] [4.8/10]
• Nothing Integrated [amplified clarinet, amplified percussion, amplified cello & video installation] [2007]
• In Her Frown [2 amplified musicians] [2007, revised 2010] [5.1/10]
• Studies for String Instrument [2007-2011] [6.0/10]
o Study for String Instrument No. 1 [1 or more string instrument] [2007]
o Study for String Instrument No. 2 [1 or more string instrument & whammy pedal] [2009]
o Study for String Instrument No. 3 [amplified & prepared cello (optional additional string instruments) & video installation] [2011]
• Difficulties Putting it into Practice [2 or 4 amplified musicians] [2007, revised 2010, 2014] [5.1/10]
• A Bit of Nothing Integrated [2 performers & video installation] [2008] [4.0/10]
• On and Off and To and Fro [prepared soprano saxophone, prepared vibraphone, prepared double bass & 3 prepared megaphones] [2008] [7.5/10]
• Pretty Sound (Up and Down) [amplified piano solo] [2008] [6.1/10]
• soundTAG (with Kaj Aune) [audio-visual installation] [2008]
• Ouvertures [amplified gu-zheng solo, sampler & orchestra] [2008-2010] [6.9/10]
• Self Simulator [interactive audio-visual installation] [2009]
• Run Time Error [site-specific video installation performance] [2009-present] [9.2/10]
• Double Up [chamber orchestra & sampler] [2010] [9.4/10]
• Beloved Brother [dampened guitar solo] [2011] [3.7/10]
• History of my Instrument [amplified & prepared harp, amplified toy harp & video installation] [2011] [4.9/10]
• Black Box Music [conductor solo, sinfonietta, amplified black box & video installation] [2012] [10/10]
• Half a Bit of Nothing Integrated [1 performer & video installation] [2012]
• Im Rauschen [piccolo, flute, clarinet & live electronics] [2012] [3.5/10]
• Obstruction Studies [2012]
o Obstruction Study No. 1 [string quartet with prepared bows] [2012]
o Obstruction Study No. 2 [string quartet, white noise & light installation] [2012]
o Obstruction Study No. 3 [string quartet with amplified & prepared bows] [2012]
• String Quartet No. 2 [string quartet with amplified & prepared bows] [2012] [5.7/10]
• Inszenierte Nacht [voice, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion, piano, guitar, cello, electric keyboard, live electronics, light installation & stage setting] [2013]
• Buenos Aires [opera] [2014]
• Mono (Autotune Study) [low male voice, electric keyboard & autotune] [2014] [4.0/10]
• Piano Concerto [piano solo, orchestra, sampler & video installation] [2014] [9.6/10]
• Korpus [7 or 8 musicians on marimba eroica, chromelodeon 1 & bloboy] [2015]
• if this then that and now what [4 actors, 18 musicians, light installation & stage setting] [2016]
• Asthma [amplified accordion & video installation] [2017] [7.6/10]
• TRIO [orchestra, big band, choir & video installation] [2019] [9.9/10]
• The Loop of the Nibelung [singers, musicians & site-specific video installation performance] [2020] [9.4/10]
 

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You may be interested in my interview with Simon Steen-Andersen from 2014.
I don't know how much of his music you know, but considering your love for Cage, you really ought to check him out. Run Time Error may just be the 4'33" of today's music, but some of the other works I mention are great as well.

Interesting Steen-Andersen discusses Chambered Music in your interview. That was actually one work that I struggled with and is one of the works I had in mind when I said above his music can be "performance dependent". If you listen closely, there's a very strong sense of rhythm in his music, which I think he needs to convey some of his ideas (for example, his ideas around sampling: a steady beat allows the samples to be on an equal playing field with the live music). If the rhythm and the immersion is broken, his music can come off as a bunch of people on stage breaking their instruments for no reason.
 

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I know some of his music and have kept up with what he's done since my interview.
I just took a listen now to his The Loop of the Nibelung, composed last year for the legendary Bayreuth Festival. No one's music but Wagner's can be played at the festival, so Steen-Andersen straddled the line by performing a Run Time Error-like piece in the backstages with Wagner motifs mixed in.

But of course, we have people here on TC who tell us that traditional and avant-garde classical music can never mix...

https://www.br-klassik.de/video/the-loop-of-the-nibelung-simon-steen-andersen-installation-bayreuther-festspielaus-2020-100.html

https://edition-s.dk/news/interview-en-simon-steen-andersen-the-loop-of-the-nibelung
 

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Apologies, Trout, for not being able to do Rebecca Saunders. I realized that I didn't know her music as well as I should.

The next composer I can do is Enno Poppe. He's probably the next composer I plan to to take a serious dive into, and I can build up a list while I'm listening to his music.
 
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