Three New Albums on Alaska Records



This month saw the birth of three new albums on Alaska Records: Grids by electric guitarist Aart Strootman, An Index of Wood by marimbist Ramon Lorman, and Whoever You Are Come Forth by Saxophonist Tom Sanderman.

Grids

About his Grids for electric guitar, composer Anthony Fiumara writes: "My solo works are often laboratories for new ideas, in which I try to develop techniques for later use in other pieces – all in the best tradition of speculative music. In these solo works, the specific sound of the instrument is actually a by-product. It is much more about the thought behind the notes.

My works for electric guitar are actually small mechanisms that I set in motion to see where they lead me. The processes that I use in these Grids (the name is not chosen by chance) help me to keep things simple and to make music that is very direct. Over the years these solo works have proven fruitful: I have used many of these ideas in my larger works, albeit less strictly applied.

The electric guitar is my favorite instrument – I can always imagine a concrete sound in what started out as abstract to the senses. Moreover, the electric guitar is extremely versatile: with its effects, it can produce colors and complex sounds like a chameleon, while it will always remain that simple plank with strings.

And then there is Aart Strootman. In recent years he has performed a number of my works – sometimes as a soloist, sometimes as part of an ensemble. The works that I have written for his instrument are not always easy pieces. Aart invents new playing techniques for them and he has even builds new electric string instruments for them."

An Index of Wood

An Index of Wood is an album with premiere recordings of marimba music, written especially for Ramon Lormans. The works are composed by Anthony Fiumara, Aart Strootman and Nik Bärtsch. A special role on the album is for Anja Plaschg aka Soap&Skin. Plaschg made a new song Trun, on a remix of one of Fiumara's Indexes of Wood.

Lormans is one of the most sought-after marimbists at present. He regularly plays concerts in major venues in the Netherlands and has given master classes, recitals, and concerts all over the world.

He is the percussionist of the minimal chamber metal group TEMKO, and is the artistical director and founder of Mallet Collective Amsterdam. He also plays regularly with Stargaze and Keiko Abe’s Marimba Orchestra. Ramon is professor of marimba and chamber music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Codarts Institute in Rotterdam.

Whoever You Are Come Forth

About his new album Whoever You Are Come Forth, Tom Sanderman writes: "My love for minimal music began six years ago by attending a concert with music from the American composer Steve Reich. The experience is difficult to describe with words, but this was something I wanted to be immersed in much more often. From that moment on, I started to delve into this musical style and eventually began to perform it myself.

This resulted in my first solo CD, The River Beneath Us, which was released in 2016 as the first-ever Alaska Records album. Three compositions by the American grandmasters of minimal music (Reich, Glass and Riley) – plus a brand-new work that Anthony Fiumara wrote for me, The River Beneath Us.

This new composition has brought me so much in so many ways: a number of special venues where I have been able to perform it, and lots of ideas about what I would like to give and be heard during my concerts.

Creating compositions by working closely with living composers has been very satisfying. It gives me the opportunity to make the music that I love so much, and to share this with my audience in a personal way.

This new CD, Whoever You Are Come Forth, is the result of a new journey, and I am incredibly proud to share it. Thank you for buying this album, and enjoy listening to the new music from Anthony Fiumara, Aart Strootman, Remy Alexander, and Kate Moore."

Tom Sanderman: The River Beneath Us



The debut album of upcoming saxophonist Tom Sanderman features early minimal music bij Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley, together with the premiere recording of The River Beneath Us by Anthony Fiumara.

Saxophonist Tom Sanderman works as a soloist and is the co-founder of the Dutch experimental ensemble VONK. He also performs as a guest player with other ensembles such as Lunapark and Bang On A Can.

A fierce advocate for contemporary music, Tom has already worked with and commissioned a number of composers, performing and recording several new works and world premieres.

Buy the album here