Eric Salzman: Composer, Author, Music Theater Innovator

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New Releasings

Labor Records in collaboration with Naxos is releasing a series of recordings of my work covering more than half a century! The most recent release is "Jukebox in the Tavern of Love" paired with a new work by Meredith Monk. "The Nude Paper Sermon" and "Wiretap" is a double album containing no fewer than five works; see below for details. "Civilization & its Discontents" is a words-and-music collaboration with Michael Sahl. More information, reviews and ordering (physical or digital editions) is available below or by going to Labor Records.

Jukebox in the Tavern of Love Nude Paper Sermon - Wiretap Civilization Discontents

There’s always another tango

Mezzo Laila Salins and accordionist Bill Schimmel along with cellist Lutz Rath are still performing a version of the Accord/Discord program presented a couple of years ago at the Cell theater in Chelsea and toured in Latvia. Under the name “My Last Tango”, it includes tango arrangements by Schimmel and myself. One performance already took place on May 4th in Freehold, NJ, and another one is coming up at the Latvian Cultural Center in Melville, NY, on Saturday, May 11th, at 7 pm.

 

Date Posted // May 08, 2013
In Categories // Events, News, Tangos

New reviews of Labor Records releases

New reviews of the Labor Records releases — “Civilization & Its Discontents”, “The Nude Paper Sermon” and “Wiretap” — are in the current issue of the American Record Guide. They can be found here and here. If the copy comes up small you should be able to enlarge the type to a readable size. Like the other reviews of these releases, these are very insightful!

Date Posted // April 25, 2013
In Categories // Civilization and Its Discontents, News, Recordings, Reviews, The Nude Paper Sermon, Wiretap

an on-line review of the music-theater book

Perry J. Greenbaum, a genial and insightful Canadian blogger on political and cultural subjects, has just posted a notice about “The New Music Theater: Seeing the Voice, Hearing the Body”, the book by Thomas Desi and myself published by Oxford University Press. Here’s the link.

Date Posted // April 18, 2013
In Categories // Music Theater, News, Reviews, The New Music Theater, Writings

new review of Nude Paper Sermon & Wiretap

Here is a new review by Dustin Mallory of “The Nude Paper Sermon” and “Wiretap” from the current (April/May) issue of Cadence. More information, listening excerpts, etc. are at <www.laborrecords.com/lab7092.html>

“The career of Eric Salzman includes the titles of music critic, author, educator, academic, and producer. His work in these areas frequently overshadows his wonderful gifts as a composer and a visionary of the future of musical theatre. This two-disc release reissues the late ‘60s and early ‘70s performances of his musical drama “Wiretap,” and probably his most famous composition, “The Nude Paper Sermon.” Both pieces are very difficult to perform, but the ensembles successfully handle the undertaking.

“The Nude Paper Sermon” blurs the lines of time and genre by mixing the sounds of a Renaissance consort and The New York Motet Singers, with a modern inclusion of electronic sounds and an actor/narrator. The actor positions himself as a media/cultural voice that frequently dates the performance to the late ‘60s with references to segregation, Pete Seeger, and Martha Graham. The collage of sounds personifies the second half of the 20th Century as an intricate and often overwhelming experience of overstimulation and complication.

“Wiretap” is the slightly lesserknown collection of four movements on American life. Each subject seeks to “tap” into the mind of the listener to discover an awareness of the self and its multifarious relationships with the world. Spatial existence, discomfort, manifestation, struggle, fantasy, and reality are all explored using musical sensibilities. Philosophically, the piece seems to suggest that music is not the “art in life,” but rather that music, social interactions, and media as an entire experience, are the “art of life.” From a musical perspective, innovative techniques in vocalization, electro-acoustic textures, and instrumentation are explored. Silverman’s guitar plays a fascinating role juxtaposed against Ross’s voice. Nagrin’s voiced sounds seem to symbolize
the haunting and longing nature of the human spirit for something unknown. The real interest here will be how this compressed psychosomatic journey will affect the twenty-first century listener.”

Premiere of “La Bonne ame” in Montreal

The premiere of “La Bonne ame de Setchouan” (a French translation of the Brecht “Good Person of Szechuan”)  had its premiere last night in the Charles-Valois Studio-Theater  of the College Lionel-Groulx Theater School, in the Quebec town of Sainte-Therese in outskirts of Montreal. This is a completely new and unconventional production by Antoine Laprise that uses the score that I originally wrote for the Theatre du Trident in Quebec City, adapted to the style of the production. The performance was very well received by the sold-out audience and I hope to have some pictures to post in the next few days.

Date Posted // March 14, 2013
In Categories // News