New World Records, Anthony Coleman, NEC Students create epic new recording of Voyage in a White Building by Burr Van Nostrand


Apr 1 2013 - 12:00am


"There were many fast and loose experimental methods in American composition in the 60’s and 70’s, headed up by John Cage as the ultimate authority on conceptual music, but I think Van Nostrand comes the closest to a full synthesis of techniques, notated and indeterminate, sounded and graphic. "

--Peter Nelson-King (Re-Composing, March 19, 2013)

at NECVoyage rehearsal 1972at NECat NECVoyage performance 2012at NEC











Excerpt from the upcoming album liner notes by Mathew Rosenblum:  "The long-awaited recording includes three extraordinary works by one of America's most original and forward-thinking composers. The music of Burr Van Nostrand (b. 1945), although both born from and deeply rooted in the anti-war counterculture avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s, remains as strikingly fresh and timeless today as when it was first performed...

Because of the extraordinary efforts of Malcolm Peyton (former Chair of Composition at NEC), Jason Belcher (composer/performer), Gina Genova (ACA Director), NEW WORLD RECORDS, New England Conservatory, and others, this music is being reintroduced for a new generation of listeners. (continued)


Van Nostrand's music is mJordan Hall, BostonVoyage recording session 2012Jordan Hall, Bostonarked by an acute sensitivity to instrumental color and texture, extreme sonic contrasts, gestural freedom, and a signature ensemble fluidity achieved through the use of very precise and detailed conventional notation combined with extraordinarily beautiful graphic notation, resulting in music that places very high technical demands on the performer and at the same time allows for the flexibility and freedom of improvisation.

Each work on this disc presents a catalog of extended techniques that would widen the eyes of even the most dedicated Lachenmann enthusiast, but is also infused with a pluralistic view that vividly reflects the time and place of composition-Boston and New Haven at the height of the Vietnam anti-war movement. This disc includes three works that represent the extremes of his output, from the most graphically notated and improvisational, Voyage in a White Building I, to the most structured and fully notated, Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival, with Phaedra Antinomaes located somewhere in the middle of these two extremes..."

New CD available now for $14.81 and mp3 download for $8.99 here.