Latest CDs available at Soundohm

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Radio interview on Český rozhlas Vltava

  To answer Pavel Klusák's questions about my label's concepts for the elsewhere piano series, I wrote this note for him which he read in Czech translation during his radio show Sedmé nebe (seventh heaven) at Český rozhlas Vltava on November 19th. Thanks, Pavel for giving me a chance to think about these essential things! ------------ Q:  What kind of (piano) music pieces you release at your label? YZ:  I like piano pieces that have unique structures and sounds tapping into the composer's/performer's originality and creativity, with different qualities from more conservative piano music from older periods, but also deeply or subtly rooted in the aesthetics of traditional classical piano music. Some people call my label a "neo-classical label", but I am honestly not so happy about the name since it sounds like a shallow, atmospheric, easy listening-sort of piano music for relaxing and healing. Of course, "relaxing" and "healing" are great ef

new elsewhere CD (012, 013, 014) arrived

  It means a lot to me to see the three new elsewhere CDs as finished products.  Congrats to the musicians! I am so grateful to all of you on these three projects, for having faith in me all the way through, working very hard with me to complete each project during the challenging time, with sincerity and deep commitment to pursue perfection - especially Jürg, Reinier, Shira, and Melaine. We live in different cultures with different languages but communicated amazingly well with a precise, deep understanding of each other via English (which is not our first language!) I feel so lucky to have had a chance to work with each of them again, with whom I could share a strong artistic bond, mutual respect, and trust. Deep thanks to Taku  Unami for his excellent mixing/mastering works as always. Without his devoted works, such an ideal result may not have been attainable. And, thanks also to the two wonderful artists David Sylvian and Sylvain Levier for their beautiful artworks/photograph on t

press release: Jürg Frey: l'air, l'instant - deux pianos (elsewhere 014)

  Jürg Frey’s unique compositional approach places him at the cutting edge of contemporary classical music. Since the late 90's, Frey started to work with 'lists' as a basis of his compositions, sometimes words, sometimes chords, from which he developed and organized musical materials. In recent years, Frey's focus on 'lists' has extended more toward the connections of items with each other, forming melodies. Frey wrote two compositions for two pianos in 2017-2019: ‘Entre les deux l'instant’ (2017/2018) and 'toucher l’air (deux pianos)’ (2019). ‘Entre les deux l'instant’ was world-premiered by Dutch pianists Reinier van Houdt and Dante Boon at Splendor Amsterdam and was later recorded there together with 'toucher l’air' by the same two pianists in the presence of Frey in Amsterdam in 2019. The first piece on this album, 'toucher l’air (deux pianos)', was composed in close connection to Frey’s previous composition 'Entre les deux

press release: Shira Legmann - Giacinto Scelsi: Suite No.9 / Quattro illustrazioni / Un Adieu (elsewhere 013)

Shira Legmann is an Israeli concert pianist, with a wide repertoire from Baroque to contemporary and experimental music. This album contains three piano works by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi's: 'Suite No.9 "Ttai"' (1953), 'Quattro illustrazioni' (1953), and 'Un Adieu' (1978/1988). 'Suite No.9' and 'Quattro illustrazioni' were recorded live at two different concerts in 2014, while 'Un Adieu' was recently recorded in a studio in June 2020. This is Legmann's second CD on Elsewhere Music, following the 2019 album 'Barricades' in which she was the pianist for Michael Pisaro's composition for piano/electronics. "Scelsi's music is something that 'grows' on us both as listeners and musicians. When I first discovered his music about ten years ago, I just dove into studying it, not knowing too much about it, and the connection grew slowly while getting into more and more nuances in the playing. Fo

press release: Melaine Dalibert - Infinite Ascent (elsewhere 012)

  This is French composer/pianist Melaine Dalibert’s fifth solo album since 2015, all featuring his own compositions. This time, the album consists of melodically structured song pieces, an area that Dalibert has been exploring in the last couple of years as a new compositional approach outside his signature algorithmic method of composition. This series of eight short pieces appeal in a new way from his previous music, and shows his maturity as a composer. Dalibert wrote all eight pieces in 2019 and recorded them in December 2019 on a Steinway at the chapel of the Rennes Conservatory where he teaches. "I wouldn't have thought it two years ago, but I started to step aside from my algorithmic systems to write very intuitive music, kind of pop-songs. It is surely a transient phase, but it seems to me to be necessary so as not to lock myself into certain procedures. It’s very important for me to feel free to write outside of any academy or tradition.” - Melaine Dalibert ‘Litani

Q&A about Scelsi’s piano works with Shira Legmann

  "By using minimal thematic materials and small shifts of articulation, all in a free time-signature environment, Scelsi offers a platform for the pianist to play with the gravity points, resulting in an internal logic of syntax and meaning." Yuko Zama (YZ):  How did you discover Scelsi's music?   Shira Legmann (SL) :  A friend of mine introduced me to Scelsi’s music in 2011 and I started exploring his piano music. I chose the Quattro Illustrazioni to begin with. The more I dove in, the more I got immersed in it. Around the same time, an offer came from Yoni Silver, to perform a concert in Tel Aviv, featuring a contemporary piece for piano, together with free improvisations integrated between the movements of the piece. I proposed Scelsi’s Quattro Illustrazioni , and this became my debut concert with his music, December 2011, 34 years after its world premiere in Rome. The concert was held in Jaffe Tel-Aviv, and between the Four Illustrations, Yoni Silver, Grisha Shakhne

Change of our policy regarding streaming platforms

Starting with the upcoming releases (elsewhere 012, 013, 014), I have changed my policy about streaming as described below.  Instead of putting new albums on streaming platforms (like Spotify) immediately upon their release, we will wait to do so for several months until we are able to recoup some of our costs from CD/digital sales via Bandcamp and direct orders. I changed this policy after having my label's albums on streaming platforms for the past 6 months and observing the results. I was initially optimistic about streaming, expecting mainly positive effects rather than negative ones, such as increased visibility and wider recognition for the artists and my label, and these may have been attained to some extent with the help of our digital distributor. However, the reality is: the more people stream, the less our CD/digital sells, which hurts a small label like ours.  The latest two albums on my label, which started streaming simultaneously upon their releases, have been stream

Q&A about 'piano works' with Anastassis Philippakopoulos

" A melody is like walking,   going from one place to another, without carrying a heavy bag . ​ Just the necessary things, a few tones are enough to make the walk... "  ​ ​ YZ (Yuko Zama):   How did you discover your current style of composition which you feel most comfortable with, using a minimal series of sparse tones with a very slow, subtle tonal development? In other words, was there any trigger or catalyst that awakened you to discover this style of composition?   AP  (Anastassis Philippakopoulos) :   During my composition studies in Berlin, I discovered Morton Feldman’s late piano music which deeply affected me. Consequently, I wrote three long piano pieces. When I finished my studies back in 1994, I was very tired from all the academic work I had done there, and also I was feeling my music was at a certain distance from the musical style that was generally being cultivated in the school. I was thinking that maybe I will abandon composition.   During this period, I di

press release: The Giving Shapes - Earth Leaps Up (elsewhere 011)

The Giving Shapes  is a collaborative project between harpist/vocalist  Elisa Thorn  and pianist/vocalist  Robyn Jacob  that formed in fall 2017 at the Banff Centre for the Arts. This is the duo’s first release. This project triangulates aspects of new music, creative music, and song-writing, combining their classical training and their involvement with the Canadian creative and indie music scenes. Though they originally met while both pursuing degrees in classical music at UBC in 2007, they share an interest in many musical styles. Their sound reflects broad influences from artists including Nico Muhly, Bjork, Jonny Greenwood, David Lang, and Caroline Shaw. Thorn and Jacob are interested in merging the familiar with the new, and draw from their wide range of influences to create music that is honest. Their approach involves equal parts of intellect and feeling, pursuing both accessibility and experimentation equally. The process of songwriting varies from song to song, but usually one