Arsenio Orteza

Arsenio is a music reviewer for WORLD Magazine and one of its original contributors from 1986. Arsenio resides in China. Follow him on Twitter @ArsenioOrteza.

Musical explorers

Music | Noteworthy new or recent releases
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 7/16/20, 04:05 pm

George Crumb: Metamorphoses (Book I) by Marcantonio Barone: The subtitle: Ten Fantasy-Pieces (After Celebrated Paintings) for Amplified Piano. The composer: a nonagenarian who shows no signs of slowing down. The paintings: Two apiece by Klee and Chagall, one apiece by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Dalí, Whistler, Kandinsky, and Johns.

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Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center/Library of Congress/Association for Cultural Equity

A cappella gospel

Music | The enduring relevance of Bessie Jones
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 7/16/20, 04:02 pm

Although she died in 1984, Bessie Jones is a woman for our times. The granddaughter of a slave, she grew up in rural Georgia and at 30 underwent a transformative Christian experience, eventually becoming a one-woman, gospel-folk-song revival. In 2014, Tompkins Square released Get in Union, two CDs of mostly a cappella recordings made by Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers for Alan Lomax in 1960. An expanded, digital-only edition has just been released by Global Jukebox.

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Influences and impressions

Music | Noteworthy new or recent releases
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 7/02/20, 05:53 pm

John Zorn: Virtue by Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, Gyan Riley: John Zorn’s latest guitar-trio compositions were inspired by Julian of Norwich, the medieval Christian mystic and anchoress of whom A.W. Tozer once wrote, “Long before Reformation times she was, in spirit, an evangelical.” As was the case with Frisell, Lage, and Riley’s prior Zorn recording, Nove Cantici Per Francesco D’Assisi, the connection between their spiraling interplay and Zorn’s source material resides mainly in the titles.

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