January 24th, 2012 / 1:50 pm

Most compelling and/or fucked up sounding contemporary classical compositions, anyone? I need some space.


  1. Jimmy Chen

      my top three are steve reich ‘music for 18 musicians’; keith jarrett ‘la scala’ [part 1], an ad libbed 44 min.; and arturo stalteri’s take on philip glass’s ‘circles’; also the books ‘the way out’ album seems sorta classical to me which i’m diggin big time right now

  2. Chelsea Rector

      “Vexations” Erik Satie; “Orchesterwerke” Anton Webern; “Amplicon” Runhild Gammelsaeter; “Frog” and “Frog +” Merzbow

  3. Adam Robinson

      I Am Sitting in a Room http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCgicEWD1Nc

  4. Ian Douglas-Moore

      helmut lachenmann, eliane radigue, robert ashley – ‘automatic writing’ or ‘the wolfman’, florian hecker

  5. Darby Larson

      i have been listening to stars of the lid a lot lately for droning

  6. Robin Treadwell

      michael gordon – rewriting beethoven’s seventh:


      christopher delaurenti – favorite intermissions

      “secretly recorded at orchestral concerts
      across the country, this collection of intermissions teems with unusual
      soundscapes, startling (and unintended) collective improvisations, and
      surprising, sometimes gritty sonic detail from the sacred space of the
      concert hall.”

  7. Matt Margo

      A Silver Mt. Zion’s He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…

      Arvo Pärt


      Taku Sugimoto Guitar Quartet

  8. Matt Tyler

      the caretaker’s empty bliss album?  i’m uncultured.

  9. M. Kitchell

      just wanna second eliane radigue

  10. Eric Anderson

      Blake, check out my “writing music” playlist on spotify. It is full of goodness. The more contemporary classical’ish stuff is in the later side of the playlist.  (Also, check out the “Glue Sniffing” playlist next time you are drunk.)

      – Eric Anderson 

  11. alex crowley

      Gorguts – Obscura

  12. Brandon Shimoda

      Krzysztof Penderecki, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima

  13. Shane Anderson

      fucked up: michael maierhof (anything), iannis xenakis, (orchestral works)
      compelling: giacanto scelsi (the album ‘triphon’ is gorgeous but i like his piano works too), fausto romitelli (professor bad trip is god), morton feldman, luigi nono’s ‘promoteo’ …

  14. reynard

      i like hauschka & nico muhly when he doesn’t sing, hauschka’s new album is tits, i’ve been listening to this album called en avant by ferdinand richard, anything tom cora is involved with

      good luck downloading right now, it’s like the library is closed indefinitely so you’ve gotta climb a tree & through a broken window on the third floor just to sneak a stack of books

  15. Rusty Shackleford

      Kosugi’s “Catch Wave” is the jam.

  16. Anthony Cifelli

      the caretaker “Patience”
      tim hecker “Ravedeath 1972” or “Dropped Pianos”

  17. Patrick Wensink
  18. Gregory Pokarney
  19. Anonymous

      Cage’s Ryoanji–ominous as heck. I second Satie’s Vexations–especially 18-20 hours long.

  20. Shyam Patel

      And Canticum canticorum salomonis, esp. from 3:00-5:30 and 12:00-14:30

      and Anaklasis for strings and percussion

  21. deadgod

      Metal Machine Music is as dreary as some say.  Ambient 3:  Day of Radiance is Eno-Z listenin’.

  22. Anonymous
  23. Michael O'Brien

      John Zorn.

  24. Scott Riley Irvine

      Those two are good, but I prefer Hecker’s “Radio Amor.”

  25. M. Kitchell

      yo, peep dat iannis xennakis 

      also, john duncan’s audio work is in no way contemporary classical composition, but it’s a headspace that’s nice and dark 

  26. Craig Ronald Marchinkoski

      the butchershop quartet did the rite of spring (2004). for 2 guitars, bass, drums. out on galapagos4. the cd also came with a second disc. disc 2 is hip-hop cut-ups/remixes of the butchershop’s interpretation of the rite of spring. both discs are interesting. especially if you’re already into the rite of spring. 
      here are two songs from the 2nd (hip-hop) disc:


      to feel clean i enjoy john adams. uncomfortable and dirty on some xenakis. la monte young to freak on. and most things can be done by ligeti. 

  27. Scott Riley Irvine

      Rachel’s – Music for Egon Schiele

  28. postitbreakup

      will someone please compile a playlist of all these or a page of youtube clips of them so i don’t have to google them all individually, i’m extremely busy watching netflix & drinking & hating myself, and have no time to google 20 fucking things that i wouldn’t rather spend obsessing over my hair or reading about the personality disorder i’ll likely never recover from, as if i even want to get better, right, mom?

  29. Laura Carter

      Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire—sprechtstimme—sung speech. I think it’s about Napoleon or some sort of kingly figure. You have to have perfect pitch to sing it.

  30. Laura Carter

      And it’s not contemporary, but it’s contemporary “enough.”

  31. Anonymous

      Kingdom Shore – …and all the dogs to shark

  32. M. Kitchell

      dang, what the hell, i guess i missed yr comment before i posted mine


  33. Shane Anderson

      hehe, yeah, xenakis is really amazing. especially the bigger later productions that involved choir boys with fire sticks on mountainsides spelling out words like ‘knowledge’ and singing. n u t s.

      for those of you in the bay area, my friend is doing this concert in the near future.

      i haven’t listened to much eastman, but he combined house and minimalism (and the voice). what i did hear reminded me of rzewski (‘attica’ is another must!) and Luciano knows his shit so i would definitely recommend going…

  34. M. Kitchell

      holy shit, eastman is AMAZING
      definitely requesting that day off work so i can go

  35. M. Kitchell

      also shane:  download/borrow/buy the UNJUST MALAISE boxset asap, it’s fucking great

  36. Shane Anderson

      ok sweet, will do, thanks…

      if you do go, say hello for me! luciano is the best.

  37. Winkhorst Altmann

      Hi. From the top of my head… Parmegiani, John Wall, Schnittke… Lately I’ve been into Galina Ustvolskaya (http://ustvolskaya.org/eng/)

  38. David Blomenberg

      The two piano concertos by Alfred Schnittke.  Or Allan Pettersson’s later symphonies.  those’ll do ya.

  39. Shira Lev

      Deathprod – Imaginary Songs from Tristan da Cunha

  40. jesusangelgarcia
  41. Nicholas Schroeder

      Nothing wrong with Nondor Nevai’s ‘The Wooden Machine Music’

  42. Music Roundup | HTMLGIANT

      […] Blake, this is for you: […]

  43. Frank Tas
  44. eric

      lustmord’s songs of gods and demons, ben frost’s anything, aaron martin’s worried about the fire, murcof’s la sangre iluminada

  45. Janey Smith
  46. Laura Carter

      Oh, yeah: I forgot how AWESOME George Crumb is. He is tops.

  47. Anonymous
  48. Michael Snyder

      Great suggestions here. I highly recommend WNYC’s contemporary classical stream: Q2.
      You’ll never stop hearing the future of music. 

      Some of it’s fucked up, some of it’s beautiful. Some of it’s both.

      There’s an iPhone app as well.

  49. Tom Willard
  50. Ultra Vegina

      Earn – A Following Shadow.
      (Distant plateaux of space for ya).