Modern Notebook for February 23

Composer and vocalist Kate Soper (Photo credit: Jim Gipe)

Coming up on Modern Notebook this week, Tyler Kline shares two hours of music inspired by the written word, including a work by Zosha di Castri named after Italian author Italo Calvino’s story The Form of Space. Also a movement from Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar, called May Kasahara, which examines a character from Haruki Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Featuring performances from Wet Ink Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, pianist Eunmi Ko with the McCormick Percussion Group, bassoonist Rebekah Heller, and more.

Hour 1

  • Music by Andrew Norman inspired by a Shakespeare sonnet: Confounded to Decay.
  • Zosha di Castri‘s La forma dello spazio.
  • …and also a fountain, music for bassoon, percussion, and speaking voice (all performed by one person) by Marcos Balter, with text by Gertrude Stein.
  • Baljinder Sekhon‘s Death is an Advisor, which takes its name from a chapter in Carlos Castenada’s book Journey to Ixtlan.
  • May Kasahara, the prelude to Kate Soper‘s Voices from the Killing Jar.

Hour 2

  • The Last Question, solo cello music by Nicholas Britell, titled after the Isaac Asimov short story of the same name.
  • Eliza Brown‘s On-dit, for soprano and harp, which sets text by Voltaire.
  • The Diamond by Vijay Iyer, based on the Buddhist Diamond Sutra.
  • Music by Mary Kouyoumdjian performed by pianist Nicholas Phillips.
  • Christopher Rouse‘s Prospero’s Room, which could have been an overture to an unwritten opera based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death.


Modern Notebook is hosted by WSMR’s Tyler Kline, and is a program that highlights music composed since the Mid-20th Century, with a special focus on the music of living composers.