Crackpot Hymnal (Bridge Records, 2013)

Crackpot Hymnal Cover

These days, we can carry the whole history of music in our pockets, with Beethoven, Nancarrow, Coltrane and the Beatles rubbing shoulders on our phones. What sort of music should we write? Whatever we want, of course, but for me the answer has to involve this new diversity. I want to make music that weaves between stylistic poles in a way that is unexpected and entertaining—not pastiche, but an attempt to find hidden roads connecting the familiar places we love. A music that takes up the classical disciplines of harmony, counterpoint, and development with just the slightest hint of a raised eyebrow, so that listeners are confronted with a strange superposition of sincerity and irony. This would be a music that eschews grand narratives, playfully constructing something new from the baubles left strewn about by our ancestors.

The CD has been called "lively" and "irreverent" (Charlotte Mundy, WQXR), "imaginative," "colorful," "kaleidoscopic," and "eclectic" (Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found), and "wholly entertaining," "brilliant," "wildly creative," and "consistently surprising" (Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition).

Thanks so much to all the performers and engineers who worked so hard on this!

  1. The Eggman Variations (2005)
  2. Typecase Treasury (2010)
  3. This Picture Seems to Move (1998)
  4. Another Fantastic Voyage (2012)

1. Corigliano Quartet with John Blacklow
  Lina Bahn, violin
  Michael Jinsoo Lim, violin
  Melia Watras, viola
  Amy Sue Barston, cello
  John Blacklow, piano

2. The Amernet String Quartet with Kevin Weng-Yew Mayner
  Misha Vitenson, violin
  Marcia Littley, violin
  Michael Klotz, viola
  Jason Calloway, cello
  Kevin Weng-Yew Mayner, piano

3. The Amernet String Quartet

4. The Illinois Modern Ensemble with Daniel Schlosberg
Daniel Schlosberg, piano
Stephen Taylor, conductor

Recorded by John C. Baker and Loren Stata (1), Andrés Villalta (2–3), and Christopher Ericson (4)

Mixed by Adam Abeshouse, Andrés Villalta, and Dmitri Tymoczko

Mastered by Adam Abeshouse