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Composer George Flynn, who chaired Musicianship Studies and Composition at DePaul University for 25 years, has just released his latest album on Southport Records--the sixth recording of his rigorous music for the imprint since 2000. The three pieces on American City were all written between 1995 and '98, while he was still a faculty member at the school, the result of a decision to compose new works for each of the three major student ensembles--chorus/chamber choir, orchestra, and wind ensemble.
As he writes in his liner notes, "These performances are, in my opinion, a vibrant testimony to the high level of musicianship as well as the cooperative spirit promoted by the School of Music," and, indeed, the readings are very sharp. He did draw upon some pros, however, including former CSO clarinetist (and DePaul professor) Larry Combs, who plays on "The Density of Memory," and Cliff Colnot, conductor of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, who conducts that piece.
Flynn continues to be involved in Chicago's contemporary-music scene, codirecting the monthly new-music series at the Green Mill and another new-music series at DePaul. He'll be at the school at 5:30 PM today to participate in a free discussion called The State of Contemporary Composition with a distinguished panel: Juan Campoverde Q., Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, and Kurt Westerberg. The event takes place at the DePaul Recital Hall (804 W. Belden, 773-325-7260).
Jacob Lindsay, Ava Mendoza, Damon Smith, and Weasel Walter, Jus (Balance Point Acoustics)
James Blackshaw, Sunshrine (Tompkins Square)
Matthew Shipp Trio, Harmonic Disorder (Thirsty Ear)
Huong Thanh & Nguyên Lê, Fragile Beauty (ACT)
Various artists, Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986 (Strut)