ACME's new album, Thrive On Routine, highlights ACME performers who are also composers and will be released in February 2017 on Sono Luminus. Recorded at the Sono Luminus Studios in Boyce, VA in August 2016, the album features works by ACME members Caleb Burhans, Caroline Shaw, and Timo Andres, and also features a recording of John Luther Adams' In a Treeless Place, Only Snow.
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw has two solo instrumental works on the album. in manus tuas for solo cello, performed by ACME's Artistic Director Clarice Jensen, is based on a 16th century motet by Thomas Tallis. Gustave Le Gray for solo piano is performed by Timo Andres, and is described by Shaw as "multi-layered portrait of Chopin's Op. 17 No. 4 Mazurka using some of his ingredients over-laid and hinged together with my own."
Timo Andres, a prominent Brooklyn-based composer, wrote Thrive On Routine for ACME after stumbling upon Charles Ives' morning routine documented in Jan Swafford's biography. The piece is consequently structured in four continuous parts: Morning, Potatoes, Passacaglia, and Coda.
Caleb Burhans's Jahrzeit for string quartet, commissioned and premiered by ACME in 2009, was written around the anniversary of his father's death. He writes, "The jahrzeit is a time of remembering the dead by reciting the Kaddish, lighting a 24-hour candle, and remembering the person who has died."
The final work on the album is John Luther Adams' In a Treeless Place, Only Snow, which succinctly yet sensuously depicts the landscape described in the title. ACME's live recording of the piece at Le Poisson Rouge was featured on WNYC's New Sounds, streaming here.
Watch ACME's performance of Jahrzeit by Caleb Burhans at Five Boroughs Music Festival in 2015: