Patterns of Plants

1 11 2014

Tune in Saturday, November 1st, 2PM to 4PM CT for”Composer Talk,” with your hosts composers Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

This Saturday we’ll feature tracks from the recent innova Recordings release by the Vocal Constructivists, an excerpt from David Sylvian’s new and haunting collaboration with poet Franz Wright, tracks from “The Pattern of Plants” composed by Manoru Fujieda and performed by pianist Sarah Cahill, and orchestra piece by David Kirtley.

Moreover, we will have a special guest Kurt Stallmann, professor of Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, joining us, talking about the up-coming SYZYGY Concert, Music of Mario Davidovsky.

“Composer Talk” streams LIVE at and (if you have a HD radio receiver) on 90.1 HD-2.

You can listen to some orchestra pieces from the new-released album “Luminescence” here:

Voices on Composer Talk Today

27 09 2014

We hope you can tune in Saturday, September 27, 2PM to 4PM CT for another edition of “Composer Talk,” with your hosts composers Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

This Saturday, we will raise our voices, cry out to the ancestors and share the music of vocalist Anna Homler, Lisa Gerrard, composer Gila Carcas, Paul Connolly‘s NC-17 noise project Screaming Caustic Butterfly and who knows what else?

  “Composer Talk” streams LIVE at and (if you have a HD radio receiver) on 90.1 HD-2.

You can listen to Gila Carcas’ String Quartet no. 3: 2nd movement, a beautiful piece with inspiring video, on the link below:

8/30 Composer Talk at 2 pm KTRU

30 08 2014

Tune is this Saturday, August 30, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m CT to “Composer Talk,” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai. We’ll be featuring music by Susie Ibarra, Samantha Boshnack, Rebecca Oswald , Hilary Tann, and Jennifer Fowler.   

Rebecca Oswald composed the music and wrote the narration for Aesop’s Fables in 1999.  This spirited suite for woodwind quintet with narrator recounts 5 of Aesop’s well-loved tales.  In this unique recording, the 5 fables come to life through vivid music and expressive narration; and each concludes with its timeless and well-known lesson. 

Also, we are going to feature two pieces (Three Cellos and Threaded Stars) by Jennifer Fowler, who was born in Australia and is living in London, and two pieces (On Ear and Ear … and Nothing Forgotten) by Hilary Tann. 

“Composer Talk” streams LIVE at

musical landscapes


Houston Composers Salon Summer Concert

21 07 2014

Summer Concert 2014 Poster

Houston Composers Salon is ready to present 2014 Summer Concert.

The program presents diverse styles of five new ensemble and solo compositions, from short, witty Ambient Monster Games (for solo bass) by Joe LoCascio, “punk-like,’’ spoken-word Suite Bassel (for ensemble) by Daniel Zajicek, to quiet, meditative Pharmacy (for solo piano) by Brent Farris.

Attached please find a poster of full program and performers.

Please join them and enjoy the radical differences in style and sound.  This could be a great educational opportunity for children and students as well.

Date and Location:

Sunday, July 27th, 6:00 PM at University of St. Thomas, Cullen Hall (4001 Mt Vernon, Houston, TX 77006).

$5 Suggested Donation    or   for more information.



October Wind on June Composer Talk

28 06 2014

On this edition of “Composer Talk” Hsin-Jung and Chris Becker we’ll be featuring the music of Erik Satie, piano pieces by composer/pianist Rebecca Oswald, and Continuum for solo piano by Gyorgy Ligeti.

Chris will be bringing his vinyl copy of “Socrate” to the studio, and will try to find some other deep cuts from the man (E. Satie) who did a lot more than write “Gymnopedies No. 1.”  I (Hsin-Jung) will be introducing female composer/pianist Rebecca Oswald’s two CDs, “October Wind” (2005)and “Whereas” (2011).

Composer/pianist Rebecca Oswald has explored many different styles of music.  Her orchestra album Light and Shadow (2011, PARMA recordings) is one of Scordatura Show’s favorites.   Her music is full of surprises and images, with her subtle and unique sense of sounds and forms.  From 1981 to 1995 she worked as a solo pianist, accompanist, band keyboardist, and studio musician in Houston.  She is currently living in Eugene, Oregon.


Tune in on Saturday, June 28th, 2:00 ~ 4:00 (CT).

Tango on Composer Talk, May 31st

31 05 2014



Saturday, May 31st 2PM to 4PM CT to “Composer Talk” with your hosts composers Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we’ll be playing music by Australian composer Katy Abbott, from her two new-released CDs “The Domestic Sublime” and “Famous;” tango music by Frederic Rzewski and others from pianist Eliane Lust’s new album “Entangoed;”  original music by pianist and author Adam Tendler, and music by vocalist and composer Ayelet Rose Gottlieb from her forthcoming album “Roadsides.”

Join us at 2 pm (CT)!


Diverse Compositions and Cultures on 4/27 Composer Talk

26 04 2014


(Roumi Petrova: Enchanted Rhythms, Cello Music from Bulgaria)


Tune in Saturday, April 19, 2PM to 4PM CT for “Composer Talk,” with your intrepid, super-creative and genuinely kind hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

On this edition of “Composer Talk,” we’ll be featuring music for big band by Mehmet Sanlikol, a classic track by the one and only Gil Evans, a short piece for toy piano by Derek Hurst, selections from outstanding Mix Tape (for solo double bass) by Armando Bayolo, and two pieces by women composers Elizabeth Alexander and Roumi Petrova (Bulgarian composer, I love her Five Ancient Bulgarian Portraits, which we will be airing!).

  “Composer Talk” streams LIVE at and (if you have a HD radio receiver) on 90.1 HD-2.  

3/29 Composer Talk

28 03 2014
We’re back! Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker host another edition of Composer Talk this Saturday, March 29, 2PM to 4PM CT.

This time around, we’ll be playing tracks from Viv Corringham‘s latest release “Walking” which is sort of an aural diary of walks she takes with a partner – on foot – before revisiting and recording the same journey and overdubbing her own vocalizing and other sounds, excerpts from Lynn Wright‘s dark and powerful score “I Would” which was created for NYC choreographer Rachel Cohen, and new music for strings by Valeria Jonard.

Composer talks streams LIVE at and on HD radio on 90.1 HD-2.

We hope you can tune in. Thank you for supporting new music.


Two Seasons, Composer Talk

29 11 2013

Tune in Saturday, November 30, 2PM to 4PM CT for “Composer Talk” with your hosts composers Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we will be playing music by Nathaniel Bartlett, Houston composer Mark Buller’s “Iris,” two striking pieces for voices,“She The Gill Singer” for chorus and chamber ensemble and “The Interpretation of DREAMS” for amplified voice and Early Music ensemble both by Chris’s former composition teacher Dr. Rocky J. Reuter.

Moreover, we are going to play a new collaboration “Two Seasons” by Thomas Helton and Hsin-Jung Tsai.   Two Seasons is composed for vocal (Misha Penton), contrabass (Thomas Helton/Andrew Seifert) and piano (Hsin-Jung Tsai), based on two Japanese Haiku poems.  Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry.  The two poems we chose are: “I go, you stay. Two Autumns” by Yosa Buson, and “If I must die, then let me die before the winter comes” by Ka Fu.

YosaBusonGrave (Grave of  Yosa Buson)

Shows like “Composer Talk” are becoming an endangered species.  So we truly appreciate your support in tuning in!

“Composer Talk” streams live at and in high definition at 90.1 HD-2.

John Cage on October 26th

26 10 2013

Whale Cage

Tune in Saturday, October 26, 2PM to 4PM (CT) for Composer Talk with your hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we will be playing John Cage’s “Litany for the Whale” as well as tracks from the Imani Winds’ album “Terra Incognita,” including Jason Moran’s “Cane” and Wayne Shorter’s epic “Terra Incognita.”

John Cage has been influential in contemporary music, sound art, fine arts, and so many other medias.  Litany for the Whale is a collection of vocal works, composed by John Cage, performed by the Theatre of Voices, and directed by Paul Hillier, with guest performer/composer Terry Riley.

John Cage’s vocal music helped free the voice from strictly narrative– and strictly tonal–roles.   This Cage’s vocal works brilliantly shows the full range of  shapes the composer wanted for musical voice.  The title piece is the most recent  and relies heavily on two voices shifting pitches in a rich, polyphony-tinged  flow. So much here is vital Cage: from his adaptation of phrases from Finnegan’s  Wake to Riley reading the “36 Mesostics re and not re Marcel Duchamp,” to  the outlandish, electronics-infused Aria originally written for Kathy  Berberian. Paul Hillier performs these works with his Theatre of Voices  ensemble, drawing richly on their early music chops and textural acuity. ” — Andrew Bartlett

“Composer Talk” streams live at and in high definition at 90.1 HD-2.

John cage

Today’s Composer Talk

28 09 2013

Tune in Saturday, September 28 2PM to 4PM for Composer Talk with your hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we’ll play Thomas Helton’s Unconfirmed for solo clarinet, three pieces from C4 Volume 1: Uncaged, a couple of tracks by composer Samantha Boshnack and her B’shnorkestra, and…a lot of other cool pieces you’ve never heard before.

“Composer Talk” streams live at and in high definition at 90.1 HD-2.


Composer Talk is back on August 24

23 08 2013

Tune in Saturday, August 24, 2 PM to 4 PM CT to “Composer Talk” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we’ll be playing and discussing selections from Pat Metheny’s recent recording “Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels,” Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s “Mayim Rabim,” an evocative song cycle based on texts from the erotic Biblical love poems Song of Songs.

made in Taiwan

Moreover, we are going to play new music from Taiwan — introducing three female composers and their compositions:  Ling-Huei Tsai’s Concerto for Foot-Pressed Drums, Chih-Chun Lee’s Typenkeng and Shihsanhang and Mei-Fang Lin’s Image Reconstitute.

Footed-Pressure drums

[Performance of Concerto for Foot-Pressed Drums by Ling-Huei Tsai]

“Composer Talk” is the red headed stepchild of Scordatura, the Houston area’s source for new directions in contemporary classical music and sound.

“Composer Talk” streams live at and in high definition at 90.1 HD-2.

New Scordatura Time and Composer Talk in June

28 06 2013

Staring on June 29th, Scordatura Show will be on from 2 PM to 4 PM CT every Saturday.

Scordatura Show has been on the air for 35 years, and we are keeping it alive with KTRU.   We are going to do all we can to play wonderful new music in a two-hour show.  Stay tuned!

composer talk in june


Tune in Saturday, June 29, 2 PM to 4 PM CT to “Composer Talk” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai.

On this edition of “Composer Talk” we’ll be playing and discussing Pei-yu Shih’s “Beyong for Pipa and Piano,” music by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb and Kurt Weill, and selections from Pat Metheny’s recent recording “Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels.”

Somehow, we’ll cram all of the above into two hours.

“Composer Talk” streams LIVE on the web at and in high definition on 90.1 HD-2.

Italian Pasta and Pizza on Composer Talk

25 05 2013
Tune in to this Saturday, May 25, 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM CT for “Composer Talk” with your intrepid hosts composers Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.
On this edition of Composer Talk we’ll be playing two beautiful pieces of musique concrete inspired by Italian pasta and pizza respectively composed by New York-based composer and music therapist Enrico Curreri.
Then, we are going to explore music by Andrew S. Knox, from solo percussion artist Lisa Pegher ‘s album Minimal Art.   I have been interested in string quartet; thus, I would love to play string quartet no. 1 by Fred Lerdahl.
We’ll also play tracks from So Percussion’s new recording of composer Dan Trueman’s Neither Anvil Nor Pulley for laptop, turntable, metronomes,… and percussion quartet.  Neither Anvil Nor Pulley will be available for purchase May 28 from Cantaloupe Music.  It’s also one of those electronic pieces that uses a lot of technology that’s hard to explain, but we’ll do our best!”
Composer Talk” streams live at and in high definition on 90.1 HD-2.
“Composer Talk” is the red headed stepchild of Scordatura, 91.7 KTRU’s Contemporary, Avant-Garde, and Electroacoustic radio show.

Composer Talk Today, April 27th

27 04 2013

Saturday, April 27 4:30 to 7:00 PM CT, tune in to “Composer Talk” with your hosts composers Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

Bunun and D. Darling

We’ll be playing tracks from “Mudanin Kata,” an album by cellist David Darling & The Wulu Bunun (the aboriginal tribe in Taiwan), the new CD “I Want To Live” by the vocal ensemble The Crossing, a new piece of electronic ambient music by composer guitarist James Ross, and tracks from pianist Connie Crothers’ collaboration with the great drummer Max Roach “Swish.”

Also, a track from Liberation through Hearing, a compassionate mantra by Guru Rinpoche and some electronic compositions by composers from University for Music and Sound Arts, Wien.

“Composer Talk” streams live at

Interview with Soprano Misha Penton

6 04 2013

Today’s Scordatura Show, Soprano Misha Penton will be in the studio with your host Paul Connolly chatting about her recent release “Selkie, A Sea Tale.”    Accompanied by pianist Kyle Evans, cellist Patrick Moore, and violist Meredith Harris,  Selkie, A Sea Tale is Elliot Cole’s musical setting of fairytale poetry by soprano Misha Penton.

Listen to the interview on or KPFT 90.1 HD2 at 2:00 pm CDT.

Misha P

Composer Talk Returns on March 30th

29 03 2013

Composer Talk returns SATURDAY, March 30th, 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM CT streaming live on with your chatty but not too chatty hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.

Expect music by Tania Leon, Bernadette Speach, Hilary Tann, Mary Ellen Childs, Kris Becker (that’s “Kris” with a “K”) and a whole lot of other good stuff.

Tania                                                                                                Tania Leon

Flutist Michelle Yom’s FALKOR

22 01 2013

Here is a nice article by Chris Becker, about flutist Michelle Yom’s interview with Scordatura on the 26th and performance on the 27th.  Check it out!


Houston-based flutist, composer, and improviser Michelle Yom


This Sunday, Houston-based flutist, composer, and improviser Michelle Yom presents FALKOR, an interactive music and dance composition featuring Yom on flute and four dancers, Kriten Frankiewicz, Erin Reck, Leslie Scates, and Sophia Torres. FALKOR utilizes video motion tracking and a wireless system triggering audio samples based on the colors of the costumes worn by the dancers as well as their movements. FALKOR takes place at Studio 101 as part of the ongoing electronic music series Brave New Waves.

Fantasy film fans (not to mention fans of 1980s pop music) will no doubt recognize the name Falkor (i.e. Falkor the Luck Dragon) from the film Neverending Story, which tells the story of a young boy who, through reading a magical book, enters into another world called Fantastica, a world sustained by human imagination. Yom uses the names of different characters and creatures from the film, each of whom represent some facet of humanity, as “venture points” to explore “the relationships between emotions, noise, sound, silence, and nothingness.”

… (for more, please read it at Sequenza 21 :

Interview with flutist Michelle Yom

21 01 2013

On January 26th, Scordatura Show will be interviewing flutist Michelle Yom, the former Scordatura DJ!

With your host Paul Connolly, Michelle is going to talk about her new experiments and musical inspiration in Berlin and her performance with Brave New Waves Sound Series on the 27th.

KTRU streams live on the web at   You can also tune in to KTRU using high definition radio at 90.1 HD-2.



Michelle Yom presents FALKOR, a new interactive music/dance composition for flute and four dancers.

Framed by video motion tracking and a wireless trigger system, dance and music fuse to create an improvisation based choreography/electro-acoustic music composition.

Swamps of Sadness, Morla the Aged One, Engywook the Scientist, and Falcor the Luck Dragon serve as venture points exploring the relationships between emotions, noise, sound, silence, and nothingness.

Kristen Frankiewicz
Erin Reck
Leslie Scates
Sophia Torres
The performance is on Sunday, January 27th at Studio 101, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, Texas, Houston, Texas 77007.

Door opens at 7:45pm, performances start at 8:05pm.

You can find the information at:!/events/404192829667470/

Composer Talk on January 19th, 2013

16 01 2013
    Tune in January 19, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for “Composer Talk” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai, two composers playing and talking about contemporary music.
   This Saturday we’ll be playing Joelle Wallach’s Organal Voices for vibraphone and bassoon, Ruth Lomon’s The Butterfly Effect for string quartet, and couple pieces from the album Seasons Ago, a collection of compositions by Alec Wilder performed by Joe LoCascio (piano) and Woody Witt (saxophone).
   season ago
    We’ll also play a prerecorded interview Chris did with Roman Borys, cellist with the Gryphon Trio, and cabaret singer Patricia O’Callaghan, who sings with the Gryphon Trio on their latest recording Broken Hearts and Madmen.    O’Callaghan and the Gryphon Trio will be coming to Houston to perform together February 10.    The trio performs again in Houston in a separate concert program of contemporary music February 12.
    For more information about these concerts, visit the Houston Friends of Chamber Music website:
    KTRU streams live on the web at   You can also tune in to KTRU using high definition radio at 90.1 HD-2.

Composer Talk – Cold Flood /in sept 29, 2012

1 01 2013

Now you can listen to part of the Composer Talk here:

Join Us on Composer Talk, December 29th

27 12 2012

Join us Saturday, December 29, 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM CT for another edition of “Composer Talk” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai.

This time around, we’ll be playing tracks from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking album “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” (vinyl), Colin McPhee’s “Tabuh-Tabuhan” (more vinyl), excerpts of music by Houston composer and sound artist Doren Bernard, and tracks from the “Cold Blue Two” album.

Also, Houston composer Stephen Yip will be visiting KTRU studio to tell us about his composition for solo cello composed in 2010.

“Composer Talk” airs in high definition at 90.1 HD2 KPFT and streams live on the web at
composer talk in december

Composer Talk on Saturday, November 24th

22 11 2012
Tune in to this Saturday for another edition of “Composer Talk.”   The only radio show in Houston, maybe even the U.S., featuring two composers (Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai) playing and talking about modern contemporary music.   Every show is different.
This Saturday, we’ll spin brand new music from Alexander Berne and the Abandoned Orchestra, piano music from William Grant Still, Hsin-Jung’s new piece “Incarnations” for solo doublebass, music from New Amsterdam Records.

Moreover, Emma Lou Diemer’s Chamber Music: Quartet for Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, and Piano; and Alexander Sigman’s compositions from Normal/Noumenal .
Thanks for tuning in, and thank you for supporting NEW music!

Composer Talk on Saturday, October 27th (special edition with Trio Oriens)

26 10 2012
    Tune in Saturday, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m to “Composer Talk” with your hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker.
    “Composer Talk” streams live on the web at
    On this edition of Composer Talk, we’ll be playing chamber music by Arlene Zallaman’s from her album Sei La Tera Che Aspetta, piano music by Stefan Wolpe, and tracks from the Quatuor Ebene’s latest album Fiction.
    The Quatuor Ebene (aka Ebene Quartet) are a string quartet from France whose latest project includes creative arrangements of film music, jazz, Brazilian, and rock songs for strings and drum kit. They play Houston November 9 at the Mucky Duck presented by Houston Friends of Chamber Music.
    Our guests in the studio will be Houston’s own Trio Oriens who will be performing works by Todd Frazier and Bright Shen on two of their upcoming concerts.

Composer Talk on Saturday, September 28th

29 09 2012
    Saturday, September 29, 2012, 4:30 to 7:00 PM CT, tune in to for “Composer Talk” with your hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai.
    For this edition of “Composer Talk” we’ll be playing some hard if not impossible to find music Stephen Kasner’s project Blood Fountains, featuring vocals by Yoshiko Ohara from Bloody Panda and flute by Cheryl Pyle, a great vinyl recording of Steve Reich’s “Vermont Counterpoint” with Ransom Wilson on flutes, music by our friend Joseph Phillips whose ensemble Numinous will be performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music later in October, and much more.
    Also, we’ll be playing Stacy Garrop’s “Ars Poetica” and talented young composer Vivian Fung’s “Insomia; The Man in the MoonThe Willies” from the CD The Billy Collins Suite (Songs Inspired by his Poetry).
    Thanks for tuning in. “Composer Talk” streams live on the web at: and KPFT 90.1 HD2

Composer Talk Today

23 06 2012
    This Saturday hosts Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai present another edition of “Composer Talk.”   Two composers, music, and talk.  “Composer Talk” streams online this Saturday 4:30 to 7:30 PM CT at and KPFT 90.1 HD2

    This time around, we’ll be playing and discussing the music of Innova recording artist Alexander Berne and the Abandoned Orchestra, Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Spike the Percussionist’s alter ego Astrogenic Hallucinauting, All in Twilight by Toru Takemitsu, and others tba.

    We’ll also have a special interview with Wei-Chen Lin, the Marimbist who just won the Silver Prize from Ima Hogg Music Competition and is performing Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints by Alan Hohvaness at Miller Theatre Saturday night.

 More info about some of the featured composers:

We are looking into archiving “Composer Talk” and/or creating podcasts.  But for the meantime, we truly appreciate your tuning in.

Composer Talk on Thursday, May 31

30 05 2012
Chris Becker and Hsin-Jung Tsai present another edition of “Composer Talk.”Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker play and discuss a variety of 20th and 21st century works.  It’s a casual, informal, yet serious evening of music and talk.This Thursday’s show will feature Hasu Patel’s Sitar Concerto, and music for mixed media installations, including works by New York-based composer Mary Edwards (For the Time Being and In the Warm Space) and David Sylvian (Approaching Silence).  
“Composer Talk” streams live on the web at 5 to 7 PM CT.   We hope you can tune in.   Find out why talking about music is like dancing about architecture.
Hasu Patel

Composer Talk on Thursday, April 19th

18 04 2012
Scordatura presents “Composer Talk”
with hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker

Thursday, April 19, 2012
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM ET 

Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker play and discuss a variety of 20th and 21st century works.  It’s a casual, informal, yet serious evening of music and talk.

This Thursday, we’ll be playing selections from pianist Natalie Hinderas’ CD “Piano Music by African American Composers,” as well as Bruce Saylor’s Songs from Water Street, and music by guitarist and composer Stan Smith.

We hope you can tune in. The show streams live on the web, beginning 5pm ET at

More info:

Composer Talk on Thursday, March 29th

28 03 2012
5:00pm to 7:00pm CT tune in to for Composer Talk.

Hosts Hsin-Jung Tsai and Chris Becker play and discuss new works by composers from Taiwan and recent CDs by Dave Soldier and Erdem Helvacioglu.

Casual, fun, music and talk. You know, no big whoop.

Dave Soldier’s CD The Violinist (music for the silent film)
Turkish composer Erdem Helvacioglu (work for prepared piano)
Long-Kwang Hsieh: Wish for viola and electronics 9:48
Kuei-Ju Lin: Chiroptera Sunset
Chin-Yow Lin: (a piece for chamber music)
Shui-Long Ma: Idea and Image for Hsiao and 4 Cellos

Composer Talk on New Year Eve

29 12 2011

The coming Saturday, 4:30 to 7:30 pm CT on,  Hsin-Jung and Chris Becker present a special “Composer Talk” for New Year’s Eve, this time featuring works by Hsin-Jung Tsai, a new wild piece for trumpet, bass trombone, and tuba by John Zorn, something from Icelandic composer Anna Thorvadsdottir’s new CD Rhizoma, and who knows what else?  Just music, talk, you know, no big whoop.

Please tune in!

Interview with Clarinetist Richard Nunemaker

12 11 2011

On Today’s Scordatura, we are going to interview Mr. Richard Nunemaker, the former clarinetist at Houston Symphony Orchestra.  The interview will be held from 3:00 to 4:30 pm (CDT). 

Mr. Nunemaker is going to perform with Trio Oriens and Meridian  Ensemble on Tuesday, November 15, 7:30 pm at The University of St. Thomas.  He is going to talk about the program, especially The End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. 

Listen to Scordatura Show on from 2:oo to 7:oo pm (CDT) today!

Composer Talk on Thursday, October 27th, 2011

26 10 2011

Composer Talk with Chris Becker on Scordatura Show this Thursday, October 27th, at 5:00 pm (CDT)!

This month we are going to play and talk about all guitar pieces, including Leo Brouwer’s “Cuban Landscape With Rain” for four classical guitars, a track byPermagrin called “Classical,” and Robert Fripp’s solo Frippertronics track “God Save The Queen.”  Moreover, we are going to play some more tracks from Guitar album Transatlantic Tales by Faye-Ellen Silverman, who was on Scordatura for interview two weeks ago.

Listen to Composer Talk on Scordatura Show, KTRU on

Interview with Faye-Ellen Silverman

13 10 2011

    Thursday, October 13th, Scordatura Show, we are going to interview New York based composer Faye-Ellen Silverman.   An award winning, accomplished pianist, and musicology professor at the Mannes College The New School for Music, Ms. Silverman has released CDs of her chamber and solo works, such as Manhattan Stories and Transatlantic Tales.   we have played some works from both albums on air frequently.

   We are very happy to have Ms. Silverman from New York City in the studio.  We are going to talk about her piano work Three/Four (2007), percussion piece Of Wood and Skin (2003), piano trio Reconstructed Music (2002), and orchestral piece Adhesions (1987).  Moreover, we will play couple compositions and a film from Transatlantic Tales

    Tune in on Thursday Scordatura Show, October 13th, 5:00 pm ~ 7:00 pm (CDT) on

Composer Talk on Thursday, September 22nd, 5:00 pm

21 09 2011

  Composers Talk with Chris Becker on Scordatura Show this Thursday, September 22nd! 

   This Thursday at 5:00 pm (CDT), we will talk about three short pieces by the Houston group Two Star Symphony, Facades by Philip Glass, Nocturne Doubles by Benjamin Broening, Durations I by Morton Feldman, Studies for Player Piano No. 4 by Colon Nancarrow.

   Moreover, feel free to call in or send us messages to let us know what you would like to listen to!  We will schedule the compositions in our monthly talk.  

   Tune in on Thursday Scordatura Show, September 22nd, 5:00 pm ~ 7:00 pm (CDT) on

New Artist of the Month: Nathan Davis

10 09 2011

(Nathan Davis graduated from Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.)

New Artist of the Month: Nathan Davis
By Pierre Ruhe
September 1, 2011

ATLANTA — At a concert in a grungy art space, Nathan Davis was playing with rocks, making eerily beautiful music.  He’d found the long flat stones in a river in Vermont.  Clapping them together or striking them with mallets — backed by electronics that included babbling water and rustling autumn leaves — he somehow created a vulnerable and poignant little world.  The piece, called “Talking to Vasudeva,” encompasses key elements of Davis’ style: noise, electronics, a sense of shape and structure and unexpected emotion.  His music often takes nature and the ambient world as a starting point.

“These things have been done before,” says the composer.  “Thanks to John Cage, the idea of noise as music is mainstream.  My generation has absorbed the electronics of Stockhausen and Alvin Lucier.  Sounds that were weird a few decades ago are now commonplace.  But I’m not experimenting.  I don’t have to be dogmatic and austere.  My pieces have straightforward harmonic progressions.  The noise becomes part of the narrative.”

Based in New York’s Greenwich Village, Davis is a percussionist in the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).  As a composer, his national reputation is just starting to blossom.  Reviewing the opening of Lincoln Center’s Tully Scope Festival in February, New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini wrote about Davis’ “Bells,” performed by musicians from ICE and with audience participation via their cell phones: “The written-out parts of the piece provided a calming aural backdrop of chimes, slowly rising melodic lines in flutes and clarinets, penetrating low rumbles on the gongs, metallic flickers on small cymbals.  From the collective cell phones came a wash of vibrating tones, Morse-code-like ticks, intoned spoken numbers, patches of crackling static, cosmic shimmers and more… all a part of an alluring and pensive musical experience.”

Davis, 38, studied at Rice and Yale universities, the son of an architecture professor at Auburn University in Alabama.  “I was around architecture all the time,” he recalls, “where it wasn’t academic but experienced in real time, as the buildings were going up.”  Fired by both the romance and logistics of the art form, he recounts the process, starting at his father’s drafting table and continuing seamlessly to the actual construction sites, where as a boy he’d walk along beams that would become the building’s skeleton.

The porch of his family’s house, designed by his father, also made an indelible impression.  Its 360-degree view of the countryside, with woods and a lake, gave Davis “an architectural way of hearing space,” as he puts it, where “sounds would bounce off trees and were transmitted over the water in unique ways.”  In his music today, “the sonic architecture is essential to the setting.”

Three weeks touring Bali as a soloist with *M.I.T.’s gamelan ensemble led by Evan Ziporyn, was another step toward enriching Davis’ musical palette.  It gave him, he says, a structural framework.  “Gamelan is sort of a non-Western thread running through my music,” he says, “including things like repetition of a long processional and an appreciation that there exists a continuum of music to noise.”

Anything can be contextualized, he reasons, and in pop music you hear anything and everything as a viable part of a song.  In classical music, according to old-school thinking, “we’ve come to accept what a clarinet is supposed to sound like.  To achieve that sound, you have to iron out all the sonic inconsistencies.  But that [sound] is just one facet of the instrument.”

In some of his recent works, such as “Like Sweet Bells Jangled,” drawn from a line of Ophelia’s in “Hamlet” — “Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh” — he explores organic sounds made by the instruments.  “I use extended technique a lot,” he says, “but in a natural way.”

That, he says, comes from life as a percussionist.  “We’re obsessive tappers, always hitting things to see what you can get from it, where sound isn’t dependent on pitch or harmony.  I love odd and unsustainable sounds.”  Sometimes Davis uses a microphone like a stethoscope, if only for his own ears.  In “Diving Bell,” he holds a microphone up to a triangle to catch overtones that the performer hears but that are lost by the time the sound reaches the audience.

Davis’ new recording, “The Bright and Hollow Sky” (available from his website,, and iTunes) includes “Like Sweet Bells Jangled,” which is part of a series of works referring to bells and other forms of communication, such as cell phones, over long distances.

Although Davis started composing in high school, it’s safe to call him a rather late bloomer.  Evan Ziporyn, the Bang on a Can clarinetist, M.I.T. professor and self-described post-minimalist composer, has known Davis for more than a decade, first as a percussionist.  “Nathan’s got a real technical panache and a highly developed creativity as a percussionist,” he says.  “But even as I was giving him important pieces to play, he was quiet as a composer.  When he finally started showing me his own work, I was very impressed with the detail and the communication in his style.  I’ve become a big fan of his music. I think what’s coming will be amazing.”

Talk with Chris Becker on Thursday, August 25th, 5:00 pm

25 08 2011

    Talk with composer Chris Becker on Scordatura Show this Thursday, August 25 again!  

    This week we are going to share the music that inspires our musical views and listening experiences. 

    The program covers music by Japanese composer Somei Satoh (Birds in Warped Time), English musician David Bowie (Moss Garden), American composers Diamanda Galas (Deliver Me) and John Cage (The Perilous Night), and Scottish composer Thea Musgrave (Chamber Concerto No. 2).    

    Tune in on Thursday Scordatura Show, August 24th, 5:00 pm ~ 7:00 pm (CDT) on

Interviews with composer Joseph Phillips and pianist Robert Boston on Thursday, August 11th

10 08 2011

This Thursday, August 11th, we are going to have two interviews with composer Joseph Phillips and pianist Robert Boston on Scordatura Show.  You can listen to both on or KPFT 90.1 FM HD2.   

5:00 – 6: 00 pm: Composer Joseph Phillips  

Joseph Phillips is a composer who loves the avant-garde and the element of improvisation in jazz.  His music moves fluidly between classical and jazz and other genres.  He and his ensemble Numinous, which features strings, various percussion, piano, bass, woodwinds, voice and brass instruments in a flexible grouping of up to 25 new music and jazz musicians from New York City, have released some albums, including Vipassana by innova recordings in 2009 and so on.  He is a composer, a educator, and also the founder of Pulse, a federation of six award-winning composers who write and perform music that defies categorization and who are not bound by any one musical style. 

 On Thursday’s Scordatura Show, we are going to talk about Mr. Phillips’ music and musical philosophy.


6:00 – 7:00 pm: Pianist Robert Boston 

Robert Boston is a New York Citybased musician working with piano, composition and experimental sound, who believes in the infinite power of music on the human spirit. His inspirations stem from multiple periods in the development of Western music and art, with emphasis on 20th century Modernism, as well as in the cultures of Latin America, Indiaand Bali. It is the dynamic and unique dialogue of these traditions combined with new music, jazz and free improvisation, which forms the essence of his distinctive style. Through the discovery of various points of intersection between the physical and spiritual aspects of music, the juxtapositions of discreet noises and the practice of deep listening, his philosophy of “no sound is innocent” was born.

In addition to solo piano,Boston also performs with Dirty Churches, a collaboration of music, visual and performance art, using a wide spectrum of instruments from analog electronics and smart phones to guitars and percussion.  He is a founding member of electro-acoustic duo Civic, and Cyberglass, an improvisation-based new music ensemble. His compositions have been performed by select chamber groups including Houston-based Orchestra X and featured in several independent films and documentaries, including Die-In atRockefellerCenter at the NY State Museum. He also collaborates with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has created music for numerous contemporary choreographers. 

Boston has a Masters in Music fromSam Houston State University,Texas, where he studied piano with John Paul and composition with Newton Strandberg and Fisher Tull. He has also trained at Hochschule für Musik in Hanover, Germany under Arie Vardi.  He taught theory, improvisation and private piano as an Affiliate Artist at Moores School of Music, University of Houston. 

Tune in on Thursday, August 11th, Scordatura Show, 5:00pm (CDT).

Scordatura with Chris Becker, Thursday July 28th

27 07 2011
    Beginning this Thursday, on the last Thursday of each month, composer Chris Becker will join Scordatura and we will be playing some of our favorite composers on Houston’s KTRU from 5pm to 7pm.  You can listen online at
   This Thursday, we’ll be playing Gyorgy Ligeti, Somei Satoh, Paola Prestini, George Crumb and others and talking about the music. 
Gyorgy Ligeti – Atmospheres – orchestra
Somei Satoh – Birds in Warped Time II – violin and piano
Paola Prestinni – Inngerutit – clarinet and electronics
George Crumb – Ancient Voices of of Children -vocal and ensemble

Interview with composer Chris Becker on July 14th

11 07 2011

    This Thursday, July 14th, we will have composer Chris Becker in the studio to talk about his music and collaborations with different types of musicians and visual artists.


    Chris Becker is not only a composer, but also a sound artist, electronic musician and improviser.  He has been relocated in Houston since 2010, and continuously contributing his talent to diverse artistic events, such as concerts featuring contemporary music by Musiqa, compositions for silent film, electronic/sound arts for improvisational events, and so on. 

    In the interview, we are going to introduce his music on album Saints & Devils (released in 2006) and talk about the collaborations with dancers/choreographers.  Tune in Tune in on Thursday, July 14th, 5:oo  pm (CDT) at or!/station/19/.

La Peintre, Yu-Lin

30 06 2011

    On Thursday June 30th, and Saturday July 2nd, Scordatura Show will be broadcasting the Opera La Peintre, Yu-Lin, and the interview with composer Nan-Chang Chien.


    Yuliang Pan (1885-1977) was a legendary Chinese painter.  At a young age, she was sold to a brothel and then became a wealthy official’s concubine.  her paintings of nude models violated cultural norms in the feudal society and generated much controversy in Shanghai in the early Republic years.  She was forced to move to Paris to pursue her passion and successfully established herself as a “worrior of beauty.”

    Composer Nan-Chang Chien has composed successful operas through his A Night of Thunderstorm and My Daughter’s Wedding; playwright An-Chi Wang is known for her adaptations of traditional Beijing operas; French director Juliette Deschamps has collaborated with well-known sopranos.  Conductor Wing-Sie Yip is one of the most acclaimed Asian conductors.  La Peintre (The Painter) features Chien and Wang, winners of the National Award for Arts, as well as two talented female artists.  This opera was premiered in July, 2010, and now will be played on Scordatura Show, KTRU.  

   Tune in on Thursday June 30th, at 5:oo pm (CDT) and Saturday July 2nd at 3:00 pm (CDT) at or!/station/19/ for the fantasitc new opera.  

   Link: The songs of pensive beholding

Listening to Scordatura Show on Soundtap

28 06 2011

    Now you can listen to Scordatura Show not only at, but also at!/station/19/

    5:00 ~ 7:oo pm (CDT) on Thursdays 

    3:00 ~ 7:oo pm (CDT) on Saturdays 

   Just go to!/station/19/  and click on the blue arrow at the time above, and you can hear the whole Scordatura Show.

Choral and Vocal Chamber Music of Jerry Casey

14 05 2011

   We received a new CD from a female composer Jerry Casey — Yet, I will Rejoice

   Ms. Casey has composed works in all genres from solo voice to full orchestra.  This album is all about choral and vocal chamber music.  It was released in February 4th, 2011.  You can findmore information at Ms. Jerry Casey’s website:

   This is a lovely album with 13 pure, delicate and also modern-timbered songs.   We are going to play some tracks from this album on this Saturday’s Scordatura Show.  Tune in on Saturday, May 14th, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm (Central Time), on KPRT 90.1 FM HD2 or

Interview with Trio Oriens

23 04 2011


    Today’s Scordatura Show will have a Houston local piano trio, Trio Oriens, in the studio to talk about music by Paul Shoenfield and Tsang-Huei Hsu.  Moreover, they will share the experiences how modern music inspires their musical interpretation.     

   The Trio draws together three outstanding musicians from Taiwan, with violinist Johnny Chang, cellist Olive Chen, and pianist I-Ling Chen.  They had their debut in spring of 2010 and became one of the most active chamber ensembles in Houston area. 

   The Trio is going to have two concerts in April and May.   The first one will be held on Friday, April 29th, 7:30pm at Christ the King Lutheran Church (2353 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005).  The second will be held on Saturday, May 7th, 7:00 pm at Campbell Learning Center (1440 Campbell Rd. Houston, TX 77055).  Visit their website at for more information and listen to their performances. 

    Tune in on Saturday, April 23th, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on KTRU 91.7 FM and KPFT 90.1 FM HD2, or

Transatlantic Tales by Faye-Ellen Silverman

14 04 2011

    We received a new album, Transatlantic Tales, from composer Faye-Ellen Silverman.  This is an album including 7 compositions that Ms. Silverman collaborated with Guitarist Volkmar Zimmermann.  Like Ms. Silverman’s earlier album, Manhattan Stories (also on Scordatura’s collection) arising from her work and friendships in New York City, Transatlantic Tales presents a symbol of cross-ocean friendship between her and Zimmermann.    

   On Today’s Scordatura Show, we would love to play two compositions from Transatlantic Tales and one from Manhattan Stories.  5-7 pm, stay tuned.

Christmas Special (1) — Chaz Underriner

25 12 2010

   Today’s Scordatura will feature Christmas Special from 3:00 to 7:00 pm on KTRU, Houston.

   First, we will play music by American composer Chaz Underriner.

   Mr. Underriner was born in Midland, Texas, and is currently studying at California Institute of the Arts for his Master’s degree in composition.  He has composed works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, chamber and symphony orchestras, jazz combos, electroacoustic sound and choir.

   We are going to play Mr. Underriner’s compositions such as Evening in Tokyo, Desert Garden for Chamber Orchestra (2010), A Meditation of the Wrath of God for piano solo, and so on.  Listen between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on KTRU, Houston, 91.7 FM.

Christmas Special (2) — Nan-Chang Chien

25 12 2010

    Today’s Scordatura will feature Christmas Special from 3:00 to 7:00 pm on KTRU, Houston. 

    Secondly, we will play music by Taiwanese composer Nan-Chang Chien. 


    Mr. Chien completed music education at the Chinese Cultural University and the Munich Consercatory, Germany.  Also, he has been an awards winner since 1976, such as Huang Zi Composition Award by the Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-Sen Art and Literature Prize, Best Composer in the 9th, 13th, and 16th Golden Melody Award, Taiwan, and so on.  Mr. Chien was also awarded the National Culture and Art Award in 2005.

   On today’s Scordatura, we are going to play Mr. Chien’s most well-known compositions, including The Maiden of Malan (1996), Perpetuum Mobile (1996), 158 for percussion ensemble, and so on.  Tune in between 5:00 and 7:00 pm on KTRU.

Yen Lu Hour on Scordatura

11 12 2010

 Today’s Scordatura Show will feature Taiwanese composer Yen Lu, who passed away in the Fall of 2008.  Listen between 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on KTRU, Houston 91.7 FM.


Yen Lu was born in Nanjing in 1930 and died in Taipei, Taiwan in 2008. 

Mr. Lu studied in New York from 1965 to 1976, both at Mannes College of Music and City College of CUNY, where he studied composition and electronic music with professor Mario Davidovsky. 

In 1977 Lu continued his graduate studies at The University of Pennsylvania, deepening his composition experiments with George Rochberg and George Crumb.  In 1979 he returned to Taiwan and began his teaching career at Soochow University in Taipei.

The musical works of Lu, are known as rich in their creative ideals, profound in their musical feelings; very contemporary yet conservative in their music language– unique expressions of traditional Chinese artistic spirit that absorb the aesthetic elements of both western and eastern culture.  Mr. Lu was awarded the National Culture and Art Award in 1993 and National Award for Artists 1998.

Saturday 9/25 5:30 Live set & interview: Aaron Gonzalez (bass,vocals)/SPIKE the Percussionist/Greg Pickett (guitar)/Jason Jackson (sax)

25 09 2010

Aaron’s a composer and improviser from Dallas.  Here’s his bio:

Aaron Gonzalez was born November of 1980, in Dallas. He was born into art and music, surrounded by that of his father, Dennis Gonzalez, and Dennis’s various associates since early life. He took lessons in cello and piano, and settled on the bass violin at age 10, playing in school orchestras up through high school, eventually taking private lessons in a program called Young Strings, sponsored by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in high school.

During his high school years, he began playing regularly in bands with members of his immediate family: Trio Brujos (accordion driven trio playing traditional Mexican musics); and Akkolyte (a punk/grindcore duo). This led to the formation of Yells at Eels, featuring his father and both brothers as the core trio, with other instrumentalists, playing a fusion of various styles of jazz and improvised music. Both Akkolyte and Yells at Eels began touring the US, Canada, and Europe in 2000. Yells at Eels have played with Tim Green, Sabir Mateen, George Cartwright, Douglas Ewart, Oliver Lake, and Famoudou Don Moye. They have also toured the U.S., Portugal, and Poland with Portuguese saxophone great Rodrigo Amado.

During the last seven years, Aaron has played with a number of local experimental and rock bands, including MFM, Life-Death Continuum, Aphonic Curtains, Bundle of Joy, Mazinga Phaser II, Unconscious Collective, Pantheon Bar Vanguard, SUBKommander, and The Good Sons. He has played in various improvisational settings with members of Dallas ensembles such as Tidbits, Zanzibar Snails, and the Monks of Saturnalia, as well as with around the US with such notables as Douglas Ewart, Tatsuya Nakatani, Damon Smith and Matt Lavelle.

This is going to be epic.  Tune in!

Saturday, July 24th, 5:30 – 7:00pm — Interview with Vocalist Ben Lind

22 07 2010

Vocalist/Linguist Ben Lind will join Scordatura this Saturday, July 24th, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. 

Ben Lind has been involved with experimental and avant-garde music since 2000 when he played bass and throat with The Defenestration Unit as part of the Hawthorne Improvisation Collective in Houston, Texas.  During this time he had the privilege of performing with many nationally and internationally famous avant-garde musicians such as Eugene Chadbourne, Philip Gayle, and David Maddox.

Ben Lind used to make a live performing/improvising at KTRU in 2001.  This time will be his first time being interviewed on Scordatura Show.  We will disciss his music, works, life, and audio recording and performances in Taiwan.  Tune in!

Interview with Violinist Dominika Dancewicz, 3:00 ~ 4:15 pm, January 2nd, 2010

2 01 2010

This Saturday we will have Polish violinist Dominika Dancewicz in the studio to talk about music by Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Panufnik and Grazyna Bacewicz.
Dominika Dancewicz is a native of Poland. She came to the United States after completing Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance at the Krakow Music Academy in Poland and she also holds Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance from Rice University as well as Artist Diploma from Denver University Lamont School of Music. She is now an active chamber musician. And, we will talk about her performing experiences in the show.

Tune in on Saturday, January 2nd, from 3:00 to 4:15 pm, on KTRU 91.7 fm.