I continue my iPodding via themed smart playlists (Coltrane, Terry Riley, Reich remixes, composers unfamiliar to me, folk artists with names starting with "f", etc.). I'll spend a day or more just listening to one playlist. This is proving to be a refreshing change versus listening by random shuffle, by album, by rating etc. It's also true such a concentrated approach feels a little bit like exploring with John Schaefer ("On this edition of New Sounds, we'll take a look at the burgeoning Icelandic zither-rap scene.")
Ok, all was fine until today's playlist of music tracks with the word "Chamber" in their titles. I like chamber music and chamber opera but Chamber music, apparently not so much. This includes Ligeti's Chamber Concerto, Arthur Berger's Chamber Music for 13 Musicians, and chamber-titled pieces by Stefan Wolpe, Thea Musgrave, and Ellen Taafe Zwilich. Coming up: works by Schoenberg, Partch, Gordon Getty, Colin McPhee, Howard Hanson and others.
The best of the lot so far: Charles Ives' A Set of Pieces for Theater or Chamber Orchestra No.2 : In the Inn (Potpourri) with "potpourri" as a particularly appropriate general description of Ives' music.
I also enjoyed an old Music Perspectives MP3 podcast "Chamber Music 101" with an interview of artistic director and singer John Whittlesey from the Intermezzo - New England Chamber Opera.
And in case you aren't aware of it, John Schaefer's New Sounds:
For 20 years, he's been finding the melody in the rainforest and the rhythm in an orchestra of tin cans...Tune in for the next wave or the most ancient forms of music.