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American Highways

American Highways Episode 19: Composing Rhythm: Ned McGowan

Ned McGowan, American composer living in Amsterdam, uses rhythm in bold and surprising ways. The subtlety of his compositions contrast with their wildness.

In this episode of American Highways, pianist Guy Livingston brings us a composer with a fascination for machines and industrial sounds. Plus, Ned McGowan has worked extensively with the Karnatic music of India, and we hear works influenced by his travels and collaborations on the subcontinent.

Photos and more info at

1. Theme Music:
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984)
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101.
2. Ned McGowan. For Crying Out Loud
Guy Livingston, pianist.
Transatlantic DVD 001
3. John Zorn. Speedfreaks
John Zorn and friends.
Shimmy Disc 039
4. Ned McGowan.
a. Hexnut (0:17)
b. Tools – Dual Track Grinder (0:19)
c. Tools – Wire Mesh (0:51)
d. Tools – Hole Punch (2:31)
e. Tools – Pneumatic Screed (0:12)
f. Tools – Pneumatic Screed Extension Handle (0:05)
g. Tools – Pneumatic Screed Extension Handle Cover (0:05)
h. Telescopic Ladder (2:58)
i. Tools – Stripped Hexnut (0:47)
Hexnut Ensemble.
Karnatic Lab KLR 011
5. B.C. Manjunath. Konnakol solo.
B.C. Manjunath, vocals.
Recorded September 5, 2014 by Shale Live
6. Ned McGowan. Stone Soup.
Bhedam Ensemble
Karnatic Lab KLR 011
7. Evan Ziporyn. Amok!
Samplers, electronics, and ensemble.
New World Records 80565-2
8. Orchid Spangiafora. Hold Everything.
Rob Carey, electronics/found sounds.
Feeding Tube Records FTR096 (original release on Twin Tone Records)
9. Ned McGowan.
Workshop, for recorder and tape.
Susanna Borsch, recorder.
Karnatic Lab KLR 011