December 15, 2017

Mincek’s album named among best of 2017

Alex Mincek

Torrent, a portrait album by Bienen School assistant professor Alex Mincek, was named one of the 25 Best Classical Music Recordings of 2017 by the New York Times.

Released on the Sound American label in April 2017, Torrent is available as a deluxe art object meant to give the listener a multivalent overview of Mincek's history, aesthetic, and impact on the contemporary music world. The disc comes in a hardcover book-like case along with 28 pages of notes, including the composer's conversation with Sound American Editor and experimental trumpeter Nate Wooley, as well as an in-depth interviews with members of the Wet Ink Ensemble.

Mincek is a composer, saxophonist, and co-director of the New York-based Wet Ink Ensemble, which is featured as the performing ensemble on Torrent alongside Yarn/Wire and Mivos Quartet. The album’s opening piece, Pendulum VII for alto saxophone and ensemble, was called “a thrill ride” in the New York Times review.  

“At a second-by-second level, it might seem as if the sonic riot is too much to process. But zoom out, and this hailstorm’s qualities of shape and proportion begin to emerge. The slower compositions on this bracing album of Mr. Mincek’s music are just as fine,” the New York Times article states.

See the full list of the year’s top classical albums from the New York Times

The album was also featured on a list of the 10 best albums of 2017 by The Nation, which described Torrent as, “Meticulous, highly structured music disguised as chaos. Atomized and unsettling, this is the sound of our day.”

A member of the composition and music technology faculty at the Bienen School of Music, Alex Mincek is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alpert Award, and multiple awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music has also been recognized through commissions and awards from arts institutions such as the French Ministry of Culture, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, MATA, Radio France, the Barlow Endowment, and the Fromm Music Foundation.