Rumor de Paramo (2006)
Ana Cervantes commissioned 18 composers to write short piano pieces to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pedro Paramo, an important proto-magical-realist novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. My Murmuring in Comala was written for this project. 12 of the pieces, including mine, were recorded on compact disc and presented at the 34th Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico on October 17, 2006. Anna Picard of The U.K.’s Independent described the disc as follows: “In Rumor de Paramo, Mexican composers Georgina Derbez, Horacio Uribe, Eugenio Toussaint, Mario Lavista, Vicente Barrientos and Federico Ibarra are programmed alongside composers from Spain (Carlos Cruz de Castro, Tomas Marco), the USA (Charles B. Griffin, Jack Fortner, Anne LeBaron) and the UK (Stephen McNeff) in works inspired by the novels of Juan Rulfo. Silence is important as music, while ghosts of the past can be found in the shreds of Old World counterpoint and courtly dances that crowd around the folk motifs. A remarkable collection magnetically played.”
Winter Patterns (2006)
Martin Benvenuto directs the California-based Peninsula Women’s Chorus on this disc, which includes my Agnus Dei. Other composers include Alberto Balzanelli, Hildegard von Bingen, Pavel Chesnokov, Rebecca Clarke, Franz Gruber, William Mathias, Daniel Pinkham, Francis Poulenc, Einojuhani, Joan Szymko, and Veljo Tormis. They took my piece and several others from this disc to the Béla Bartók 22nd International Choir Competition in July 2006 in Debrecen, Hungary. They won third prize in the women’s choir division.
Global Percussion (2006)
A synopsis from Percussive Notes (No. 88, June 2006): “Global Percussion aptly describes this CD with its varied musical influences from around the world. Regardless of the instrument or the style, Joseph Gramley excels. His ability to perform with hands, sticks or mallets always produces the correct sound. The compositions are: Ganda Yina by Kakraba Lobi, A Minute of News by Eugene Novotney, Marimba Montuño by William Susman, 1+1 (take 220 and 218) by Philip Glass, Danza del Fuego by John La Barbera, Prism by Keiko Abe, Visitations by Charles B. Griffin, and Estudios #6 and #17 by Fernando Sor. A basic thread of rhythmic interest and musicality prevails throughout the CD. Gramley captures each composition’s ethnic flavor quite well.”
From the Faraway Nearby (2001)
Excerpting from an American Record Guide review (May 2002): This third CD by The Goldspiel/Provost Classical Guitar Duo “is a mix of contemporary works, folk tunes, and jazz arrangements. The centerpiece of the recital is From the Faraway Nearby, a six-movement work by New York composer Charles Griffin. Much of the work is obsessively repetitive, with constantly shifting ostinatos creating a backdrop that is at once hypnotic and engaging in its play with expectation and meter. The harmonic language is largely diatonic, though not without some provocative clashes between melodic figure and ostinato ground. The work was written for the Goldspiel-Provost Duo and they have clearly lived with it long enough to give it a solid, sensitive reading.” Other composers on the disc are Aaron Copland, Edward Flower, George Gershwin, and Máximo Diego Pujol.
New American Piano Music (2001)
A review from Woman Rock Magazine (June, 2001): “California pianist Teresa McCollough sent out a nationwide call for new, classical piano pieces by American composers. Out of 300 scores, she chose seven for her recitals and national tours. This album is those seven selections. The pieces are exciting, daring adventures in contemporary music. The composers distilled hard jazz, delicate sonatas and Copland-esque Americana into a new and stunning voice for McCollough’s playing. The contributing composers are David Rakowski, Henry Martin, Charles Griffin, Tomas Svoboda, Alex Shapiro, Steve Heitzeg and Elizabeth Pizer.” Includes my Vernacular Dances.
The Persistence of Past Chemistries (1999)
The second CD released by New York-based Ethos Percussion Group includes works from Brazil, Guatamala and the US. Features the landmark piece, Double Music, by John Cage and Lou Harrison. Includes my piece, The Persistence of Past Chemistries, commissioned by Ethos through the Jerome Foundation. Other composers on the disc are Peter Garland, Laurence Kaptain, Juan Morales, and Carlos Stasi.
Hear Through the Ages (1999)
Bob Geary leads The Piedmont Choirs (several treble choir groups of varying age ranges) on a showcase CD featuring music from all periods and several countries. The disc includes my Agnus Dei, Israeli composer Dov Carmel’s Shualim Ktanim, and Beatus Vir by Antonin Vivaldi, performed by Ancora; and Hoj! Hura, Hoj! by Czech composer Otmar Macha, portions of Michael Haydn’s Missa Sancti Aloysii and Benjamin Britten’s Missa Brevis performed by Ensemble.
The Goldspiel/Provost Classical Guitar Duo recorded my Oriental Poppies here on their second CD, inspiring me to write five more movements to make the suite that later became From the Faraway Nearby (see above). The review in Classical Guitar (June, 1999) said: “…Equally successful are the kaleidoscopic textures of the brief and hypnotic Oriental Poppies by Charles Griffin. Centered around a short descending motif, the movement here is fuelled by imaginative quasi-improvised melodic figures and an ever-shifting rhythmic emphasis.” Other composers featured are Leo Brouwer, Napoleon Coste, Edward Diemente, Mauro Giuliani, Radames Gnatalli, and Enrique Granados.
Syncopated Lady (1999)
Subtitled Tomoko Deguchi Plays American Piano Music Outside the Sphere of Western Art Music, this ecclectic set of solo pieces includes my Vernacular Dances. Other composers featured are Carol Barnett, James Bohn, Keith Carpenter, Matthew Davidson, Laurel Firant, Robert Fleisher, and Andrew Kinney.