Ice Canyons on Now Is the Time

TimescapeIt’s ice and echoes on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 1st at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at and WRTI-HD2. Figure-skating and Stravinsky inspire Joan Tower’s gliding Petroushskates, and Allen Ginsberg narrates his own poem in Echorus by Philip Glass, for two violins and strings. From the CD Winter is Eric Ewazen’s Elegia, for trumpet and piano.

The Tibetan Heart Mantra is at the center of Echoes by Paul Fowler, for the women of The Crossing, and Peru echoes in the harpsichord work by Kent Holliday, Dances from Colca Canyon. Barton McLean runs environmentalist John Muir’s descriptions of glaciers through his own software to construct Ice Canyons. The echoes of minimalism by way of Steve Reich close out the program, in this recording of New York Counterpoint arranged by saxophonist Dave Camwell for his CD Time Scape.

from Barton McLean: Ice Canyons 

Joan Tower: Petroushskates
Philip Glass: Echorus
Eric Ewazen: Elegia
Paul Fowler: Echoes
Kent Holliday: Dances from Colca Canyon
Barton McLean: Ice Canyons
Steve Reich: New York Counterpoint

Every Saturday night at 9 Eastern, Kile Smith brings you Now Is the Time, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream (just go to and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of any page). Here are the recording details and complete schedule. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM-HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!


2 thoughts on “Ice Canyons on Now Is the Time

  1. Matthew Mitchell

    I have it on good word from a champion figure skater (gold medal, State Games of America 2013) that while Petroushskates was inspired by ice skating, the music itself isn’t particularly well suited to an actual skating program. The tempo is a little fast and the details of the music don’t match the stroking and spins and jumping that make up most of a competitive program (though I can imagine a step sequence [footwork] set to them).

    Composing a 2 to 4 minute piece to work as a skating program might be an excellent (and not too difficult) exercise in composition for a class of students: watch the way skating programs in the Olympics are set up and then compose sections of music to match each element, and then add the “connecting steps.”

    1. Kile Smith Post author

      Hi Matt,
      I’m sure that Joan Tower didn’t have accompanying skating in mind when she wrote this, just the image or idea of skaters. I wouldn’t have any idea how one might write for that, other than to match the mood and tempo the skaters would like–like writing for ballet. Over the years I’ve heard all kinds of music used. But I know that now you’re an expert observer of the sport through your family! Thanks, Kile

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