Malcolm Goldstein

(b. 1936)

mode 291

Soweto Stomp


mode 291 Malcolm GOLDSTEIN: Soweto Stomp — composed improvisations with Malcolm Goldstein, violin & director, The Ratchet Orchestra

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Soweto Stomp

mode 291 Malcolm GOLDSTEIN: Soweto Stomp — composed improvisations with Malcolm Goldstein, violin & director, The Ratchet Orchestra

Malcolm Goldstein, violin, direction
Nicolas Caloia, double bass
Joshua Zubot, violin
Guido Del Fabbro, violin
Jean René, viola
Lori Freedman, clarinets
Jean Derome, flute, alto saxophone
Yves Charuest, alto saxophone
Damian Nisenson, tenor saxophone
Jason Sharp, baritone saxophone
Ellwood Epps, trumpet
Scott Thomson, trombone
Chris Burns, guitar
Guillaume Dostaler, piano
Isaiah Ceccarelli, drums
Ken Doolittle, percussion

Composer/performer Malcolm Goldstein (b.1936) has been active in the presentation of new music and dance since the early 1960s. He received an M.A. in music composition from Columbia University in 1960, having studied with Otto Luening. In the 1960s in New York City, he was a co-founder with James Tenney and Philip Corner of the Tone Roads Ensemble. His “Soundings” improvisations have received international acclaim for having ‘reinvented violin playing,’ extending the range of tonal/sound-texture possibilities of the instrument and revealing new dimensions of expressivity.

The pieces on this recording are structured improvisation compositions; none are through-composed, linear pieces with exactly notated tones and rhythms. The sound of the composed improvisations range from jazzy to dense microtonal sounds.

The works on “Soweto Stomp” features Goldstein not only as composer, but also as a soloist and ensemble performer.

Established in 1992, the eclectic Ratchet Orchestra serves as a meeting place for Montreal musicians interested in creating new and vibrant music. Many of the city’s most active and creative composers, instrumentalists and improvisers play in the ensemble. Collectively, the Ratchet owe an enormous debt to Goldstein who has mentored and worked with many of the band members in the past. Their close connection is evident in the musical performances here.

Liner notes by Malcolm Goldstein.

Cover art by Carolee Schneemann.


Soweto Stomp.” Malcolm GOLDSTEIN: Configurations in Darkness (1995); Scuttling a space of time, slowly (2014); In Search of Tone Roads #2 (For Charles Ives) (2013); Broken Canons (2011); Two Silences (2003/2013); Soweto Stomp (1985). The Ratchet Orchestra, Malcolm Goldstein (vln, cond.). mode 291 (1 CD) (

A rich spectrum of improvisation and close listening, results as contemporary as anything else fully scripted. The nod to Ives is apt. MAYBE.

Ethelbert Nevin, lafolia, November 2016,


Libraries holding works by Malcolm Goldstein. 232 works in 392 publications in 5 languages and 3,017 library holdings

Goldstein, Malcolm. Sounding the Full Circle: Concerning Music Improvisation and Other Related Matters. Sheffield, Vt., U.S.A: M. Goldstein, 1988. Print.