Happiness came the other day in the form of a fat envelope from Mode Records, the august New York new-music label. For years I've been treasuring Mode's releases of John Cage and Morton Feldman. The new batch contains vol. 8 of the Feldman Edition, Triadic Memories, available either as a single DVD or as 2 CD's, with Marilyn Nonken tickling the ivories; a 2-CD of the music of Cage-Feldman henchman Christian Wolff; the slow, static, largely tonal music of Somei Satoh, with Petr Kotik conducting the Janacek Philharmonic; and nervously expressive works of Jason Eckardt. So far the one I've really fallen for is a disc devoted to Swiss composer-trombonist Roland Dahinden, born 1962, who roams around in the rich landscape between the classical avant-garde and post-free jazz. The big work on the program, silberen, for piano quintet, strongly recalls Feldman in its hushed dynamics and glacial tempo, but something about the mood and sound is quite un-Feldmanlike. The language is not as chromatic as Feldman's, and sometimes hovers on the border of modal tonality, especially at the beginning. While Feldman often has secret narratives and dramas at work in his music, Dahinden avoids even a ghost of tension or conflict; he proceeds serenely from one collection of tones to another, as if puttering around a lunar garden. The Arditti Quartet and pianist Hildegard Kleeb play with magical purity of tone. I'm eager to hear more from this composer.