Montreal's Quatuor Bozzini string quartet worked with composer Christopher Butterfield, who wrote two of these pieces ("Trip" and "Fall") specifically for QB, alongside three other works from 20 years of composing that use unusual instructions and scores for the performers.
Label: Collection QB
Catalog ID: CQB 1719
Squidco Product Code: 23260
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at CAMMAC Musical Centre in May 24 to the 27th, 2016 by Stephan Schmidt.
Stephanie Bozzini-alto viola
Jennifer Thiessen-alto violin
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1. Lullaby 18:51
2. Beach Whistle 9:54
3. Clinamen 14:50
4. Fall 13:36
5. Trip: I Allegretto Scorrevole 2:23
6. Trip: II Allegro Presto: Light, Rapid, Precise 1:55
7. Trip: III Scherzo Doloroso: As If Intoxicated 2:14
8. Trip: IV Adagio Molto 13:38
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sample the album:
"The five pieces on this disc span roughly twenty years:
"Lullaby" was written in 1991, and "Fall" in 2013. "Lullaby" for string sextet and "Beach Whistle" (1993) for solo cello, both more or less through-composed, are mostly very quiet except for occasional irruptions.
"Clinamen" (1999) for solo violin is made up of eighty cards, each containing a short phrase, to be combined at will by the performer.
"Trip" (2008) is a four-movement string quartet with a lopsided form in which the last movement is more than twice as long as the first three together. The instructions for the radio that appears briefly in the first movement are simply that it be tuned to "talk radio" and that it be "slightly more than unobtrusive."
"Fall" may be the richest piece conceptually and the hardest one to grasp in a recording. Based on the chromatic rotation of a fournote row, with an audibly cumulative structure, it uses six specific dynamics, from very quiet to very loud, assigned to each pitch in each voice using chance methods. This creates an unpredictable "voice leading" and a sense of undependable harmony: the chords keep repeating in randomized dynamics, so one finds oneself in a landscape in which everything is the same, but not.
Both "Trip" and "Fall" were written for the Quatuor Bozzini. What a joy it is to work with them."-Christopher Butterfield
• Show Bio for Christopher Butterfield
"Christopher Butterfield. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1952. Composer.
Born in Vancouver in 1952, Christopher Butterfield moved to Halifax N.S. when he was six weeks old. As a chorister in King's College Choir in the UK, he absorbed the English choral tradition. On his return to Canada in the mid-60's he was immediately exposed to pop radio and the musical and artistic avant-garde. He's been trying to bring all these elements together ever since. After studying composition with Rudolf Komorous at the University of Victoria, and Bülent Arel at SUNY Stony Brook, he moved to Toronto where he became involved in the performance art/sound poetry scene there. Between 1977 and 1982 he mounted installations at Mercer Union, YYZ, and, under the pseudonym Isobel Foot, at the A.K.A. Gallery. He also played lead guitar in the rock band Klo for seven years. In 1992 he moved back to the west coast to teach composition at the University of Victoria. Career highlights include performing Kurt Schwitters' Ursonata on tour with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the US and Europe in 1996/97; the production of his opera Zurich 1916, at the Banff Summer Festival in 1998; composer in residence of the Victoria Symphony 1999-2002; the premiere of his score for Bill Coleman's dance epic Convoy PQ17 in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2001 (remounted in Victoria in 2013); the first performance of his complete settings of Jacques Prévert's Contes pour enfants pas sages in Toronto by Continuum Contemporary Music and Choir 21 (2012). Recent activities include co-ordinating and curating the Cage 100 Festival in Victoria (2012), celebrating American composer John Cage's centenary; and judging the International Gaudeamus Composition competition in Utrecht, Netherlands (2012), where Bosquet, his piece for 22 flutes and 1 'cello, was performed. His most recent work, parc, a concerto for vibraphonist Rick Sacks and the Aventa Ensemble, toured to New York, Ottawa and Regina this past March.
Over the years Christopher Butterfield has been the recipient of many commissions from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario and BC Arts Councils. His music has been recorded on the Artifact and CBC labels. His translations of three plays by Paris Dada Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes will be published by Wakefield Press in fall 2014."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=butterfield_ch)
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• Show Bio for Clemens Merkel
"Clemens Merkel's unconventional sound defines a new sensibility in contemporary music, through its intimate purity of tone, its settled understanding of microtonal or unconventional harmonic language, and its unhurried sensitivity. He is well known for innovative interpretations of Bach and John Cage, and is sought after by composers worldwide as an inspiration for new repertoire. His diverse collaborators range from the Wandelweiser collective to Montréal's Musique Actuelle community, and from emerging experimentalists to today's most revered composers.
For over a decade, Merkel's unusual sound has fused with that of the Quatuor Bozzini, considered one of the world's leading string quartets. Together they have mentored an entire generation of creators through the Composer's Kitchen; have released numerous critically acclaimed albums on their collection qb label; undertake multiple tours annually to be featured at festivals worldwide; and maintain a profound impact on the music scene across Canada and Europe in particular. They nourish Montréal audiences with unusual self-produced events that bridge worlds and cross boundaries of style, generation and culture.
Following an early career in Europe, where he contributed to the continent's leading ensembles, Merkel has made Montréal his home since 2000. He supports and advocates for new music in Québec and in Canada, and is regularly sought after as speaker, curator and adviser. His presence is felt in academia as well, through articles written for the Revue Circuit, and through his teaching at Concordia University. He's a passionate chef and lives in Montréal's Portuguese neighborhood together with his wife Isabelle Bozzini and children Félix and Béatrice."-Quatuor Bozzini website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=merkel_cl)
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• Show Bio for Stephanie Bozzini
"Stéphanie Bozzini. Born Montréal, Québec, 1974. Performer (viola)
Stéphanie Bozzini is a founding member of the Bozzini Quartet, a new music string quartet which performs regularly in major festivals throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Her curiosity and interest in a number of musical styles, from historically informed period instrument playing to contemporary improvisation, have led her to become a remarkably versatile musician.
Solo performances include Huddersfield (UK), Ostrava Days Festival (Czech Rep), NY MUSIK (Sweden), and REDCAT CalArts (Los Angeles). She is principal viola with Arion, and plays regularly with other baroque music groups including Tafelmusik, Theatre of Early Music and SMCQ. Stéphanie has been a long-time collaborator with contemporary ensembles Bradyworks and Kore, as well as Ensemble Lunaire (Zürich). Major orchestral engagements include the Tonhalle of Zurich and the Winterthurer Stadtorchester, and chamber orchestras such as I Musici and Les Violons du Roy. Other chamber music projects have led to performances at The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Tonhalle Zurich, and the Festival des Îles du Bic. Stéphanie Bozzini teaches viola at the Music Department, Concordia University in Montréal."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=bozzini_st)
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• Show Bio for Isabelle Bozzini
"Isabelle Bozzini. Born Montréal, Québec, 1969. Performer (cello).
A passionate chamber player, cellist Isabelle Bozzini is dedicated to exploring two parallel worlds - new music of all kinds and music on period instruments. This endeavour continuously challenges her and nourishes her artistic aspirations.
She is a founding member of the Quatuor Bozzini which since its inception in 1999 has become one of Canada's leading string quartets on national and international scenes. Playing close to forty concerts per year, the Bozzinis produce their own concert series in Montréal including the Salon des compositeurs + Composer's Kitchen event. They tour several times per year in Europe, the US and Canada and have launched the label collection qb in the Fall of 2004 in collaboration with DAME. Isabelle Bozzini also works with Kore Ensemble, and various improvising artists such as Malcolm Goldstein, François Houle, Benoît Delbecq, Diane Labrosse and Jean Derome. Having collaborated for many years with Joël Thiffault and the Montréal Baroque Orchestra, Isabelle Bozzini now plays regularly with Ensemble Arion. She also plays with Idées Heureuses, Ensemble Caprice, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, and French harpsichordist and conductor Hervé Niquet."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=bozzini_is)
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• Show Bio for Alissa Cheung
" "... classical music without pretence... " is Alissa Cheung's approach to her multi-faceted career. A native of Edmonton (Alberta) violinist and composer, Ms Alissa Cheung (BSc '07, BMus '09, MM '13), is a tenured member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) since 2010 and will move to Montréal in January 2015 to join the Bozzini Quartet.
She has been involved with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall and Suntory Hall, and solos with the ESO and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra. Ms Cheung has been featured in Vue Weekly Magazine and Edmonton Sun, and was aired on CBC, CKUA, and WKPN Radio.
An adamant interpreter of new music, Alissa has performed numerous contemporary works and was an Artist in Residence at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival (2011), at the and at the Lucerne Festival Academy (2013).
As a composer, her works have been performed at the Tonus Vivus Festival of New Music (Edmonton), Jordan Hall (Boston), Morse Recital Hall (New Haven, CT), and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Upcoming projects include a commission by the Arx Duo and the Bass Line Road Ensemble. Ms Cheung studied composition with Hannah Lash (Yale) and Piotr Grella-Mozejko (Edmonton).
In addition to private teaching, Ms Cheung has been Sessional Instructor at King's University College and faculty member of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. Educational outreach initiatives include being a Teaching Artist with ESO's Adopt-a-Player Program and with the National Arts Centre's Music Alive Program.
Ms Cheung's principal violin teachers were Marian Moody, Ranald Shean, Broderyck Olson (Edmonton), Thomas Williams (McGill), and Ani Kavafian (Yale). Other influential coaches include Malcolm Lowe, Mark Fewer, Rafael Rosenfeld, Kyoko Hashimoto, and members of the former Tokyo, Juilliard and Concord string quartets."-Quatuor Bozzini Website (http://www.quatuorbozzini.ca/en/select/bio/?id=cheung_al)
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• Show Bio for Jennifer Thiessen
"Performing on both the viola and the viola d'amore, Jennifer Thiessen cultivates a particular interest in classical and contemporary chamber music, new composed and improvised music, and historically informed performance practice. She is expanding the contemporary repertoire of both the viola and the viola d'amore through the creation of new compositions, and through songwriting and improvisation.
Jennifer recently commissioned and performed an entire programme of new works for solo viola d'amore by composers in Montreal and Ottawa, and a new piece by Matthias Maute for viola d'amore and pedal harpsichord. These works were presented by the Ottawa New Music Creators and Innovations en Concert in 2015. She has worked on new music with many composers and improvisers, notably: Gavin Bryars, Matthias Maute, Christopher Butterfield, Cassandra Miller, Michael Matthews, Steven Gellman, Rainer Wiens, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Pierre-Yves Martel, Megan Jerome, Mike Essoudry, Jan Jarvlepp, Jen McLaughlan, Leo Lightstone, Ida Toninato, Michel F. Côté, Michel Lambert, Giorgio Magnanensi, Nicole Lizée, Scott Godin, Alexandra Fol, Brian Harman, Matthew Ricketts, Géraldine Eguiluz and Jerry Semshychyn. From 2007 to 2012, Jennifer toured the world with the dance company La La La Human Steps, performing new chamber music by Gavin Bryars and David Lang in the productions Amjad and New Work.
As a freelance musician, Jennifer has recently performed and recorded with such ensembles as Ensemble Caprice (Matthias Maute), Collectif 9, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal,Quatuor Bozzini, La Bande Montréal Baroque (Sigiswald Kuijken) and Ensemble Per Sonare. She has previously performed chamber music with Quatuor Franz-Joseph, Mireille Lagacé, Les Boréades (Francis Colprin), Ensemble Allogène, and Trio '86, and has joined such ensembles as La Machine, Clavecin en Concert (Luc Beauséjour), Ensemble Appassionata, Les Violons du Roy, l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, l'Orchestre des grands ballets canadiens de Montréal and l'Orchestre symphonique de Laval. She has performed with Sarah Slean, Martha Wainwright and Leif Vollebeck, is featured on Joe Silva's soundtrack to the film Black Field, and can be heard on recordings by Michel F. Côté, Michel Lambert, Mike O'Brien, John Carroll, Courtney Wing, Antoine Berthiaume, and The Record of the Week Club.
Originally from rural Manitoba, Jennifer studied violin with Elizabeth Lupton Ens in Winnipeg while obtaining a Bachelor of Theology. She completed a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance with David Stewart at the University of Manitoba and the University of Ottawa, followed by a Master of Viola Performance from l'Université de Montréal with Jutta Puchammer-Sédillot.
Jennifer also writes, sings and plays guitar for her pop music project Daily Alice, whose debut recording was released in December, 2014."-Jennifer Thiessen Website (https://jenniferthiessen.wordpress.com/about/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Elinor Frey
"Fascinated with the cello's origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Her debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her recent release on the Belgian label Passacaille, Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano, was nominated for a Juno award for Best Classical CD, Solo & Chamber Music and won the 2015 Québec Opus Prize for Early Music CD of the year. Her first Baroque CD, La voce del violoncello, was praised for its "careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos" (Toronto Star) and for the "honest, reflective beauty of her music making" (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe.
Frey's honours include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, American Musicological Society, and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Les Idées hereuses, Il Gardellino, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Arion, Theatre of Early Music, Les Violon du Roy, and Arion, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard."-Elinor Frey Website (http://www.elinorfrey.com/about.php)
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