The New York-based andPlay duo of violinist Maya Bennardo and violist Hannah Levinson perform two extended works commissioned for their performance series, Translucent Harmonies: first an acoustic rendering of Catherine Lamb's "Prisma Interius VIII (Melodic Duo)"; then Kristofer Svensson's work of contrasts, surprises, modulations, and transformations.
Reworking a piece for string trio originally commissioned by the Concertgebouw Brugge and premiered by the Goeyvaerts Trio as part of the 2019 SLOW Festival, this new version expands on the original composition to bring elegant calmness and clarity to the work, performed by UK's Apartment House members Mira Benjamin on violin, Bridget Carey on viola and Anton Lukoszevieze on cello.
Investigating the experimental legacy of Victorian polymath Alexander J. Ellis, author of the 1880 paper, The History of Musical Pitch, composer Seamus Cater uses 74 tuning forks tuned to represent Elliss research of just ratios of 480Hz, in three compositions focusing on the most consonant tones of the system, and balancing them through minimalist chamber work from a 7-piece ensemble.
Two works for voice and chamber orchestra performed by the UK Explore Ensemble under the direction of Nicholas Moroz, and a multi-tracked vocal work by Lotte Betts-Dean, rich and understated works of rich harmonics and atmospheric overtones composed by Catherine Lamb, placing phonetic vocals in space and ambiance, eschewing words for tone, texture and motion; mesmerizing.
Five works from US composer often based in Amsterdam, Evan Johnson, in solo, duo and trio settings including a triptych titled "L'art de toucher" in three configurations, demonstrating his unique approach to writing using disparate musical influences from modern to Baroque, mated to anarchic experimentalism and a Wandelweiser sensibility; fascinating!
Intended to be played continuously without a break, composer and violinist Andrew McIntosh's long-form composition features field recordings of pine woods in his home state of California in performance with violin, viola, piano, wine glasses, slate and electronics, an ethereal work combining improvisation, open tunings, just intonation and sympathetic resonance.
Two works written for a group of Australian performers living in Berlin--Jon Heilbron, Rebecca Lane, Jess Aszodi & Sam Dunscombe--by Australian composer and pianist Anthony Pateras, A Dread Of Voids developed for a residency at the Archipel Festival in Geneva after enduring a pandemic quarantine; and Patterned Language, composed for the Astra Chamber Music Society.
A single-movement work for sho, Hammond organ and cello, jointly realized by Berlin-based collaborators, Tokyo contemporary and experimental musician & composer Michiko Ogawa, and British cellist & composer Lucy Railton, whose work bridges experimental electronic and electroacoustic practice, here exploring the combinations of different tuning systems inherent in their instruments.
One of New York School minimalist composer Morton Feldman's later works, this extended composition spread across two CDs invokes waves of beautifully suspended, weaving strings from four violinists and cello, performed by the UK Apartment House ensemble violinists Mira Benjamin, Chihiro Ono, Amalia Young & Bridget Carey and cellist Anton Lukoszevieze.
Performing solo on the Hardanger fiddle, a Scottish folk instrument for which Sarah-Jane Summers holds a masters degree from the Norwegian Academy of Music, the composer and improviser entered the studio to develop these nine experimental pieces, reworking each piece into its fascinating blend of modern contemporary music that harkens back to folk tradition.
A work for voice, piano and electronics from experimental composer Laurence Crane, working with the closely associated UK ensemble Apartment House, Natural World is in three sections--"Field Guide", "Chorus" and "Seascape"--with vocalist Juliet Fraser and pianist & electronic artist Mark Knoop, Crane's work describing the natural world and portending the fragility of our ecosystems.
Written for and performed by the UK ensemble Apartment House, composer & performer Magnus Granberg's latest work reduces his working size from the larger Skogen ensemble to this sextet, opening new possibilities for composed structures that incorporate improvisation, in a work structured around components from Schubert's Abendbilder and So in Love by Cole Porter.
Neha, the Slovakian word for tenderness, is expressed by composer Adrián Demoč in this lovely and gentle work performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; and "Popínavá hudba", written for the international symphony orchestra for new music, Ostrava New Orchestra, referencing the growth of climbing plants through an alluring melodic line that shifts and spreads in direction.
Six sound-oriented compositions for acoustic ensemble performed by the UK ensemble Apartment House, beautifully reflective and rich works, the first six pieces being text scores for open instrumentation, along with Peace/Tree, a seven movement work for violin, cello and piano that specifies pitches while leaving room for interpretation and improvisation.
Splitting the album between two ensembles, UK composer Eden Lonsdale's beautifully languid compositions are performed first by Apartment House, and then by the young Rothko Collective, the four pieces showing Lonsdale's development of writing for harmony, timbre and resonance into works focused on the passing of time and the integration of prominent melodic elements.
Influenced by the seemingly contradictory sources of 16th century Italian composers and their polyphonic compositions, Eliane Radigue, and North Indian classical, Italian composer Marco Baldini's beautifully dark works employ a slow, rarefied pace and subdued dynamics with a fascination for pianissimo playing, heard in eight chamber compositions for low strings and marimba.
First recordings of composer Frank Denyer's "Melodies" series from the mid-1970s, arising from his ethnomusicological studies that explored the concept of what makes up a melody, or a note, creating a series of compositions with melodies of one note, then two, building up to a final work of 14- and 15-note melodies; includes a 24 page booklet by Denyer detailing the concept.
With titles taken from different kinds of water nymphs in Greek mythology, composer Mark Iddon's four-part work is a hauntingly beautiful set of compositions of seeming siren calls and rich percussion, realized by an octet configuration of the UK ensemble Apartment House, with two pianists (Philip Thomas and Mark Knoop), three strings, clarinet, flute and percussion.
A remarkable, intense and startlingly virtuosic solo performance from Berlin violinist Sarah Saviet in a long-form extension of an originally 15-minute work commissioned by Saviet of UK composer Bryn Harrison, developed together to allow the score to be variable in length through performer choices to re-sequence the events and repetition of the composition.
Three chamber works in single and multiple movements by minimalist composer Jurg Frey, exploring time & duration, form & shape and a balance of material, performed by a core quartet from the UK ensemble Apartment House, orchestrated for clarinet and bass clarinet, violin and cello, the final work adding piano, viola and percussion in a septet reworking of a 2014 composition.
Collecting five chamber works from prolific London-based composer Tim Parkinson, written between 1998 and 2017 and performed by the Apartment House ensemble: one piece for solo violin performed by Mira Benjamin, two duos for violin & piano (by Benjamin & Siwan Rhys), a quintet for winds and strings and a septet, both featuring flute and bass clarinet.
A diverse set of compositions from Canadian composer Allison Cameron showing the breadth of her interests across experimental and compositional forms, including a solo multiphonic work for bass clarinet; a guitar trio with the Allison Cameron band of Cameron, Eric Chenaux & Stephen Parkinson; and Apartment House performing quintet and sextet compositions.
A diverse set of compositions by London composer, performer and improviser John Lely performed by the UK ensemble Apartment House, demonstrating the spectrum of Lely's work across string quartets, solo piano works, a solo electronic piece, and a work for violin, two violas & cello; works of cohesive direction across a variety of approaches and interests.
Four works from Amsterdam-based Argentina composer Gabriel Paiuk, particularly "The Construction of an Imaginary Acoustic Space" about the intertwining of technology, affect, space and listening, performed by the New European Ensemble in a mix of strings, reed, brass, piano and tape; also a solo work for cello; a solo work for piano; and a piece for three clarinets.
The UK avant ensemble Apartment House performs three of John Cage's later works: Two (1987), a number piece using randomly-determined time brackets specifying pitch & dynamic; Hymnkus for up to 14 instrumental parts each of 17 elements blending the concepts of a hymn and a haiku; and Thoreau Drawings, the score twenty unnumbered pages on which Cage drew shapes onto a grid of six systems, each divided into 5+7+5 parts, following the form of a haiku.
A beautifully unfolding story in connected works forming a codex from Texas composer and Wandelweiser artist Kory Reeder, a long form work performed by the UK Apartment House Ensemble in a septet of strings, winds and piano, each section creating a loose narrative ark through several notational strategies envisioned with characters, scenes, diversions, and digressions.
There is uncertainty of when pianist John Tilbury recorded these three solo keyboard works by his associate and friend, legendary minimalist composer Terry Riley, performing "Keyboard Study #1" and #2, along with "Dorian Reeds" using piano, electric organ, harpsichord & celesta, captured with excellent quality in superb performances from Tilbury at the height of his powers.
Eight powerful and often cinematic pieces for organ and percussion, jointly composed and performed by long-time collaborators, Montreal composers and improvisers Katelyn Clark and Isaiah Ceccarelli, these 8 compositions developed around improvisations on the historic instruments continuo & portative organs, with percussion including a 40" bass drum, bell plates, and almglocken.
Six pieces developed by violinists Johnny Chang and Keir GoGwilt, with vocalist Celeste Oram joining on three, starting with early music works by Hildegard van Bingen and Orlando de Lassus in a hybrid of musical archaeology informed by modern concepts of repetition, variations of timbre, improvisation, &c, as they seek hidden sound worlds in older notation.
Three chamber works by Klaus Lang of a beautifully fragile and dark nature and a meticulous inner structure, alongside arrangements of early music pieces by Johannes Ockeghem and Pierre de la Rue, performed by Klaus Lang himself on organ with the Trio Amos of Sylvie Lacroix on flute, Krassimir Sterev on accordion and Michael Moser on cello.
Six potent duo improvisations for cello and piano by composer & pianist Ernstalbrecht Stiebler and fellow-Berlin resident Tilman Kanitz, who have been developing their dialog together for several years in studio, focusing much of their momentum on pitch and harmony, their work all the more remarkable for Stiebler only having begun improvising in his mid-80s.
Composer and pianist Magnus Granberg developed this delicately introspective work as a collaboration between his Skogen ensemble and cellist Leo Svensson Sander & harpist Stina Hellberg Agback, concerning the development of art in times of crisis, using Messiaen's "Quatuor pour la fin de temps" (Quartet for the End of Time) as a basis, and brought into focus by actual pandemic.
A brooding work for pipe organ, piano and percussion, created by composer Eva-Maria Houben and the GBSR Duo of Siwan Rhys & George Barton, commissioned by the 2021 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and recorded in concert in the resonance of of Huddersfield's St. Paul's Hall using the organ built by Wood's of Huddersfield.
Three chamber works by Calgary, Canadian composer Mark Ellestad composed between 1988 and 1994 and recently retrieved by the composer, including the title track, a graceful solo guitar work performed by Christián Alvear; a meditative piece for pump organ & Hardanger fiddle performed by the composer; and a large work for violin and cello performed by Apartment House.
Six chamber works for strings by Korean composer and Fluxus performance artist Kunsu Shim, performed by the Luna String Quartet, "specialists in quiet music", along with six short pieces written for Kunsu by composer friends and collaborators, including Arnold Marinissen, Ammon Wolman, Alwynne Pritchard, Nicolaus A. Huber, Gerhard Stabler and Anton Lukoszeviez
Inspired by the broadcast performance by The Apartment House ensemble of three works by Morton Feldman, Another Timbre requested that they record the exceptional late work of the minimalist composer, Piano and String Quartet, captured at Henry Wood Hall two months later in a stunning interpretation of this enigmatic work of sensually dissipating motion.
Eight chamber works of interestingly structured and exquisitely restrained character, composed between 2016 and 2021 by UK composer Georgia Rodgers, performed by the Apartment House ensemble in configurations of acoustic duos, trios & quartets, one solo piece for piano & electronics, one solo work for electronics and the title piece in 3 parts by a quintet.
Six beautiful, fragile and mysterious works for piano in combinations with other orchestral arrangements and solo, including pitch-based compositions and a graphic work directed by photographs, performed by members of Apartment House in duos, quintets & sextets; works initially commissioned by Another Timbre and Philip Thomas and here performed on piano by Siwan Rhys.
Four clarinet-based works in trio, duo and solo from UK composer and musicologist Martin Iddon, performed by Heather Roche on bass and contrabass clarinets, Juliet Fraser on voice for "Muses", Anton Lukoszevieze on cello and James Opstad on double bass; music with intricate, interweaving lines, the title piece a mesmerising work for multi-tracked clarinets and field recordings.
A 4-disc box-set with a 44-page booklet of extensive notes, presenting John Cage's Number Pieces which he wrote in the last five years of his life, adapted for mid-size ensembles and performed by the London-based ensemble Apartment House, compositions 'Five' to 'Fourteen' along with alternative versions of three of the pieces; significant and essential.
Known for her chamber and piano works, Canadian composer and widow of Morton Feldman presents five beautiful chamber works performed by the trio of George Barton on percussion, Siwan Rhys on piano and Mira Benjamin on violin, introspective and contemplative pieces of rich color & reflection that reveal the gravity between sound and silence.
Two works from Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith and performed by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze and pianist Kerry Yong: "Through the Low Hills" a piece for constrained variations like an object viewed from different angles as it is turned over; and "Ballad" a major work intended for performance that unfolds slowly, allowing for delicate melodic interaction.
Five chamber works written by composer UK Oliver Leith, the debut CD release from the creative music group Explore Ensemble including a piece they commissioned--Me Hollywood--, the compositions spanning four years of work and reflecting a sort of portrait of the composer as he experiments with unusual arrangements, sampling sounds, and new instruments.
Five chamber works from UK composer James Week performed by Explore Ensemble, developing works extending the poetic idea of a piece as an imaginary or remembered space by exploring combinations of instruments such as the mixed instrumental duos, the use of slow-moving or static background harmonics, and intimate instrumental idioms based on long, breath-length sounds.
The UK ensemble Apartment House commissioned this work from composer & experimenter Jim O'Rourke based on their performance of other O'Rourke works, here interpreting a new graphic score designed like a sonic mobile, creating a minimal yet episodic piece of flexible interpretation as the performers whistle, hum and quietly sing in combination with bowed harmonics.