Thursday, May 6, 2021

In a dark time, this music will make you smile

Last fall, when the world was already expecting a long, dark winter after a brutal year, I decided to discover some new, bracing orchestral music. It had been months since I was wallpapered by symphonic forces in a live setting. And if it were to be several times larger than the front, I would have needed at least some music that pointed to that scale.

Thanks for the british label Nmc recording, I quickly found what I was looking for for Irish musician Ed Bennett’s “Freefalling”, the opening track from its October release “Psychedelia”

Ten minutes long, it is a testament to the truth in the title: a frenzied ride that mixes quasi glissandos with rousing exclamations, fit for an action-movie montage. The same mix of experimentalism and showmanship can be heard elsewhere on the album, much like the multi-movement “Song of the Books”. I made a note to check with NMC more often.

In this half, the label has continued a series of consecutive wins, including this month, “Nature,” The first full-length collection of orchestral pieces by English composer Tansi Davis. Like Bennett, Davis is not afraid of a clear debt to the cinema; His first movement included some high-motifs “What did we see?” Can keep in mind the “Star Wars” score of John Williams. But the rest of his four-piece suit is recognized in his own rag. And the gleaning, melody fragmented Davis Piano Concerto that gives the album its title is another showstopper.

When i heard “nature” “The Departure Landscape,” A succinct February release from Scottish musician Martin Suckling, it was clear that NMC had already entered the epidemic with a strong production schedule. While the label has long-term nurturing youth (Sometimes too young) The talent to serve as a sort of house label for the UK-established avant-garde, highlights recent names in this recent recording of recordings. (Bennett and Davis are in their 40s; Suckling turns 40 later this year.)

Patient’s spirit survives in Spectral Disease Suckling’s second track, “Release”, which sounds as if it incorporates some of the lessons of Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg.

The liner notes for “This Departure Landscape” Include an encom Julian Anderson, from the elders of a British scene. Anderson believes Suckling has studied with American composer Martin Bresnick as well as George Benjamin, who is British, but his production is not the same as the work of any of his teachers.

Praising Suckling’s being “very diverse” at the Peking Concerto, Anderson asks, “how the hyperactive poly rhythms of the early part form a vast landscape of central slow motion, or the intricate deployment of extended instrumental technique in movement four.” Can I have it? “

His short answer to his own question is that the music is “rich, generous, prolific and positive” and that the “power of contrasts” sounds persuasive even on first listen.

Suckling’s worldliness helps make those contradictions possible. In Recent interview for website Presto Classical, He highlighted his interest in Morton Feldman (1926–87), whose meditative sensibilities also inform contemporary American composers such as Tishawan Soory. After an exceptionally long discussion of Feldman, the work goes on. Where are you That “despite the scale there is a very spontaneous intimacy.” He follows something similar in his Piano Conciero, down to all the whirling shifts.

Similarly there are diverse references in the works of other young creators on the NMC roster. Davis made her name with chamber works featuring funk-forward bouquets “Neon.” he also has Her description of “Peace Show” “A Superimposition of Two Scenes: A Bawdi Dance Hall in the Foreground, and a Rainy Landscape at Night.”

If this liberalism feels familiar in British contemporary music, it is probably thanks to Thomas Edes, a 50-year-old composer who used a four-way technical rhythm. In the third movement “Asila” (1997). They taste like anti-juxtacopisition. Embedding a lullaby Otherwise “destructive angel” within his opera’s hyper-complex score.

Younger artists have taken it as a kind of permission slip and go along with it. With the April release on NMC another artist clarifies his debt to many traditions. For Alex Paxton’s new album “Music for Bosch People” he puts it this way: “Minimal but loads more notes like video-games, but with more songs like jazz but much like old music More gay but more current like a delicious dessert “(goes on for a while.)

It is much more frantic than Sakling’s music; It looks like something that John Zorn can get out of Tzadik label. (As it happens, Paxton has been commissioned to write an essay for Zorn’s ongoing “Archana” book series.) But Suckling has recently been a proponent of Paxton’s opposite-heavy-sounding world. Writing on twitter, “This is the happiest sound I’ve heard in ages!”

Although alchemy is being achieved, the results currently emanating from the NMC laboratory are a boon for listeners. As the epistemic ban (eventually) meets again, and as American orchestras think of contemporary programming, they may follow the lead of some scattered groups such as Lost Dog Dress Up New Music Start bringing some of these creators’ ensemble in Queens, and across the Atlantic.

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