Rhys Chatham

Century XXI Electric/Acoustic USA 2

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This is the latest collection in New Tone's excellent electro-acoustic series of composer's recordings. Included here are premier works by some of the most exciting voices in contemporary electro-acoustic composition, Lois V. Vierk, Dave Soldier, Evan Ziporyn, Glenn Branca, Michael Gordon, and Rhys Chatham -- who was always more interesting that Glenn Branca -- with his "An Angel Moves Too Fast To See" for numerous (100) detuned electric guitars, drums kits, and basses. The piece here is an excerpt from an evening length piece, and even in this small sample it works like a melodic freight train. There is a kind of sonority here that is seldom if ever associated with the electric guitar. The Michael Gordon philharmonic performs "Be In," a new work by clarinetist Evan Ziporyn. Ziporyn actually plays bass clarinet on the work, along with Gordon on keyboards, an electric guitarist, and a viola and violin. The study in tonality and pitch is equivalent to the sonorous meditations used in the court music for Balinese gamelan. The biggest standout, however, is Dave Soldier's mammoth "Utah Dances," for multitracked alto saxophones and studio atmospherics. In five movements it creates a series of dance tempos and moves, all the while, exploring a dense harmonic terrain. In all this is a very rewarding and often astonishing collection of brave new work.

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