As the International Competition for Electroacoustic Music opens up its categories more to multimedia and performance, the number of works which can be successfully presented without visual aids decreases. The annual sets now typically include more works from previous competitions, or a larger selection from the Magisterium winners, who have more than 25 years experience with electro-acoustic music. Two selections by each of the Magister are included here. Argentinian composer Beatriz Ferreyra presents a 1998 piece, "Rio del los Pajaros," the first part of a triptych entitled "The Rivers of Dream"; and "Echos," a delightful 1978 piece that uses samples from four different unaccompanied Latin American pop songs. Both pieces share an evocative, organic flow, gently moving the listener through the different layers and textures, and display the consistency in compositional skills for which she has been honored with the prize. American computer music pioneer James Dashow is the other Magister, and his oeuvre is represented here with a "...At Other Times, the Distances," a contemporary timbral study, and "In Winter Shine," one of his earliest quadraphonic works. Dashow's pieces both inhabit the same computer-generated sound world, but his compositional skills focus on pitch and spatial relationships in various perceptual dimensions. The winner for works with live instruments is Pierre Jodlowski, whose "De Front" for three instrumental groups and live electronics has the various instruments circling each other before converging in an intricate finale. The two winners for abstract music and sonic art are José Halac and Jens Hedman. Halac's piece is one of the more unusual settings for poetry and electronics, a passionate and primal display of screams and chants swirled with electronics and percussion. Hedman's "Relief" is a quiet piece that transforms its original material beyond all recognition before returning to it at the end. Ambrose Field, the winner for program music, presents a sonic portrait of a small guest house where the residents are retired actors and actresses in five short vignettes portraying different film situations. The remaining pieces are from previous competitions. Leo Küpper (Magister winner in 1989) is represented with his 1974 piece "Innominé," a tripartite piece blending dramatic multi-lingual narration with electronics. Michael Obst's "Metal Drop" is a 1979 study contrasting different types of computer-generated sounds, and Ricardo Mandolini's "Canción de Madera y Agua" is a powerful 1981 piece of musique concrète contrasting the sounds of wood and water.
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AllMusic Review by Caleb Deupree
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2