Katarina Miljkovic

From Time to Time

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This CD culls four works from the '90s and early '00s by Yugoslavian composer Katarina Miljkovic. Each one illustrates different interests, approaches, and results. The longest piece by far is the 31-minute "Forest." Scored for two prepared pianos (Jon Sakata and Jung Mi Lee) and three percussionists (Michael Gardiner, Lei Liang, and the composer), it unfolds at a slow pace and remains highly introspective all the way through. The choice of percussion instruments accounts for most of that feeling: prayer bowls and rain sticks are closely related to meditative music. The piano preparations are light. They add overtones to some notes, but they don't occult the natural sound of the pianos. An interesting piece informed by the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman, it might stretch a bit too long. "13/5" is process-generated and consists of six sections of ascending and descending glissandi on a minor third. Version one (which concludes the disc) is generated by computer and fails to transcend its parameters. The second version gets a lot more interesting. It leaves room for improvisation from Zachary Lucas (saxophone), Tony Kieraldo (electric piano), Michael Gamble (electric guitar), and Jo Dematteo (percussion). "Rondo, Sequence for String Orchestra" is a computer-processed reworking from 2002 of an orchestral piece recorded by the Belgrade String Orchestra in 1986. Here, Miljkovic reaches a stunning density level without letting go of a certain form of romanticism. The diversity on From Time to Time almost inevitably prevents the listener from appreciating everything, but it presents a composer who is not short on ideas.

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