The Classics: September 4th

Different Tracks. Various NZ composers and performing musicians. Rattle CD.

There are nine tracks on this disc, recorded with the assistance of the QE2 Arts Council and the NZ Composers Foundation. 

The music is selections from the "most dynamic composers and performers" in the country. Its tracks are also the "sound maps" that explore new territories;  soundscapes arising from musical traditions are transformed by the backgrounds and creativity of the artists involved to map out some new territories.

Among the chosen are John Psathas’ Natres Dance for piano (David Guerin), with bongo drum, three tam tams, and two timpani  (Bruce McKinnon). Inspired by a short story, its music is structured in cycles of increasing violence using rhythm particularly for expression.

Eve de Castro Robinson’s Tumbling Strains features cellist James Tennant and violinist Douglas Bellman in music wildly alternating in extremes of volume from soft to loud, and moods from violent to tender.

Musicians from group Scratch play Nigel Gavin’s Continental Divide for acoustic guitars, with piano, trombone, gong and percussion. Saxophones with bamboo pipes and water resonator perform Piping Hot by Christopher Selwyn Miro Wilson. Versatile supervisor Steve Garden arranged the traditional My Lagan Love in a successful version for chromatic harmonica  (Brendon Power) and other backing including water tank and electronics.

Peter Scholes’ second movement of Islands features his instrument, the clarinet, with electronic effects, and  Peter Haeder’s Q is performed by various guitars with electronic effects. Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns play their Raureka on traditional Maori flutes and Philip Dadson’s Fax to Paris contains much percussive hand-clapping from the group Scratch.

Verdict: Tracks to new musical landscapes.

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