|Music from Stanford: 541, Vol.3iTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page|
|1.||inward / Echo||07:52||$0.99|
|3.||Anomia: I. Leve||01:57||$0.99|
|4.||Anomia: II. Severa||01:28||$0.99|
|5.||Anomia: III. Chronic||01:54||$0.99|
|6.||floors and Walls||12:12||$-1|
|8.||Negative Mirror II||18:48||$-1|
It has been said that complex times call for complex music. Here is that music. Tempered by the fact that the New Complexity movement (of Ferneyhough and Carter fame) is now several decades old and life in the pleasant surroundings of Stanford, California, can't be that disturbing. Here, young composition grads apply their fierce minds and scurrying intellects to the problems of chamber music. They present it in a series known simply as 541.
This third collection of provocative hits from that series features six colorful new works inspired by such things as memory structures, psychosis (mild, severe, and chronic), claustrophobia, the motions of smoke, and the writings of Italo Calvino, Thomas Bernhard, and Julio Machado.
The international coterie of composers is outstandingly well served by the virtuosic talents of inauthentica, an ensemble that takes pages full of dense black notes in its stride.
Jason Ferdermeyer’s Inwand/Echo storms out of the gate with numerous extended techniques before the first 30 seconds have passed. Several instruments have multiphonics, and strings make quite a restrained racket, shifting from Bartok hits, Ligeti microtones, and scratches to smooth pedals. The pedal D that sustains the piece is the beginning and ending of all the effects, sputters, and flourishes each instrument utters. Christopher Trebue Moore’s Anima, Limbus metaphorically is psychosis with eccentric violins attempting to overthrow a lead violin and some electronic sounds. Reverse is put to good use, as the feeling of unease that sprouts from it fits well with the ideology of the piece, though the piece itself could have been shorter. The violins, here played by Graeme Jennings, have no pedal tones. All the lines are disjointed, spread over octaves, and virtuosic. Guijarros-Humaredas, a work for percussion and electronics by Marisol Jimenez, translated to “rocks” and “smokes”. The resulting soundscape is reminiscent of Mark Applebaum’s Martian Anthropology pieces (he has, coincidentally, worked with her during her doctoral pursuit). The concluding track, Per Bloland’s Negative Mirror II, uses the “Electromagnetically Prepared Piano Device, a rack of 12 electromagnets that is placed over the frame of a grand piano”. All piano sounds emanate through the strings themselves, through the results do not sound as interesting as the name. The rest of the ensemble, whose lines seem to exist only to set off the device, outshine the eerie resonance they give birth to through surprising dynamics, dissonant language, and constant swells.
- Lamper, American Record Guide