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In Bone-colored Light

Zeitgeist / Gatto / Medek / Kitzke / Jackanich
Release Date: 05/25/2010 
Label:  Innova   Catalog #: 774   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Anthony GattoIvo MedekJerome KitzkeKathy Jackanich,   ... 
Performer:  Jerome Kitzke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



IN BONE-COLORED LIGHT Jerome Kitzke (voc); Zeitgeist INNOVA 774(65:01)


GATTO Lucky Dreams. MEDEK Into the Same River. KITZKE In Bone-Colored Light. JACKANICH Polarity. WICKMAN Angles of Repose


This Read more is my second encounter this month with the four-piece new-music chamber ensemble Zeitgeist. Its crusade for not just picking the big names of the new-music world, but championing new composing talent, along with its comparatively small size, are what I feel has made it retain its energy. Although the group was established three decades ago, the chief impression I have of its playing is zestful youth, and after 150 new works of stylistic boundary-crossing, there seems no loss of momentum. 2010 is a good year for introspection and this current album gathers up five works composed for Zeitgeist in the first decade of the millennium. Tellingly, the genre of this disc is labeled “unclassifiable” when inserted into iTunes.


The first track, Lucky Dreams , makes for an urgent, percussive opening, with a brittle forward momentum, and its glacial, almost artificial textures amplify the Minimalist use of percussion and piano. Striking as it is, after a while Anthony Gatto’s piece hangs around too long for any development until about halfway, where a more interesting, strident feel is created.


More arresting is Into the Same River , Ivo Medek’s eerie six-movement demonstration that one can not walk into the same river twice. Using a battery of effects (I am assuming struck piano strings, among many others), it comes across, to me, as a semi-clarinet concerto, making it a showcase for Pat O’Keefe’s brilliant clarinet playing. As well as the extraordinary sound effects created as a backdrop (a look at the score would be fascinating), every aspect of the clarinet’s expression is used, from the piercing shrieks to the brooding sleaziness it can also convey. This kaleidoscopic journey is in many ways the most enjoyable, certainly most varied, work on this collection.


The most accessible item, though, comes next. Poised and delicately melodic, In Bone-Colored Light shows Jerome Kitzke’s skill of fusing folk and Minimalist elements to good effect. After the initial setting up of static, tonal landscapes, with a casual whistling line added for atmosphere, a more jerky change of mood occurs, working logically through to an optimistic resolution. It is a wistful, memorable work that definitely will have staying power, even with more conventional listeners.


In many ways Kathy Jackanich’s Polarity is no less immediate a work, with entrancing use of percussion bouncing off the Minimalist droplets of piano sound. This delicate texture is broken up throughout by the angry, repeated piano figures, before these intrusive jazz themes end up being quietly drowned into the watery woodwind and percussion writing. A clever, enigmatic work.


Like Into the Same River , Ethan Wickman’s three-movement Angles of Repose works as a kind of clarinet concerto, such is the instrument’s spicy dominance in this bustling work. Especially striking is the second movement’s funeral tread contrasting with the neurotic woodwind, broken up with the final movement spiraling off into new extremes of the instrument. As always with any collection, some pieces are weaker than others, and they have wisely made the most accessible work the title track. Presentation is a bit hit-and-miss with very sparse notes, which is not wise when the music is as esoteric as this. The sound, though, is excellent; bright with instruments well balanced toward each other. All in all a fine, colorfully played disc.


FANFARE: Barnaby Rayfield
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lucky Dreams, for ensemble by Anthony Gatto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis 
Length: 8 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Into The Same River, for ensemble by Ivo Medek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
In Bone-Colored Light, for ensemble by Jerome Kitzke
Performer:  Jerome Kitzke (Whistle), Jerome Kitzke (Voice)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis 
Length: 18 Minutes 12 Secs. 
4.
Polarity, for ensemble by Kathy Jackanich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis 
Length: 8 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5.
Angles of Repose, for ensemble by Ethan Wickman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zeitgeist
Date of Recording: 2008-09 
Venue:  Wild Sound Recording Studio, Minneapolis 
Length: 17 Minutes 32 Secs. 

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