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Strange Imaginary Animals / Eighth Blackbird


Release Date: 11/28/2006 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 94   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jennifer HigdonGordon FitzellSteven MackeyDavid M. Gordon,   ... 
Performer:  Matthew DuvallMichael J. MaccaferriLisa KaplanNicholas Photinos,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The six performers that comprise Eighth Blackbird play with such breathtaking virtuosity that it's very tempting to sit back and simply gasp in admiration. This is particularly the case when, as here, the program is so interesting and intelligently designed. All of the music on this disc exploits a vast range of timbral effects while taking in a very wide stylistic range from one composer to the next. Perhaps the most inventive pieces are Jennifer Higdon's Zaka, Steven Mackey's three-movement Indigenous Instruments, and David M. Gordon's Friction Systems. All three mix traditional tonal with more obviously avant-garde elements, but in a way that's consistently ear-catching and approachable.


Dennis DeSantis' Strange
Read more Imaginary Remix not surprisingly includes some pop music rhythmic elements, and it brings the program to a satisfying conclusion. My only reservations concern the two pieces by Gordon Fitzell: Violence and Evanescence. These two musical "soundscapes" strike me as heavy on timbral effects and light on musical substance. You may find yourself enjoying them the first time through but questioning their staying-power. Time will tell, of course, but one thing's certain: there are few groups out there that put together contemporary music programs as rewarding as Eighth Blackbird, and this one receives stunning attention from Cedille's engineers. In sum, this is an adventure, but in the best sense of the term. [1/3/2007]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Zaka by Jennifer Higdon
Performer:  Matthew Duvall (Percussion), Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet), Lisa Kaplan (Piano),
Nicholas Photinos (Cello), Molly Alicia Barth (Flute), Matt Albert (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003; USA 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 12 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005)
This composition was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Award for "Best Classical Contemporary Composition." 
2.
violence by Gordon Fitzell
Performer:  Lisa Kaplan (Piano), Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet), Matthew Duvall (Percussion),
Nicholas Photinos (Cello), Molly Alicia Barth (Flute), Matt Albert (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; Canada 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005) 
3.
Indigenous Instruments by Steven Mackey
Performer:  Molly Alicia Barth (Flute), Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet), Nicholas Photinos (Cello),
Lisa Kaplan (Piano), Matt Albert (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; USA 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 17 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005) 
4.
Friction Systems by David M. Gordon
Performer:  Nicholas Photinos (Cello), Molly Alicia Barth (Flute), Matt Albert (Violin),
Matthew Duvall (Percussion), Lisa Kaplan (Piano), Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 14 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005)
Composition written: 2002.
Composition revised: 2005. 
5.
evanescence by Gordon Fitzell
Performer:  Matt Albert (Violin), Molly Alicia Barth (Flute), Matthew Duvall (Percussion),
Michael J. Maccaferri (Clarinet), Lisa Kaplan (Piano), Nicholas Photinos (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eighth Blackbird
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2006; Canada 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 11 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005) 
6.
strange imaginary remix by Dennis DeSantis
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2006 
Venue:  Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (08/15/2005 - 08/18/2005) 

Sound Samples

Zaka
Violence: violence
Indigenous Instruments: I. -
Indigenous Instruments: II. -
Indigenous Instruments: III. -
Friction Systems
Evanescence: evanescence
strange imaginary remix

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