The áltaVoz Composers are a consortium of Latin-American composers schooled in the United States. All are ferociously talented yet underrepresented, and with their voices filtered through the discerning lens of JACK and the New Focus Recordings label, the results are luring and delectable.
Felipe Lara from Brazil contributes Tran(slate). This piece endeavors to transmute electronic music phenomena into the often equally-glitchy world of the analog string quartet, and here we have JACK at its most elegant.
In L’ardito e quasi strident gesto by Mexican José Luis Hurtado, the action into a more percussive sphere. Objects delicately flutter on descent, creating fascinating rhythms as theyRead more asymmetrically split open upon contact.
The final bars of Every new volition, a mercurial swerve by Mauricio Pauly of Costa Rica, are as gripping as anything we've heard.
In an odd twist, the most historical-sounding piece – and the album’s only multi-movement work – is saved for last. Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann’s String Quartet No. 3, "música fúnebre y nocturna," finds its voice in the midpoint of the last century. The playing here is expert, from chromatic meanderings through luminous, hocket-ed pizzicato, and into dusky melodies.