LEÓN Abanico. TANAKA Wave Mechanics II. PARANOSIC Al Airi lepo Sviri. RUBIN Stolen Gold. DUSMAN Magnificat 3: Lament. SHIELDSRead moreKyrielle. SCHACK Pulse.
The title of this compact disc is taken from a piece Anna Rubin wrote in 1991 for Baroque oboe. With this piece she celebrated her victory over the complexities of working with computerized music. She had stolen the machine’s gold. By focusing on the integration of the electronic medium with the instrument, she achieved a fascinating pairing. In 2005, she arranged the piece for violinist Airi Yoshioka, whose playing is the unifying force for all seven of the composers represented here. A founding member of both the Modigliani Quartet and the Damocles Trio, Yoshioka has toured extensively as a violin soloist and has played with numerous chamber music groups. When she plays the first piece on the disc, Tania León’s Abanico, she brings to mind old Havana. The piece relates to a time when women used decorative fans to cover or reveal their faces to men at social gatherings. León quotes a song by Eusebio Delfin that dates from the 1920s as part of the dialogue between the violin and the computer. Certain pitches and certain dynamics coming from the violin trigger reactions from the machine.
Karen Tanaka, who once studied with Luciano Berio, now teaches at the California Institute for the Arts. In Wave Mechanics II, her electronic sounds come at the listener from various directions and it adds a bit of spice to the mixture. One of her goals was to circulate her material constantly and change it constantly, but ever so slightly, so that it is never repeated in exactly the same way. Here, she has achieved that intellectual end and entertained the listener at the same time.
Milica Paranosic uses folk tunes from her native Serbia in Al Airi Lepo Sviri (Airi Plays So Beautifully). She uses the latest technologies and they allow her to go and compose in the remote, natural settings that inspire her. It is her somewhat altered singing voice that is heard via the computer, and it gives her piece a unique sound. In Linda Dusman’s Magnificat 3: Lament, the reflection on Mary’s answer to the angel’s salutation is interrupted by a lament for children who have died as a result of violence. It’s a sobering thought and worthy of contemplation. Those thoughts make her work the most serious piece on this fascinating disc. Here, Yoshioka plays various kinds of sonorities on the violin, harmonizing with the many dissonances and rhythms on the computer. Eventually, the computer begins to pour forth a cleansing rain that provides a bit of repose. Perhaps the spirits of the victims have found a peace that the living can only long for.
Kyrielle is another rather unusual pairing of computer and violin because it includes sounds of a church organ to evoke the ambience of worship with Gregorian chant. A Kyrie asks God for mercy. Kyrielle is a feminine version that implores mercy from a feminine deity or saint, possibly the Virgin Mary. Alice Shields uses chants attributed to Gregory the Great, who was pope from 590 to 604, but she surrounds each with varied fragments and ornaments. Becca Schack is better known for popular musical styles, but here in Pulse, she uses her own voice, analog keyboards, and a Persian hand drum.
Nowhere on this disc does it say where the works were recorded, but it seems probable that they were done separately at different times. The sound is good on all, but not necessarily the same in every piece.
Fanntastic Violin & electronic elements !January 20, 2012By R. Olsen See All My Reviews"What a great find! The solo violin and tape, computer, fixed media, amplified whatever, is all perfect for our college radio station classical show(s). The compositions are beautiful and new and really worth a listen! Thanks so much! Rich (wtul 91.5 fm New Orleans)"Report Abuse