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Journeys / Kathryn Woodard

Woodard,Kathryn
Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Sonic Crossroads   Catalog #: 344658  
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Japanese composer Keiko Fujiie (b. 1963) presents an angular, jangly moto perpetuo that subsides into pointillist ruminations before regaining its disturbed forward motion for her Pas de deux II . In stark contrast lies Georgian composer Eka Chabashvili’s Panorama of 1996. Here time seems to stand still (or at least be stretched) in the manner of Feldman. In Kathryn Woodard’s own Lyric Suite for prepared piano (the title refers to Robert Motherwell’s painting of Read more the same name), Orientalist influences abound. The second movement (of six) seems to be music for an imagined Chinese ballet, while gamelan is perhaps most obvious in the final two movements.



At 17:11, Ivan Boži?evi?’s Sotto voce (1994–2008) is the most extended work on this disc. There are six movements, and the work is based on a haiku by Bash?. The oscillating, carillon-like sonoroties of the second movement are most appealing, as are the funeral-like chords of the finale. My own preferred work on this album, though, is American composer Paula Matthusen’s Run-on Sentence of the Pavement . Scored for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, this shows evidence of a composer of huge imagination and talent (Matthusen was born in 1978). A hypnotic journey, this is the clear highlight of the disc.


Woodard plays two movements from Istanbul-born Hasan Uçarsu’s Reminiscences of a Summer Journey I (the work’s subtitle is “A Tale of Four Ancient Cities”). First, muted, plucked snippets vie with unaltered piano sonorities in “Aperlai.” Grandeur in the form of huge gestures begins “Patara” before a deep loneliness takes over. Finally, Mongolain composer Sansargereltekh Sangidorj’s Endless Stairways (1999): Another moto perpetuo , this is a most appealing way to end the disc.


Although Silhouettes includes notes on the composers presented and their music, it is worthwhile pointing out that for Journeys one has to go to Woodard’s own Web site (kathrynwoodard.com) for the liner notes (links to featured composers’ sites can also be found there).

FANFARE: Colin Clarke [6/2010]
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