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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Unheard-of//Dialogues, Unheard-of//Ensemble

New chamber music within the Avant-and-Beyond Modern realm is what today's CD is all about. The Unheard-of//Ensemble, a quartet, gives us eight works on their album Unheard-of//Dialogues (self-released). We hear Ford Fourqurean on clarinet, Matheus Sardinha Garcia Souza on violin, So Sugiyama on cello and Daniel Anastasio on piano. They blend together wonderfully and have each an individual flexibility and virtuosity.

The eight works keep the "anything goes" motto alive and meaningful. There is a fair deal of variety in the sub-style sets to be heard. "Maple" by Christopher Stark sets the pace with long-tone blends, shruti-like bends, and a general contemplative mood. Then Minimal-like noteful buoyancy contrasts further distinguish this work as rather vibrantly lively.

"Family Picnic 2008" (Erin Rogers) uses spoken motifs mixed seamlessly with New Music instrumental contrapuntal klangfarben--and some interestingly variegated spoken-sung-played events, each having a sectional impact I guess you could say. It is about large banks!

"Coalescence Cascade" (Michael Lanci) has a rather beautiful, radical tonality kind of primality that appeals, and it too contrasts with thematically more complex elements.

"Procession-process: peace" by Reiko Futing combines Radical and Expressive Tonality with New Music and Post-Mod entrances and exits for a fascinating hybrid. There is something also in the use of aural space here,  a kind of Eastern quality?

"Hum Phenomena" by Tonia Ko is nicely open with a classic New Music kind of eloquence.

Ben Loory's "The Well" is a magical-reality sort of short story recitation that is interesting enough but perhaps gives us a disruption from the musical sublimities of before and after when one has already heard it numerous times. Nonetheless it is easy enough to skip if one no longer needs to experience it again.

Nathan Hudson's "music for falling/flying" is Tonal-lyrical-primal-old/new-synthetic and partakes of a rhapsodical quality in new ways that keep one's attention centered on it all.

Nikitias Demos' "Eronflash" ends the program on a very alive Neo-Classical sort of mode. The music has that labyrinthine stop-go punctuality that marks Stravinsky at his best in this mode, only this is also unmistakably original and not really derivative. So it's a good ending for a good program.

And after digesting this a number of times I must say I am impressed with Unheard-of's highly enthusiastic and infectious readings of these works, some definite indications of part of where we are today--both Avant and Tonal. Molto bravo!

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