Saturday, November 08, 2008

HurdAudio Rotation: The Good, The Ugly and The Planetary Dream Collector

Marianne Trudel: Espaces libres. 2004. TRUD 2004.

Marianne Trudel: piano

There's a refreshingly lyrical sensibility in Espace libres. Marianne Trudel offers up a set of short, severely pleasant pieces that vary between feeling "composed" or loosely improvised. The gentle qualities of this music deceptively mask the intensity lurking just beneath the surface.

Elliott Sharp/Sirius String Quartet: Dispersion Of Seeds. 2003. zOaR Portal Series: ZPO-03.

Elliott Sharp: composer, computer
Sirius String Quartet -
Meg Okura: violin
Gregor Huebner: violin
Ron Lawrence: viola
David Eggar: cello

Ugly, brittle string quartet textures that pile on shards of dissonance like thick slabs of dense granite. Dispersion of Seeds offers three interpretations of Sharp's string quartet. The first in its acoustic glory. The next two add electronic manipulation into the soundscape with increasing persistence. The thick, ugliness of this sound holds incredible magnetism for these ears.

Terry Riley/Kronos Quartet: Cadenza On The Night Plain. 1988. Gramavision: R2 79444.

David Harrington: violin
John Sherba: violin
Hank Dutt: viola
Joan Jeanrenaud: cello

Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector
G Song
Mythic Birds Waltz
Cadenza on the Night Plain (dedicated to Dr. Margaret Lyon)

I had this on vinyl when it first came out and wore it out. I taped it and wore out the tape listening to it on long trips around the Pacific Northwest. The individual candenzas of each instrument finding ready company with the open road at dusk. This CD is a frequent aural companion as well. There's a lot that works well in these string quartets. The melodic detail, the arrangements, the forms that sometimes sprawl along a narrative line and the balance of linear material along minimalist textures. This is still my favorite direct collaboration between the Kronos Quartet and composer.

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