Saturday, January 23, 2010

HurdAudio Rotation: Resonant Bodies, Resonant Souls

John Luther Adams: The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies. 2006. Cantaloupe Music: CA21034.

The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies


Steven Schick: percussion

A work of incredibly austere purity. Each movement focusing on the layering of a single percussive instrument to reveal the complex beauty and interplay of enharmonic partials piled up over time. A complexity made aural through a simplicity of execution. This is music that builds upon James Tenney's Having Never Written A Note For Percussion and Steve Reich's Drumming to add an impressive strain of thought into the percussion repertoire. It also builds upon a sensibility of ritual and meditative trance as the textures are presented over a long period of time. Sonically and conceptually impressive.

Tom Ze: Fabrication Defect: Com Defeito De Fabricacao. 1998. Luaka Bop/Warner Brothers: 946953-2.

Tom Ze: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, bochexaxado (cheek xaxado), rubber balloon on tooth
Dino Barioni: guitar
Marcos Di Santis: trombone
Gilberto Assis: bass, acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals, rabe ca (Hill Billy violin), baixolao
Jarbas Mariz: percussion, 12-string guitar, mandolin, bottles, vocals
Marco Prado: bongo, 10-string guitar
Lauro Lellis: drums
Cristina Carneiro: vocal, keyboards, bottles
Luanda: vocals
Nilza Maria: vocals
+ many guest musicians

A message from the people outside the circle of wealthy and "developed" nations that they have rich lives not bound by the service and identities of the powerful. A concept album expressing the determination to dance and dream in defiance of serving external interests along with a healthy disrespect for the ownership class of copyrights and property. World music without the nauseating packaging associated with that label. A concept album that continues to stand up and deliver.

Giacinto Scelsi: Natura Renovatur. 2006. ECM Records: ECM New Series 1963 476 3106.

Frances-Marie Uitti: cello
Munchener Kammerorchester
Christoph Poppen: conductor

(1966) for 16 strings
Ave Maria (1970) for violoncello solo
Anagamin (1965) for 11 strings
Ygghur (1961) for violoncello solo
Natura renovatur (1967) for 11 strings
Alleluja (1970) for violoncello solo

Francis-Marie Uitti's solo cello performances of the Three Latin Prayers for solo voice is one of the more sensual attractions of this collection of Scelsi works. It is a curious programming choice to split the three prayers between works for larger string ensembles. A sequencing choice that reveals two parallel tracks to Scelsi's aesthetic voice that are incredibly attractive at an aural level. This particular recording of Natura renovatur is exquisite. It is clearly an important work in the Scelsi catalogue worthy of multiple interpretations. At the same time, the three prayers remain separated from each other as a voice of spiritual (and at times achingly lyrical) expression that deserves to be performed and programmed into a cohesive whole. Leaving the ears hungry for a full disc of solo cello works performed by the incomparable Uitti as a way of immersing in that one, singular dimension of Scelsi's music with an artist and collaborator most qualified to present it.

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