BBC Music Magazine gives PATH 5 Stars for Performance and Recording
Chamber works by Medyulyanova, Nadarejshvili, Part, Tavener, Vrebalov & Yanovsky, The Carducci Quartet; Dublin Guitar Quartet; Patricia Rozario, Eamonn Dougan, Joachim Roewer, Malachy Robinson etc
Louth Contemporary Music Society LCMS 1001 65:29 mins BBC Music Direct £11.99 or alternatively available from www.louthcms.org/path
Except for the extract from Nadarejshvili’s quartet all these pieces are receiving their premiere recording (Part’s Summa is realised by guitar quartet here), and all are rooted in ancient folk traditions.
Yanovsky’s piece is inspired by the Chang, a traditional Uzbeki stringed instrument. To evoke this, the quartet uses plucking and percussive techniques, vividly conjuring visions of folk-dances surviving from time immemorial, but the opening materialises from ethereal notes which gradually give way to more corporeal, though no less mysterious, sounds. The Carducci Quartet also performs the third movement of Nadarejshvili’s quartet, a threnody drawing on Georgian folk sources that evolves from restrained pizzicato gestures above a quiet drone to an outcry about the experiences of Georgia under Stalinism.
Part’s Face to Face for soprano, baritone, clarinet, viola and bass contains some of his bleakest ever music but, by the end of its brief span, this meditation on St Paul’s ‘through a glass darkly’ epistle is imbued with the A major light of understanding. Tavener’s Samaveda effectively, features the tampura and flute to surround Patricia Rozario’s voice with intimations of eternal wisdom. Rozario is also featured to impressive effect on Epistle.
Medyulyanova’s Eternal Peace, beautifully’ sung by Doreen Curran, is a comparatively, lush piece of neo-Romanticism, contrasting dramatically with Vrebalov’s Spell, a mesmerising piece for violin interacting with live electronics and pre-recorded choral fragments. Barry Witherden PERFORMANCE ***** RECORDING *****
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Some of the most striking voices in today’s classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky. Chicago Tribune 2010
A new series of contemporary music and arts events, ‘Sounds of the Silk Road organised by the Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS), will be launched this April as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.
The first performance of the series will feature work specially commissioned by the LCMS by Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky a composer from Uzbekistan a country at the cross-roads of the rich oriental and Islamic traditions of Central Asia. The work has been has written for world renowned Hilliard ensemble, Ivan Monighetti one of the world’s most accomplished cellists who stunned audiences with his performance at the Drogheda Arts Festival 2010 and some of the foremost Irish musicians in the newly formed EQ Ensemble which includes Cliona Doris,harp, Malachy Robinson,bass, Elizabeth Cooney,violin, Cian O’Duill,viola, Maria McGarry,piano, Deirdre O’Leary, clarinet, Susan Doyle, flute, Chris Stynes and Maeve O’Hara, percussion.
The concert will take place in St Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda on the 29 April 2011 at 8pm.
This is the first time the Hilliard ensemble, have been involved with an Irish based commission and it is also Dmitri’s first Irish commission. Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky was born in 1963 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As the musicologist Gerard McBurney says “His remarkable surroundings are vividly reflected in his music. What is most impressive is the skill with which he weaves the colourful threads of contradictory influences into a musical fabric always refined, beautifully patterned and absolutely personal”
The piece ‘Morning’ based on text from Robert Lax’s poem ‘Morning’, from his book called Circus of the Sun described by the New York Times as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. Lax was also a friend of the writer, monk and mystic Thomas Merton. The performance will also include another of Dmitri’s works called Nightmusic – Voices in the Leaves which was written for Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
World renowned Lydia Kavina will open the concert with a contemporary piece called Kitezh 19, by Iraida Yusupova. Iraida is Russian but was born in Turkmenistan.
Lydia plays music on a theremin, an electronic instrument which makes music without touching. It is an unusual instrument based upon the technology of proximity meters and was invented and pioneered by Lydia’s great uncle Leon Theremin in the 1920’s. Leon Theremin was a Russian engineer who invented the electronic musical instrument that bears his name, and his story is as strange as the music the thing produces. After experimenting with radio vacuum tubes, Theremin developed a machine (1917-20) whose pitch and volume could be controlled by the movements of the performer’s hands — without touching the instrument. The instrument was demonstrated for Vladimir Lenin, who was so impressed he ordered their mass production and asked Theremin to give him lessons.
Theremin also taught and mentored Lydia to play with the exceptional skill and feeling she shows in her performances today. She has become an icon for performances with the Theramin and will be giving a workshop on the instrument for both beginners and advanced players whilst she is in Ireland.
The concert and events are the latest of several high profile art music events organised by the Louth Contemporary Music Society which have brought world renowned composers to Ireland, previously having successfully featured, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Valentyn Silvestov and to the 2010 Drogheda Arts Festival, the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina.
Eamonn Quinn, Artistic Director with the LCMS, spoke about the forthcoming event.“Sounds of the Silk Road is another step on LCMS remarkable musical jourmey this time into the glorious melting pot of music from the East. LCMS already have an association with Yanov Yanovksy as the Carducci Quartet recorded his Chang Music IV for our critically acclaimed CD ‘Path’. It is very exciting to be able to bring the works of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky and performers of the calibre of the Hilliard Ensemble, Ivan Monighetti and Lydia Kavina together here in Ireland. We are a small society trying to make a big difference to Contemporary music in Ireland.”
The event in April will be the first of three major events to make up the Sounds of the Silk Road series. Two more major performance events, ‘Dervish’ and ‘Fire and Water’ will follow later this year and in 2012, continuing the Silk Road theme and will feature a composer from Azerbaijan and a Chinese composer.
To enrich the experience of the Silk Road this April, LCMS are also organising additional Silk Road arts events during the Drogheda Arts Festival. These will include a free showing of a film about the Silk Road on 29 April at 6.30pm in the Barbican Drogheda and a children’s art workshop with painting on silk, called Silk Worm on Sat morning 30 April at 11am in Barlow House, Drogheda . The screening and workshop are both free.
Sounds of the Silk Road is presented by Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) in association with Create Louth. The event is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and financially supported by Create Louth.
Tickets for the performance priced €15 are available from www.centralticketbureau.com and Droichead Online Booking Service www.droicheadartscentre.com/booking. Tickets for the screening of the film The Silk Road are available from the festival box office in Droichead. Lydia Kavina will also give a free workshop on the music of the Theremin on the day of the concert for the interested and simply curious. The venue and time of the workshop will be announced later.
The Sounds of the Silk Road is part of the Drogheda Arts Festival. The Drogheda Arts Festival will run at various venues in Drogheda from 29 April to 1 May 2011. For programme details, arts events and biographies of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky, Ivan Monighetti, the Hilliard Ensemble, Lydia Kavina and all the performers see www.louthcms.org www.droghedaartsfestival.ie and www.createlouth.ie
1. Composer: Iraida Yusupova ( Turkmenistan/Russia)
Work: Kitezh 19
Performer: Lydia Kavina on theremin
2. Composer : Ken Ueno ( Japan/USA)
Work: Shiroi Ishi
Performers: Hilliard Ensemble
3. Composer Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky ( Uzbekistan)
Work: Morning ( World Premiere)
Performers: Hilliard Ensemble (vocal ensemble), Ivan Monighetti (cello), Malachy Robinson (double bass), Cliona Doris (harp), Deirdre O’Leary (clarinet), Susan Doyle (flute), Chris Stynes (percussion). Meave O’Hara (percussion). Conductor: Jean Thorel
4. Composer: Franghiz Ali Sadeh( Azerbjian)
Work: Ask Havasi
Performer: Ivan Monighetti,cello solo
5. Composer: Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky ( Uzbekistan)
Performers:Ivan Monighetti (cello), Maria McGarry (piano), Malachy Robinson ( double bass), Cliona Doris ( harp), deirdre O’Leary ( clarinet), Susan Doyle ( flute), Chris Stynes ( percussion), Maeve O’Hara( percussion), Elizabeth Cooney(violin), Cian O’Duill(viola). Plus Tape.
Conductor: Jean Thorel
St. Peter’’s Church of Ireland Drogheda
29 APRIL 2011 AT 8PM.
Some of the most striking voices in today’s classical composition are not coming out of the West but from far-flung outposts on the other side of the world. Such a voice is that of Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky. Chicago Tribune
The Hilliard Ensemble’s sound, as always, was beautifully blended and subtly shaped. The New York Times
Ivan Monighetti really is a remarkable cellist …his exceptionally clean, pure technique, his tone, capable of fine expressive variation.Gramophone
To see a thereminst of Ms. Kavina’s quality seemingly pluck notes out of the air is one of the great performance experiences available to us...Michael Beckerman,The New York Times
Under the direction of Jean Thorel, Musiques Nouvelles showed themselves to be clearly among the foremost ensembles present at this year’s Ars Musica festival.Michel Debrocq, Le Soir,
Hilliard Ensemble performing Ken Ueno’s Shiroi Ishi
Ivan Monighetti performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun
The Music of Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky
Video of the Dublin Guitar Quartet performing Arvo Pärt’s Summa as featured on the Louth Contemporary Music Society cd Path
LCMS’s cd Path is listed in the Guardian/Observer as a hidden gem for 2010.
Path Louth Contemporary Music Society LCMS
It’s not obvious from the bright, abstract packaging what this CD contains. Eight of nine tracks are world premiere recordings. The title relates, obliquely, to Italian composer Luigi Nono’s observation: “There are no roads, but we must go on.” The acoustic music, performed by the Carducci Quartet, Dublin Guitar Quartet and others, is by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Arvo Pärt, John Tavener and less familiar names. Truly a hidden gem. Fiona Maddocks. The Observer.
LCMS Celebrate Terry Riley’s 75th Birthday
Terry Riley, Talvin Singh, George Brooks
California Kirana – The West Coast Legacy of Pran Nath
An Tain Theatre Dundalk
29 Oct 2010 @8pm.
Tickets available from www.centralticketbureau.com
Terry Riley has been away from Europe for many years, and this is his 75th Birthday. Louth Contemporary Music Society , is honoured to present the world famous Terry Riley as he performs Indian ragas with arrangements on the saxophone played by the ever progressive saxophonist George Brooks and Mercury Music awarded tabla player Talvin Singh. Solos from each artist as well.
This show is not only to celebrate Terry Riley’s birthday and welcome return to Europe, but also to see how Indian Classical music so easily flows into Jazz and minimalism, as well as seeing the young maestro and experimentalist of tabla, Talvin Singh, to perform in a traditional context.
Terry Riley, Talvin Singh and George Brooks will perform traditional ragas arranged for piano, voice, saxophone and tablas, focusing on some of Pran Nath’s favorite ragas from the Kirana tradition such as Darbari, Bageshri, Malkauns, Yemen and Bhimpolasi.
In addition they will perform works from the Riley-Brooks duo repertoire including movements from “Salome Dances for Peace“ and “Ebony Horns“. Each artist will also perform a solo work.
California Kirana – The West Coast Legacy of Pran Nath is presented by Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) in association with Create Louth. California Kirana – The West Coast Legacy of Pran Nath is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and financially supported by Create Louth.
Tickets for the performance priced €25 are available from www.centralticketbureau.com
Phone 0818 205 205( Ireland)
0870 850 2896 (UK)
California Composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic IN C in 1964. This seminal work provided a new concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns. Its impact was to change the course of 20th Century music and its influence has been heard in the works of prominent composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams.
Talvin Singh Producer, composer and tabla player.
The Mercury Music Prize 1999 winner is known for creating an innovative fusion of classical Indian music and drum and bass. He is generally considered as a central figure in the electronica sub genre called Asian Underground. Also, his traditional tabla playing has gained him world recognition and respect. He has worked with the likes of Bjork, Blondie, Madonna, Siouxsie & the Banshees, David Sylvian, Sun Ra, DJ Spooky, Massive Attack, Future Sound of London, Ryuchi Sakamoto, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
George Brooks Saxophonist
George Brooks has performed with such notable musicians as Etta James, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, Anthony Braxton, Zakir Hussain, and Terry Riley. His original compositions combine elegant melodies with the rich harmonies of modern jazz and the driving rhythms of North India to form a unique and wholly satisfying musical experience.
The Irish Times – Friday, October 22, 2010
Various performers, Louth Contemporary Music Society LCMS 1001 ****
Louth Contemporary Music Society is one of the most adventurous music promoters in Ireland. It also stretches its boundaries in the recording studio as well as in concert. The centre of gravity on this latest disc lies to the East. Dimitri Yanov-Yanovski and Polina Nadarejshvili are from Uzbekistan, Zurab Nadarejshvili from Georgia, Arvo Pärt from Estonia, and Alexandra Vrebalov from Serbia. And the one Englishman, John Tavener, has been heavily influenced by the music of the Orthodox Church, and, on Samaveda , Indian Saman chant. Reflective calm is the dominanting characteristc, sometimes conveying a mode and mood that can seem almost frozen, memories locked and looping, distilled for minutest inspection. There are strong performances from a line-up that includes the Carducci Quartet, the Dublin Guitar Quartet, soprano Patricia Rozario and pianist Michael McHale. See louthcms.org/path
Classical Cd Reviews Oct 2010
Performers: The Carducci Quartet, Patricia Rozario, Eamonn Dougan, Joachim Roewer, Malachy Robinson, Deirdre O’Leary. Elizabeth Cooney assisted by Tommaso Perego, Doreen Curran,The Dublin Guitar Quartet, Michael McHale, Vourneen Ryan and Ranjana Ghatak
Louth Contemporary Music Society LCMS1001
Multiple allusions and meanings are suggested by the title of this new LCMS release. In one sense, the idea of a path, or of progress in a given direction is at odds with the relative stasis of much the music. It is apt in other ways though, in particular in the choice of composers for the project. Two top selling, senior names from the first generation of religious minimalism are represented: Arvo Pärt and John Tavener. But the rest of the music is by younger composers, suggesting perhaps a path towards the future of this kind of music. The term ‘path’ could also refer to the Silk Road, for much of this music either originates from, or alludes directly to, cultures of central Asia.
Yanov-Yanovsky’s ‘Chang Music IV’ was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, and its place at the start of this programme sets the tone of the disc, a tone very similar to that of many Kronos releases. It evokes the chang, a string instrument of Uzbekistan that is apparently plays continuous glissandos. Yanov-Yanovsky is himself Uzbek, although that doesn’t necessarily make him immune from charges of orientalism when writing to an American commission. But whatever the ethnography here, and elsewhere on the disc, the result is very enjoyable. It is tranquil, but there is always a slight edge to the timbre.
That edge is a recurring feature in the following works. Most are calm, but not so eventless as to be ambient. The programme strikes an impressive balance between spiritual directness and intellectual engagement. The variety of approaches from the various composers means that that balance is reconfigured and re-evaluated with almost every work.
The programme works forwards and backwards of Yanovsky, at least in terms of the ages of the composers. The contributions from Pärt and Tavener, while they may help the disc to sell, are not the most interesting works on offer. Pärt’s arrangement of (the already oft-arranged) ‘Summa’ for guitar quartet is a canny reworking, the addition of the plucked strings to the sustained chords giving just enough added interest to justify it. His ‘Von Angesicht zu Angesicht’ seems to recall the composer’s avant-garde days, interspersing as it does sustained vocal textures with almost pointillist interjections from the clarinet and viola.
John Tavener has many followers, who seem curiously accepting of his various eccentricities, but ‘Epistle of Love’ may stretch even their patience. It is a song cycle for soprano and piano, although you could easily mistake the accompaniment for a harp. It is written in a sort of pseudo-medaevil style, which I have to say, does nothing for me. His ‘Sámaveda’ is slightly more interesting, including as it does a tampura, which is an Indian drone instrument. Of course, the interaction a composer can have with an instrument that only plays a single note is always going to be limited, but it is an interesting touch.
Much, much more interesting, however, are the three works by the unknown composers, or at least unknown to me. Polina Medyulyanova is another Uzbek composer, but she is more comfortable than Yanovsky with Western idioms. Her work ‘Ewige Ruhe’ is for soprano, clarinet and string quartet, and stylistically seems to transcend any sense of location. Religious minimalism from Eastern Europe has clearly had an influence, but there are also French and German flavours here, and all woven up in the simplest of textures. Vrebalov’s ‘The Spell III’ for violin and live electronics is that rarest of works, an electro-acoustic piece that makes subtle use of the electronic component. The sound of the violin is manipulated to create almost vocal background sounds, chants and cries. Nadarejshvili’s String Quartet no.1, of which only third movement is presented, builds clouds of string textures around themes taken from Georgian chant. It is an effective device, and all the more so for the fact that there is always some definition to the sound. Like all the works on the disc, its ambience is tempered by the always apparent presence of the individual instruments, and by articulations that pinpoint the individual notes in the texture.
The term ‘religious minimalism’ is clearly becoming obsolete as the composers from the East who specialise in spiritual music increasingly broaden their horizons. The younger composers showcased here are not of a generation who were defined, artistically speaking, through explicit opposition to Soviet aesthetic ideology, and the result seems to be music that engages with a wider cultural context, yet has the same intensity of feeling and emotional focus.
The performances and recordings here are excellent, and well up to the standards set by the previous LCMS release ‘A Place Between’. Unlike that earlier recording, this one was made in four different locations, not all of them churches, yet a consistently ambient acoustic is maintained throughout. Of the performers, soprano Particia Rozario deserves special mention, as does the Carducci Quartet, who prove impressively adept at moving between the styles of the various composers. The packaging design is adventurous, more so than the big labels dare these days, or perhaps more so than the big labels are prepared to pay for. Happily, LCMS is the kind of organisation that is prepared stand out from the crowd. In terms of programming, that’s the real strength of this disc. I’m sure many people will buy it to hear the Tavener and Pärt, but I suspect they will find themselves enjoying the works of the younger composers more.
But enough of putting the world to rights, let’s get back to the music. Aninteresting Reuters article about rock tastemaker blogs says “Modern-day bloggers —who often have day jobs — only have time to write about bands they actually like”. Which is my cue to share with you my enthusiasm for a new CD that features in the photos seen here and which certainly deserves to be part of classical music’s viral loop.
Path from Louth Contemporary Music’s own label is one of those rare ‘stop you dead in your tracks’ discs. From the very first bars it is clear that something quite exceptional has been captured; this is an intelligently planned programme of important music played by exceptional musicians and recorded in demonstration quality sound. Of the nine works on the disc, eight are given world premiere recordings including two by Arvo Pärt and two by John Tavener. The first two tracks are premiere recordings of two movements of Chang Music IV by the Uzbek composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky played by the Carducci Quartet and the price of the disc is justified by those 15 minutes of music alone. Add to that Ewige Ruhe (Eternal Peace) from another Uzbek composer, Polina Medyulyanova, a quartet movement from Georgian Zurab Nadarejshvili and The Spell III for violin and electronics by Serbian Aleksandra Vrebalov and you have what looks to be a strong contender for my 2010 disc of the year.
This post started out with Jonathan Harvey questioning some of classical music’s silly conventions. Path also questions established conventions. The disc departs from the single composer and single work convention. Every featured composer is living, they are geographically and ethnically diverse, two are women, the music is performed by forces that range from a guitar quartet through to the combination of voice, flute and tampura (John Tavener’s Sámaveda) and the recordings were made in four different locations across two countries . The release also swims against the download tide and comes as a beautifully packaged CD complete with that threatened artform of the MP3 world, session photos, some of which accompany this post. Finally, the introductory essay by Ivan Moody quotes Dostoyevsky and Nono rather than Charles Hazlewood.
Path is the second release from one of the smallest and most fragile of the new breed of musician run independent labels. On the day it arrived I had been listening to two disappointing new ‘pot boiler’ releases from independent label artists that are usually among my enthusiasms, Jordi Savall’s Folias Criollas and the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek’sOfficium Novum. When I heard Louth Contemporary Music’s first release last year I wrote “If I were CEO of a major corporate record label I would send a copy of A Place Between to every member of my classical division”. Can someone now please send a copy of Path to AliaVox and ECM?