CHRISTIAN MASON (b.1984): Zwischen den Sternen.
Catalogue Number: 01W060
Label: Winter & Winter
Reference: 910 267-2
Description: Mason takes a highly personal and original approach to timbre and pitch, basing much of his individual æsthetic on richly sonorous tunings outside the normal Western scales, for maximum coloristic and atmospheric effect. "Between the Stars" explores the concept of vast spaces experienced from divergent perspectives, and by analogy "... the solitude of emotional distance. Physical space might be vast, but emotional space seems vaster ...". The title of the work and the individual movement titles are taken from Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, in which the poet explores this idea with resonant symbolism. "Resonant symbolism" seems like an appropriate description of Mason's "searching in sound for fleeting solidifications of intangible experiences” as he defines composition. The instruments used in this work are chosen for their fluidity of pitch, from the spectrally retuned scordatura piano to the battery of unusual percussion instruments of ambiguous pitch, to the supernova eruptions of the steel drum, with its strange harmonic overtones, to the extended techniques required of the concert instruments. A sense of undefinable space between pitches, which might be microtones apart or separated by an infinity of intervening notes, is what the composer is aiming for, and this is perfectly realised in this oddly captivating piece. Ensemble Recherche.