RODERIK DE MAN (b.1941): Volatile Voices for Orchestra (Orkest De Volharding; Jurjen Hempel), Magnetic Fields for Orchestra and 4-Track Tape (Radio Kamerorkest; Peter Eötvös), Chromophores for Ensemble and Electronics (Insomnio; Ulrich Pohl), Cordes Invisibles for Cello and Piano (Doris Hochscheid [cello], Frans van Ruth [piano]), Marionette for Recorders and Electronics (Jorge Isaac), Hear, hear! for Electronics.
Catalogue Number: 12L111
Reference: KTC 1386
Description: Rhythm and timbre are important aspects of de Man's work; in relation to the latter he makes ample and varied use of electronics and electroacoustic interactions, as in all the works here. Passages of music are frequently anchored by throbbing rhythmic propulsiveness, as in the central section of the darkly resonant and exhilarating Magnetic Fields, otherwise an exercise in overlapping orchestral and electronic texture. The punctuation of fluid masses of sound with lightning-strikes of transformed or instrumental sound, reminiscent of the terrifying loom shuttle in Stockhausen's Trans, is a device de Man seems to favor; he does much the same thing with electronic chords derived from cello sound in Cordes invisibles, the pre-recorded part here forming a dense backdrop against which the instrumentalists perform as in a concerto. Chromophores employs MIDI-triggered samples rather than strictly pre-recorded sounds, and here an amplified mandolin provides the illuminating sparks amid the surrounding threatening fields of pulsating electronic and instrumental sounds. Hear Hear is purely electronic; a pulsing spatial work, placing the listener in the midst of a jungle of what sound like hugely amplified micro-sounds. Marionette pits the decorative virtuosity of the recorder family against machine-like pulsations and chaotic mechanical drones, while Volatile Voices blends orchestra and electronics (pre-recorded and transformed ghostly choirs and shouts and chants from different cultures) in an organic dialogue of virtual cries, exclamations and laments.