GAVIN HIGGINS (b.1983): Atomic Café (Rambert Orchestra; Paul Hoskins), MARK BOWDEN (b.1979): Airs No Oceans Keep for Piano Trio (Fidelio Trio), CHERYL FRANCES-HOAD (b.1980): The Madness Industry (Onyx Brass), KATE WHITLEY (b.1989): Duo for Violin and Viola (Eloisa-Fleur Thom [violin], Asher Zaccardelli [viola]), QUINTA (b.19??): Themistocles is Captured for Magnetic Resonator Piano, violin and electronics (Quinta).

Catalogue Number: 06S090

Label: NMC

Reference: D232

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The premise of this release, featuring works by composers who have been involved in the Rambert Dance Company's Fellowship program, seems to be that just about anything has the potential to be dance music, such is the diversity of styles here. Higgins' piece explores the anxieties of the potential for nuclear apocalypse, with an ominous, desolate wasted landscape, from which arises a jaunty mechanistic gesture that turns into an obsessive pulsation. The similarities to Sallinen's 'Shadows; Prelude for Orchestra' are rather striking. Bowden's piano trio explores aquatic and meteorological imagery in the kind of vocabulary that Maxwell Davies used to similar ends in his later works. Frances-Hoad explores the continuum between normality, eccentricity and insanity in a twitchy series of 'personality studies' in which grandiosity, sentimentality and anger unpredictably follow one another like early-morning 'tweets' from an unbalanced mind. The piece is tonal, in a neoclassical-Stravinskyan idiom. Whitley's Duo (also featured on her 'portrait' disc, 04S080), was inspired by Gaudier Brzeska's sculpture "Wrestlers", and the piece is balletic, poised, full of pent-up energy. The forces for 'Quinta' (Katherine Mann)’s piece make it sound a bit avant garde, but in fact it consists of consonant overlapping loops of mellow electronic tones in a kind of meditative minimalism. The title was 'suggested' by a smartphone's autocorrect function.


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