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Ripples, Modern Chamber Works with Percussion

By Stacey Jones-Garrison; Matt Sharrock; Brad Blackham; Karolina Rojahn; Duo Zeno; New York New Music Ensemble; Robert Black

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By Stacey Jones-Garrison; Matt Sharrock; Brad Blackham; Karolina Rojahn; Duo Zeno; New York New Music Ensemble; Robert Black. By Mathew Fuerst; Heath Mathews; William Thomas McKinley; Bill Pfaff; Sally Reid. Classical. Listening CD. Published by Naxos (NX.NV6033).

Item Number: NX.NV6033

Navona Records presents RIPPLES, a collection of contemporary works from composers Mathew Fuerst, Heath Mathews, William Thomas McKinley, Bill Pfaff, and Sally Reid that showcase percussion alongside either a pianist, saxophonist, or chamber ensemble, exploring the textures and tonal colors possible within each instrument combination. The structure of Mathew Fuerst's Broken Cycles for piano and percussion is defined by instrumental color. The composer experiments with the chaconne form, often presenting sections inspired by the proportions of fractal images. Heath Mathews' Digressions for soprano saxophone, alto saxophone and marimba is a study of texture and rhythmic diversity, using passages where the two voices match each other's articulation, either dry and percussive or legato and lyrical. The late William Thomas McKinley's A Different Drummer was commissioned by the conductor Robert Black and the New York New Music Ensemble in 1989 as a concerto for virtuoso percussionist Daniel Druckman. The single-movement work consists of kaleidoscopically changing instrumental combinations, unfolding in a chain of ever-expanding, developing, overlapping, and recapitulating musical events unified by the percussionist. Lichen by Bill Pfaff for piano and percussion delivers natural imagery in a lively form with sudden shifts in color and texture, unified by the repetition of pitches and the return of motivic material that becomes infused with new meaning. Sally Reid's Three Trifles for alto saxophone and percussion is a lighthearted three-movement work with a fast-slow-fast arrangement, containing melodic material that tends to be less abstract than the other works on the album. KEY POINTS New Yorker music critic Alex Ross describes Mathew Fuerst as a composer who "so vigorously controls his material that it never verges on the sentimental." Recipient of two consecutive Palmer-Dixon Prizes for best composition by The Juilliard School, Fuerst's work has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, New York State Theatre, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and Bargemusic in Brooklyn NY as well as in Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Paris, Budapest, Scotland, Hong Kong, and more Heath Mathews is an instructor at Troy University, teaching courses in music fundamentals, popular music studies, music appreciation, and music theory. He has received commissions from ensembles, theatrical production companies, and individual performers, and has been the recipient of two Jerome Emerging Composer (JFund) awards, a Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant, multiple ASCAP awards, and various arts grants William Thomas McKinley (1938 - 2015) wrote more than 300 musical compositions, many of which have been recorded by such ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. He was the recipient of numerous honors, including an award and citation from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and eight National Endowment for the Arts grants. He was one of the founders of the label MMC Recordings Known for his collaborative impulse, Bill Pfaff has produced music for theater, dance and art installations, and his musical language embraces electronic sources, traditional acoustic instruments, electric guitar, and found sounds. Pfaff has been Artist-in-Residence at the Ucross Foundation, Escape to Create, Petrified Forest National Park, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, as well as Composer-in-Residence at Birdsong Academy of Music in Trinidad and Tobago, where he created the Birdsong New Music Ensemble, a fusion of steel pan and traditional instruments Sally Reid's compositions include works in both acoustic and electro-acoustic media and employ tonality in a way that is both fresh and approachable. Her compositions have been performed by North/South Consonance, Composers Concordance, Synchronia, New Music Now!, Opus 90, the Price Duo and Northern Accord. Reid has served as President of the International Alliance for Women in Music as well as the Editor of the International League of Women Composers Journal.

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