Magazine article Gramophone


Magazine article Gramophone


Article excerpt


Barrett Vale J Croft Deux Meditations d'une

furie (a) Fitch Agricola IX (b) Jarnegard PSALM (a)

E Johnson emoi Pauset Eurydice

Richard Craig fls (a) Cora Schmeiser sop

(b) Distractfold Ensemble

Metier (F) MSV28540 (61' * DDD)

Forget new complexity: some of the music on flautist Richard Craig's second Metier disc might simply be called post-everything. When there's no tonality, no atonality, no melody and few pitches, what exactly is left? Quite a lot, as it happens--and therein lies the interest. Such technically complex, 'post-everything' music paradoxically brings us back to a primal, at times ecstatic state of Fauvist force.

Evan Johnson's emoi (2010) for solo bass flute is a case in point. Here, the very act of instrumental articulation strips the sounds of their articulacy. The flute sounds in question are frequently beautiful, at times almost bird-like, as if human might become animal through the instrument. Esaias Jarnegard's PSALM (2013) for contrabass flute and soprano voice conjures a compelling drama through wispy, barely-there sound traces. Richard Barrett's Vale (2006-12) for solo flute is the longest and most vigorous work on the disc. At times the flute behaves like an electronic oscillator shifting through myriad changing frequency bands; Barrett's favoured image is a leaf floating down a stream. As ever with Barrett, elegance and organicism emerge through the forbidding surface material.

The other works are slightly more conventional. …

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