Source: New World Records.
CHRIS BROWN: SOME CENTER
Chris Brown’s (b. 1953) compositions Some Centre (2019) and First Light (2016), performed with such assured lucidity and subtle shading by the three members of The Chromelodia Project, engage with significant precursors in music and in literature, drawing upon their words and innovations, their insights and adventurous spirits while, in the process, transporting those uncompromising benefactors to a different frontier. Brown makes songs from poems by Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) and Jackson Mac Low (1922–2004), and his settings make use of the 43-tone tuning system devised by Harry Partch (1901–1974).
LARRY POLANSKY: THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS
Finally, the works presented here demonstrate Polansky’s deep understanding of the history and techniques of experimental music in the United States. Within these compositions one can find compositional approaches that span styles from the Ultramodernists in the early twentieth century to advanced computational algorithms not yet possible in that era. Through these works Polansky somehow manages to integrate older and newer styles of experimental composition into a cohesive voice that despite, or perhaps because of, its eclecticism and diversity is unmistakably the music of Larry Polansky.
SCOTT FIELDS: SEVEN DESERTS
Wrestling with the notion of balancing both formal construction and creative spontaneity has allowed Scott Fields (b 1952) to compose a powerful body of work with ties to extramusical concerns from the realms of literature, philosophy, and science. Seven Deserts (2019), rather than operating from a fixed narrative structure with predetermined events, lays out the ground rules for a manifestation that is absolutely identical in every performance in its operations and sonic vocabulary, but with each realization completely unique in internal detail and musical interaction. Improvisation fleshes out the structure yet also embeds itself in the musical foundation to help determine the overall shape. The conductor is improvising to the same extent that the individual players are and may set forces in motion, allow them to work, and then, based on the results, initiate the next iteration.