Portraits: New Albion Anthology (1995)

Posted By: hopscotch
Portraits: New Albion Anthology (1995)

Portraits - New Albion Anthology (1995)
Classical | EAC (APE, CUE & NO CUE) | 269 MB

According to, Portraits takes a brief but eclectic tour through the material gathered so far on the New Albion label out of San Francisco. This is a versatile and rewarding collection of alternative, contemporary classical, 20th century new age, and minimalist ambience. Ingram Marshall's expansive and dark opener, "Fog Tropes," bellows canyons of sound with tuned fog horns, brass sextet, and other ambient sounds. The Japanese composer Somei Satoh drifts in next on a cloud of sweet melancholy, with "Birds in Warped Time II" from his album Litania. As the spell is lifted, Paul Dresher turns the mood on its ear with a call and response between oboe, clarinet, flute, and violin, which matures to include trombone, trumpet, and cello. "Channels Passing" rings closest to the 20th century works of composers like Reich and Rielly, with its subtly shifting staccatos giving way to clouds of tone yawning overhead. It's a richly realized piece of math and movement, and the somewhat unorthodox instrumentation creates the illusion of an entire orchestra, but an intimate one at that. Next comes "Rainbows, Pt. 1," a challenge for one piano and ten players – none of which are touching the keys. Stephen Scott's composition calls for the piano lid to be off and the strings to be bowed and plucked (the bowing sounds are magnificent). The piece works slightly better in theory than execution, making it a neat-sounding novelty rather than a breathtaker. Daniel Lentz lays down some wonderful textures in the next piece, "O-KE-WA," with shimmering bells almost out of earshot, swaying behind the heartbeat of a drum and skittering of sticks and rasps, all blanketed by elements that shift very slowly over the course of this 14-minute tone poem. This versatile collection ends with John Adams' cluster of synthesizer and horns, "Light Over Water, Pt. III," one that courts Philip Glass-like sequencing which gradually swell to include skyscrapers of brass. Mostly major-key, it's placed in the finale slot for a reason.


    Ingram Marshall
    1. Fog Tropes: Gradual Requiem; Gambuh 1

    Ingram Marshall (Gamelan)
    Jim Miller (Trumpet)
    Tim Wilson (Trumpet)
    Mack Kenley (Trombone)
    Don Kenelly (Trombone)
    William Klingelhofer (French Horn)
    Brian McCarthy (French Horn)
    John Adams (Conductor)

    Somei Satoh
    2. Birds In Warped Time II

    Margaret Leng Tan (Piano)
    Frank Almond (Violin)

    Paul Dresher
    3. Night Songs; Channels Passing

    Stuart Dempster (Trombone)
    Bernard Shapiro (Oboe)
    Christopher Sereque (Clarinet)
    Richard Pressley (Trumpet)
    Paul Taub (Flute)
    Ella Marie Gray (Violin)
    Walter Gray (Cello)
    Roger Nelson (Conductor)

    Stephen Scott
    4. Rainbows, Part 1

    Colorado New Music Ensemble

    Daniel Lentz
    5. O-KE-WA

    Beverley Johnston (Percussion)
    David Keuhn (Rasp)
    Arlene Dunlap (Conductor)

    John Adams
    6. Light Over Water, Part III (Excerpt)

    Jim Miller (Trumpet)
    John Adams (Piano)
    Zacharia Spellman (Tuba)
    Tim Wilson (Trumpet)
    William Klingelhofer (French Horn)
    Brian McCarthy (French Horn)
    Mack Kenley (Trombone)
    Don Kenelly (Trombone)
New Albion 009
Portraits: New Albion Anthology (1995)

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