Rhys Chatham – An Angel Moves Too Fast To See, Prelude (1971-1989)

From the album: Chatham, An Angel Moves Too Fast To See, for 100 electric guitars, electric bass and drums.

Like the composer’s works Warehouse of Saints, Songs for Spies, and Symphony No. 3, this innovative and dynamic piece is scored for the unusual ensemble of 100 specially tuned electric guitars, drums, and electric bass. Patterns of bell-like resonances are interchanged in wide spatial distribution among the various massed groups above a continuous rock beat. These first patterns are then alternated with fast tremolos of accumulating tone clusters and later ascending scales. The effect is indeed vast and, if this is your idea of heaven, angelic. [source]

1. Prelude (7:36)
2. Intro (5:06)
3. Allegro (8:39)
4. No Trees Left: Every Blade Of Grass Is Screaming (6:35)
5. Adagio (14:48)

Jonathan Kane – Drums
Ernest Brooks III – Electric Bass
Dominique Pichon – Electric Guitar
Jean-Francois Pauvros – Electric Guitar
Kant Condon – Electric Guitar
Robin Lyon – Electric Guitar

Mixed by Martin Wheeler and Rhys Chatham. Released on Table Of The Elements in 2006.

Here is the documentary of a performance in 1991 of An angel Moves Too Fast to See, Rhys Chatham’s 1989 composition for 100 electric guitars, electric bass and drums:


Jukka Tiensuu – Puro (1989)

Jukka Tiensuus composition Puro is commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company, 1989.

Puro has since its worldpremiere (26th April 1989  Helsinki, Finnish RSO Cond: Jukka-Pekka Saraste) becomed the most performed Finnish concerto after the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with most of the performances featuring Kriikku.

Jukka Tiensuu (born 1948) is a Finnish contemporary classical composer, harpichordist, pianist and conductor.

His repertoire as musician ranges from baroque music to John Cage and free improvisation and he has given master classes in baroque performance practice and free improvisation.

He has written as well eletroacoustic music as works for jazz ensemble, baroque music ensemble, large orchestra, ensemble or solo instruments, such as the Finnish instrument kantele.

Tiensuu’s works have been performed by Arditti Quartet, Kari Kriikku, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, among others. He has also worked at IRCAM.

Jukka Tiensuu has studied in Freiburg, Helsinki and New York. [source]

[Puru exist on the album “Jukka Tiensuu: Nemo; Puro; Spiriti”. You can read the allmusic review here.]




Iannis Xenakis: Complete Works for Cello

Iannis Xenakis composed just two pieces for solo cello, both fiercely remarkable in their own right. Nomos Alpha, from 1966, is an example of what he called symbolic music, in which the order of musical events is determined according to mathematical rules, while Kottos, composed 11 years later, is a portrait of one of the giants from Greek mythology who fought with Zeus against the Titans. The most substantial of the other pieces here is Epicycles for cello and 12 instruments, an example of later Xenakis, which is far less visceral in its impact and almost archaic in its chant-like melodic writing. The remainder are smaller-scale and pair Arne Deforce’s cello with single instruments – violin, clarinet, double bass, piano. Perhaps the most interesting is Dhipli Zyia, for violin and cello; written in 1951, it’s a rare example of early Xenakis – Bartókian in style and using Greek folk tunes as its source material. [Source]