KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Nocturne for Solo Violin, NoaNoa for Flute and Electronics, Lonh for Voice and Electronics, JEAN-BAPTISTE BARRIÈRE (b.1958): Crossing the Blind Forest for Bass Flute, Piccolo and Electronics, Violance for Violin, Child’s Voice and Electronics, Ekstasis for Voice and Electronics.

Catalogue Number: 05U069

Label: Cyprès

Reference: CYP2624

Format: CD + DVD

Price: $27.98

Description: Saariaho is a composer of exquisite sensitivity to color and texture who has embraced electronics and multimedia, and Barrière is a multimedia artist with a painterly approach to color and texture, who also composes. This sums up the difference that you will hear in the approaches to music on this recording. Saariaho's pieces had an independent existence before her frequent collaborator (and husband) added his visual component, and they can stand on their own as pure music. Considered thus, Lonh, with its beautiful vocal line, is intimately related to her opera L'amour de loin (10L097), both evoking a time and a society so distant as to be mysterious, even a little disconcertingly alien, a sense of otherness enhanced by the electronic halo around the voice. NoaNoa refers to another distant land - Gauguin's Tahiti. Here, the electronics envelop the solo instrument in a heightened, hallucinatory version of itself. In both cases, and that of the acoustic but extended-timbre Nocturne in memory of Lutosławski, Barrière's visuals are fluid and immersive, based on transformed images of the performers and abstract forms derived from other material. The images from which his own video works are taken carry more of the narrative content of the pieces, rather than entrusting the drama to the music. Both Crossing the Blind Forest and Violance are based on Maeterlinck's chilling elaborations of terrifying images by Brueghel, and the complex electronic transformation of the voices and instruments creates a powerfully atmospheric backdrop to the works' narrative content. Ekstasis sets texts by Louise Michel and Simone Weil, the ominous electronic sounds acting as the opposing pole in the contrast between "the background noise of the violence of the world and the internal silence of reflection, hesitating between engagement in armed struggle and withdrawal into the self in search of the absolute.” CD + Blu-ray disc. French-English texts. Alisa Neige Barrière (violin), Camilla Hoitenga (flute, piccolo), Raphaële Kennedy (voice).

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