LARRY GOVES (b.1980): Trends in Personal Relationships (London Sinfonietta; Martyn Brabbins), Things that are blue.... for Piano, Electric Piano, Prepared Piano, Large Ensemble, Electronic Sounds and Live Processing (Sarah Nicolls [pianos], Sound Intermedia, London Sinfonietta; André de Ridder), the terminus wreck for Solo Cello (Oliver Coates).
Catalogue Number: 08Q092
Description: These enigmatic works, full of strange sounds and precise gestures, seem to be constantly on the brink of revealing some hidden meaning, which never quite emerges, but remains the subject of insistent hints. The coolly structured assemblages of instrumental interactions in Trends, with their extended techniques - given the titles, we can hear the interplay of sounds in a different light - lead one to wonder between what sort of distorted, Dali-esque figures these relationships are taking place. The terminus wreck takes its cues from some obliquely evocative lines of poetry by Paul Celan, with the scordatura tuning and changing perspectives of the cello pointing up the elusive nature of the imagery. Things ... is a kind of piano concerto, with the solo instrument a composite of pre-recorded, processed samples, triggered by the pianist, a prepared piano, and a normal instrument. The work is inspired by the noirish surrealism of Paul Auster's "The New York Trilogy", and has a sense of disturbing familiarity, as though if somehow the odd timbres could be filtered out, a conventional Romantic concerto would suddenly emerge into view. But of course, it wouldn't; like so much else about this music, this is an illusion, ultimately resistant to explanation.