KATE MOORE (b.1979) : VELVET The Body is an Ear Dies Irae* Velvet* Way of the Dead* Zomer Heather* Lucidity: Eyes of Hands* *Denotes world premiere recordings Performers Ole Böhn (violin) ; Minah Choe (cello) ; Benjamin Kopp (piano) ; Daniel Herscovitch (piano).

Catalogue Number: 04Z033

Label: Heritage

Reference: HTGCD137

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Kate Moore draws her inspiration from a diverse array of sources: on the one hand she is fascinated by the natural world, which she explores on lengthy walking tours in a wide range of locations. The paintings of the old masters are also a source of fascination for her, as are the writings of Eastern philosophers. The diversity of her interests is reflected in that of her compositions, in which she never repeats herself, each work exploring fresh expressive terrain. Moore doesn’t like to be called a "minimalist" (does anybody these days?), but her use of shifting patterns of repeated gestures is certainly related to the evolving styles that have been derived from that movement in the past half-century. Perhaps "post-minimalist" is a better term, and she unquestionably has her own idiom, which doesn’t sound like any of the big-name minimalists - you would never mistake any of these pieces for Glass or Reich; Simeon ten Holt is a closer comparison. In terms of dynamic and dramatic contour, though, these works are thoroughly neo-romantic, which also broadly describes her harmonic vocabulary. The large cello and piano fantasia, Velvet, for instance, contains passages of volcanic vehemence and dramatic power; based on the undulating forms of folded fabric rendered in high contrast chiaroscuro in Renaissance painting, the work transforms them into the traversal of a landscape of twisted and folded stone. The Body is an Ear, originally for antiphonally spatialised organs, is heard here in the composer's transcription for two pianos. Chord sequences hocketing between the two instruments set up an hypnotic, stereophonic tintinnabulation that gradually increases in intensity and momentum. Way of the Dead is a powerfully cumulative processional inspired by the Mexican "Day of the Dead" (All Souls Day), the violin intoning long, eloquent, rough-hewn melodic lines over a pedal point accompaniment, with an odd limping gait in its syncopations and octave displacements. Zomer (Summer) is a deceptively simple little piano piece with a hauntingly memorable resonance, the kind of thing at which Howard Skempton has always excelled. Heather was inspired by the characteristically Scottish purple plant that lend an amethyst hue to the hills of Scotland, as witnessed by the composer while hiking in the Outer Hebrides, where the vegetation has overtaken the ruins of ancient walls. Rune-like patterning in constantly shifting meters and polyrhythms suggest the palimpsest of traces of vanished structures. The 20-minute solo piano Lucidity - an evocation of St Lucia, a fourth-century martyr traditionally associated with sight, blindness, and visions. Ten Holt again comes to mind in the music's continuous rippling textures, leading to a persistent chordal pulsation over an undulating polyrhythmic bass line.


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