NARONG PRANGCHAROEN (b.1973): Sattha, Respiration of the Sun, Phenomenon (Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra; Andreas Hérm Baumgartner), 3 Minds for Piano (Christopher Janwong McKiggan), Far from Home for Cello (Nick Dinnerstein), Chakra for Wind Ensemble (Texas Tech University Wind Ensemble).
Catalogue Number: 07L117
Reference: TROY 1121
Description: This Thai composer has studied extensively in the USA - interestingly and coincidentally, with Chen Yi and Zhou Long among others. Seeking to depict natural forces and mental states through music, he writes in a bold, elemental, organic vocabulary in which colorful extended instrumental timbres swirl around, or seem to be supported by, solid tonal pillars or frameworks. Sattha commemorates the 2004 tsunami, and alternates lamenting, eastern-modal melodic instrumental solos with free sections depicting the chaotic forces of earthquake and water. Three Minds consists of contrasting character pieces portraying different emotions; the first driven and motoric, and very tonal, the second harmonically rich but tonally free and post-impressionistic, the last tonal but expanded through unexpected modulations, with a Prokofiev-like toccata touch. Both Respiration of the Sun and Phenomenon are inspired by natural forces, and Chakra with energy within the human body (and by extension, the energy of music), and all begin chaotically, resolving somewhat into perceived structures as the mind seeks to find patterns in the unfettered chaos of nature. Again, as in Sattha, the melodic material, when it appears, is modally inflected, reflecting the composers ethnic background.