JOHN ZORN (b.1953): Goetia for Violin (Jennifer Choi), Gris-Gris for 13 Tuned Drums and Kick Drum (William Winant), Shibboleth for String Trio, Clavichord and Percussion (Choi, Lois Martin [viola], Fred Sherry [cello], Steve Drury [clavichord], Winant, Brad Lubman [conductor].
Catalogue Number: 08J114
Reference: TZ 8035
Description: Three instrumental works which, typically, treat themes of magic and mysticism. Goetia are highly formalised ritualistic spells for summoning demonic spirits, and this set of eight pieces composed using the same sequence of pitches thus functions as a set of variations of a kind (each utilising a different characteristic technique of the violin - pizzicato, multiple stops and so on), while simultaneously acknowledging the long-standing folkloric connection between the violin and the devil. Gris-Gris is a virtuosic work for tuned drums (somehow you knew there would be 13 of them, didn't you?), inspired by Haitian Vodou and other regional magicks that employ drumming as part of the ritual. It has an eerie, threatening and sinister effect. Shibboleth is a tribute to the poet Paul Celan, a strange, enigmatic and muted piece full of rustlings and quiverings, entirely lacking the dynamic extremes and violent contrasts common to Zorn's compositions; the composer has described it as one of his most personal and best works.