DAVID GORTON (b.1978): Orfordness for Piano, Austerity Measures II for Oboe and String Quartet, Fosdyke Wash for Piano and String Quartet, Cello Sonata for Cello and Electronics.
Catalogue Number: 02Q082
Reference: msvcd 28550
Description: Gorton's idiom can fairly be described as 'experimental', and he spends his time in the academic world researching new performance techniques, tuning stsyems, the boundaries of instrumental technique and unorthodox collaborative techniques and methods of structuring pieces. From at least part of this description one might reasonably deduce that there is likely to be an element of what used to be called 'New Complexity', somewhere on the Ferneyhough-Barrett-Finnissy arc, and this is certainly part of the story, as is a degree of comparability to Ferneyhough's explorations of the extremes of instrumental performance. Gorton likes applying these varied, extreme techniques to descriptive ends, so for instance in Orfordness, five scenes depicting aspects of an area in England with an X-Files-like sinister military experimental past, we hear fractured torrents of complexicist piano texture, a bewildering archival tape recording pertaining to an alleged UFO sighting, and unsettling hum and drone sounds that suggest the flat, featureless, potentially dangerous landscape. Austerity Measures II consists of three of Gorton's pieces played simultaneously; the fact that the string parts are independent, with no attempt to organize them into a score (a technique that Finnissy has also used), leads to a degree of aleatoric variability. The oboe part is based on newly developed multiphonics, and tunings are not in equal temperament. Fosdyke Wash is another bleak British landscape, here depicted in sustained (and electronically enhanced) piano string harmonics and drones and moans of indeterminate pitch. The cello sonata is a collaborative effort with the performer, 'choreographed' in physical movements of extreme agility, leading to a tumult of extended instrumental sounds which interact in real time with electronically projected fragments of an earlier piece. Zubin Kanga (piano), Christopher Redgate (oboe), Neil Hyde (cello), Milton Mermikides (electronics), Kreutzer Quartet.