CHARLES UZOR (b.1961): a chantar m'er de so q'ieu no voldria... for Clarinet, String Quartet and Tape, Shakespeare's Sonnet 65 for String Quartet and Tape, qui ainsi me refait ... veoir seulement et oïr for Guitar Quartet (Guitarrenensemble quasi fantasia).
Catalogue Number: 03J112
Description: The phenomenology of musical perception and memory, and its relation to temporal perception and memory is a subject that has evoked a vast amount of both scholarly and anecdotal discourse throughout recent history at least - not least from a distinguished customer of Records International (you know who you are). Nigerian-born, European trained and domiciled composer Charles Uzor has made these concerns central to his compositional method, with the curious result that rather than foundering in a sea of academic eclecticism, his music possesses a vitality and freshness which suggests that with sufficient attention to the underlying principles of communicating with the listener, it is perfectly possible to write music which exploits the full resources of the avant garde without losing the audience along the way, and includes explicit reference to past traditions without sounding either reactionary or randomly referential. Thus despite the unusual tunings employed here and there, the quotations from Machaut and other early sources, primitive chants incorporated via a tape part, these works emerge as a cohesive, and profoundly melodic structure, as easy for the listener to navigate as a classical sonata. Tonal signposts, repeated (or at least, self-referencing) gestures and above all, melodies which 'enter the ear with ease and leave the memory with difficulty' (a favorite quotation of a very different composer, Ronald Stevenson) ensure that these striking compositions remain fully accessible throughout. Wolfgang Meyer (clarinet), Carmina Quartet.