JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): The Summer Cloud's Awakening for Choir, Flute, Cello and Electronics, Ashes Dance Back for Choir and Electronics, Unaccompanied Choir: The Angels, Marahi.
Catalogue Number: 05M075
Reference: CDA 67835
Description: The Angels clearly harks back to Harvey's early immersion in the Anglican choral tradition, and is, for such a technically pioneering composer, surprisingly simple and straightforwardly beautiful. Ashes Dance Back, with its integral, constantly present computer-processed electronic part and extended vocal techniques, is much more the sort of thing normally associated with the composer. Here the text - by Rumi, an ecstatic vision of death as a final union with nature - is fragmented into phonemes and vocal gestures, incorporating microtones and live electronic manipulation of the sound. The composer finds great beauty in the alien strangeness of this unique soundworld. Marahi, a kind of composite Christian-Buddhist hymn, returns to choral textures alone, here with microtonal intervals and unorthodox vocalizations. Summer Cloud is an ambitious half-hour work based on Buddhist texts (with - textual only - allusions to Wagner), incorporating a substantial electronic-spatial component. A radically detuned cello, Tibetan instruments and a surprisingly 'normal' flute part are all added to extended vocal techniques and chanting, in a work of almost operatic scope. Texts included. Ilona Meija (flute), Arne Deforce (cello), Jonathan Harvey, Carl Faia (electronics), Clive Williamson (synthesizer), Latvian Radio Choir; James Wood, Kaspars Putins (The Angels).