Sci 34: Drift

Album cover art for upc 896931006187
Label: Navona
Catalog: NV6318

Pridgen, Elizabeth; Western Illinois University Singers; Sampen, Maria; Southeastern Contemporary Music Ensemble; Banks, Christy; Ball State University Wind Ensemble; NOW Ensemble; Stambuk, Tanya; Yeh, I-chen; Hensel, Elene; Nichols, Christopher; Heisler, Jeffrey; MacRae, Allistair; Stegall, James; Miller, Mary Claire; Hand, Caroline; Huang, Isabelle; Pokrzywa, Bianca

The Society of Composers, Inc. continues its decades-long mission to promote and disseminate contemporary music on DRIFT, the 34th installment of the SCI Composers’ Series. DRIFT marks the 10th album in the series to release on Navona Records, and SCI continues to curate new works by luminaries that span generations. This year’s album features pieces by 10 composers, whose compositions and instrumentations interweave and contrast to highlight the absolute breadth of styles that make up the fiber of contemporary music. Chin Ting Chan ponders ancient star interpreters through a wind ensemble, and Bradford Blackburn transforms poetry into music to document life in reverse. Philip Schuessler calls upon the performers to explore the contours of their instruments as they follow a uniquely notated single-line stave, and Daniel Adams pits clarinet against bass clarinet to explore the instruments’ contrapuntal relationship. Timbral variety is the focus for Tianyi Wang’s depiction of a dark rite, which leads to Paul Paccione delving into minimalism with uninterrupted droning and resonance. Mary Claire Miller’s electroacoustic work conjures the simple pleasure of playing cards on summertime evenings, then Andrea Reinkemeyer uses baritone sax, percussion, and piano to represent the beautiful-yet-violent life cycle of the luna moth. Allen McCullough’s piece for solo piano breathes musical life into a classic children’s tale, and Joo Won Park closes out the album with a guitar-voice duo representing the effects of hunger. As their track record shows, SCI is no stranger to innovatively blending genres, and DRIFT is no exception.

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