St. Lawrence String Quartet: Sea To Sea

Album cover art for upc 773811163102
Catalog: CMCCD16310
Format: CD

St. Lawrence String Quartet

Derek Charke: Sepia Fragments
Brian Current: Rounds, for String Quartet
Suzanne Hebert-Tremblay: A tire-d'aile
Marcus Goddard: Allaqi
Elizabeth Raum: A Table at the Bushwakker

Derek Charke’s music is recognized as an important and original contribution to the Canadian music scene. Derek’s compositions increasingly pair electroacoustic elements, many derived from environmental sounds, with acoustic instruments. Ecological sound as an artistic statement on environmental issues has become an impetus for many works, and his interest in the Arctic has like-wise played a role in many of his compositions. His music bridges a divide between this play of pure sound, collecting natural and environmental sound, and a continuation of the western "classical" tradition, albeit with contemporary and popular influences. Derek Charke earned his bachelor degree in composition at the University of North Texas, a masters degree in composition from the Royal Academy of Music, a masters degree in flute and a doctorate degree in composition from the University at Buffalo. While at Buffalo he studied composition with David Felder and flute with Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman. Previous composition teachers included Louis Andriessen, Steve Martland and Cindy McTee. Dr. Charke, who currently is associate professor of music theory and composition at Acadia University School of Music in Nova Scotia, Canada, and associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, has received numerous awards and commission for his compositions. Awards include a BMI student composer award for his work Xynith, the Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Composition from the University of North Texas, and an honorable mention from the Kubik Prize for his composition What do the Birds Think? He has been commissioned by ensembles such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Dr. Charke and his wife currently live in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
Wholenote Discoveries - March 2011
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the St. Lawrence String Quartet solicited proposals from across Canada for short works without electronics. The five pieces that were consequently created for 2009 formed an integral part of the group’s repertoire that anniversary year, and are presented on their latest outstanding CD from the Canadian Music Centre,. The works obviously differ in sound and form, but all are strong, interesting and very accessible. They are: Derek Charke’s Sepia Fragments, which made an immediate impact despite a rather baffling concept; Brian Current’s Rounds, the title referring to the frequent use of overlapping individual melodies; Suzanne Hébert-Tremblay’s A tire-d’aile (in a flurry of wings), inspired by the songs of Quebec birds; Marcus Goddard’s Allaqi, the Inuit term for a clearing in the sky, which has a strong rhythmical opening mimicking Inuit throat singing, and a lyrical second half based on Inuit folk song melodies; and Elizabeth Raum’s A Table at the Bushwakker, portraying a table-hopping evening at Regina’s noted Brewpub. Decidedly tonal in feel despite the use of a tone row, this last has one quite beautiful section of tender, rhapsodic music depicting an amorous couple oblivious to the noise around them. Recorded at the U of T’s Walter Hall in November 2009, all five works display strong, idiomatic writing throughout, with the SLSQ sounding as if they have been performing these pieces for years. Terry Robbins

Price: $20.98