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Contemporary Music

sun 23 jun 2024 03:00 hrs

In this episode we focus on two recent releases on the American Cold Blue Music label: Christopher Cerrone’s Beaufort Scales and John Luther Adams’ Waves And Particles.

The poetic descriptions used in the Beaufort scale – a system used to indicate wind force or wind speed – inspired Christopher Cerrone to compose Beaufort Scales for eight female voices and electronics. As the wind force increases, the intensity of the performance naturally increases as well: the voices become increasingly distorted. To provide necessary resting points, there are four spoken interludes with short recitations from Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, a poem by Anne Carson, and the Bible.

Beaufort Scales is performed by the Lorelei Ensemble: Beth Willer (director), Elizabeth Bates, Corrine Byrne, Kathryn Radakovich, Sonja Tengblad (soprano), Kate Maroney, Elisa Sutherland (mezzo-soprano), Emily Marvosh, Clara Osowski (alto), and Christopher Cerrone (electronics).

After Beaufort Scales, you will hear several parts from Waves And Particles by John Luther Adams (not to be confused with John Adams). Due to the stormy start of this broadcast, we have chosen some relatively calmer sections from this CD. They are performed by the Jack Quartet: Christopher Otto, Austin Wulliman (violin), John Richards (viola), and Jay Campbell (cello).


Christopher Cerrone – Beaufort Scales (Cold Blue Music CB0069, 2024)

• Prelude: Sea Like A Mirror
• Step 1: Ripples With Scales
• Interlude 1: F. Scott Fitzgerald
• Steps 2 & 3: Small And Large Wavelets
• Interlude 2: Herman Melville
• Steps 4,5 &6: Small, Moderate, and Large Waves
• Interlude 3: Anne Carson
• Steps 7, 8 & 9: Sea Heaps Up / Waves Of Greater Length / High Waves
• Interlude 4: Herman Melville
• Steps 10 & 11: Very High Waves / Exceptionally High Waves
• Step 12: The Air Is Filled With Foam And Spray / Postlude

John Luther Adams, Waves And Particles (Cold Blue Music CB0069, 2024)

• Spectral Waves
• Triadic Waves
• Murmurs In A Chromatic Field

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