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Mountains

by CHRIS CUNDY

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes with an 8 page booklet including in-depth liner notes about the history behind the music, written by Chris Cundy

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about

This release offers a set of rare modern classical works for bass clarinet alongside a stand alone contemporary piece by Greek composer Thanos Chrysakis. Mountains is a title shared by two compositions from 1977 by Cornelius Cardew and Ton de Leeuw and both are presented here alongside each other for the first time.

The two Mountains use fragments of traditional music in different ways offering wildly different results. Cardew’s piece presents a set of variations based on JS Bach while the Ton de Leeuw score uses elements of North Indian music. Rather than being approximated into cultural idioms both works remain oddly on the fringes of the avant garde. Indeed the Ton de Leeuw appears entirely contemporary with the era in which it was written complete with voltage control resistors and analogue tape accompaniments from the studios of the Amsterdam laboratory where it was originally conceived. And the Cardew score acts almost as a portrait sketch of the composer himself bristling with complexity and possessing a restless nature while asking the player to come up with their own solutions for near impossible torrents of notation. For this recording I have studied cadences and phrasings found in baroque music and have used these to draw out and enhance the ever changing expressions of Cardew’s solo piece.

I have also included an interpretation of Solo With Accompaniment, an earlier work by Cardew that uses indeterminate performance strategies, as well as John Cage’s late work Five. Belonging to the large collection of Number Pieces all written during the final decade of the composer's life, Five offers an elusive nature governed by alternative time ratios and resulting in a paradoxical sense of freedom and clarity of tone.

Fryktoria was written for me by Thanos Chrysakis and was recorded especially for this release. It presents a chorus of five bass clarinets that blend into each other using textures that change with the harmonic development of the piece. In Ancient Greece Fryktories were communication posts built on mountain tops to transmit messages over long distances using systems of five pyrsous or torch signals.

credits

released December 4, 2020

Chris Cundy
bass clarinet, analogue tape preparations,
and accompaniments

Recorded 2018 & 2019 at Red Carpet & University of Gloucestershire

Produced by Thanos Chrysakis and Chris Cundy

Cover image by Michael Mark, detail from Untitled #3. 2019 oil on canvas 38 x 32cm

In memory of Carole Finer

Thanks to Horace Cardew, Davo van Peursen, Thanos Chrysakis, Michael Mark, Jason Alder, and Harry Sparnaay

© 2020 Aural Terrains

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about

Chris Cundy UK

www.chriscundy.com
Playing bass clarinet, saxophones, and other unusual woodwind instruments - Chris is a composer and performer exploring an experimental practice while also working in popular music. Other activities include writing theatre music, performing modern classical and free improvisation. ... more

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