DG played something else by this quartet last year, which let me to this wonderful piece composed by Gabriella Smith.
And if you're curious (as I was), according to their website, "the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from 'aizuri-e,' a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail."
Book pairing: Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown.
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I'm still spending a lot of time listening to this album.
This piece is from an opera by Lembit Beecher, "Sophia's Forest", and this two part suite is the inner world of the narrator, an immigrant child fleeing a civil war. There are nine "sound sculptures" that are electronically manipulated in addition to the four string players.
I like this (and most everything else on the album) because it is certainly modern and not just straightforward string quartet music, but there is a lyricism and a theme that comes through without difficulty.
Plus, I figured just playing The Beths would be too easy.
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I heard a recording of this piece about eight years ago and loved it. It's been released on a couple of albums (including one by Eighth Blackbird), and every time I come across it, I like it again. It weaves between disjointed percussive notes and the full melodic totalist sound that Mazzoli does really well.
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Jace Clayton did an album where he applied his electronic manipulations to music by Julius Eastman - The Julius Eastman Memory Depot. I couldn't find any live performances from that album, but if you read this, you should give that album a listen. Every time I do, I realize again how much I like it.
Eastman was a queer black radical in NYC in the '70's, so his piece titles tend to be provocative. Fair warning.
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