COMPOSERS: Bates,Ueno and Fairouz
LABELS: Sono Luminus
ALBUM TITLE: Scrapyard Exotica
WORKS: Works by Bates, Ueno and Fairouz
PERFORMER: Mason Bates (electronics), Del Sol String Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: DSL-92193 (CD & Blu-ray)
Del Sol specialises in daring new works, exploratory collaborations and innovative technologies. This beautifully performed disc features three new works from the ‘classical avant-garde’ which reimagine the string quartet genre in contrasting, colourful and intriguing ways.
Mason Bates’s Bagatelles for string quartet and electronica (2011) features electronic samples of the quartet itself in four playful, spiky and arresting movements. The Named Angels (2012) by Mohammed Fairouz draws on the mythology of angels in Middle Eastern folklore, and its fusion of complex Arabic tonality with controlled, minimalist textures aptly showcases the rich timbre and expressive capacity of the ensemble. The most challenging but perhaps most rewarding work is Ken Ueno’s Peradam (2011). Ueno describes his ‘person-specific’ approach to composing, here drawing on the quartet’s ability and willingness to sing and their commitment to performing microtones. The resulting piece is mysterious and hypnotic, creating a glittering soundscape of shifting string and vocal textures.