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Cooley, Evans, Reich & Weiser: 8-Track

Cooley, Evans, Reich & Weiser: 8-Track

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Cellist Ashley Bathgate releases her third solo album featuring her performance of Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint alongside three new works that take advantage of the versatile format of soloist with layered tracks. Composers Emily Cooley, Alex Weiser, and Fjóla Evans wrote works that expand on Reich’s template, exploring harmonic, dramatic, and gestural contrasts. The homogeneity of timbre inherent in works for layered tracks of the same instrument gives the listener a sense they are hearing a hyper-cello; the compositional strategy both echoes studio techniques that are ubiquitous in commercial music while also amplifying more Romantic impulses of extroverted expression and immersive textures.

The structure and motivic material in Fjóla Evans’ Augun is inspired by the traditional Icelandic song, Vísur Vatnsenda Rósu. Evans organizes overlapping motives taken from the traditional song and creates a shimmering, undulating texture, pushing and pulling between dissonant and consonant voicings. The atmospheric quality of the work tells a non-linear story, painting a complex mix of mournful and resolute emotions.

Emily Cooley’s approach to the layered ensemble was to focus on various groupings of the eight celli as they take on shifting roles in the overall texture. She writes of Assemble, “The title describes what I felt like I was doing while composing: assembling a sort of puzzle. Only at the end of the piece do the eight parts truly assemble into one voice. They all play a slow, resonant chorale that fades into silence." The work ventures through moments of insistent pulse, poignant anticipation, and exuberant lyricism, expanding beyond the bounds of mere assemblage.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: New Focus Recordings
    • UPC/Barcode: 690277901225
    • Item Number: FCR373