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Elliott Sharp - Dispersion: Music for Systems Orchestra | Mode MODCD305

Elliott Sharp - Dispersion: Music for Systems Orchestra

£12.69

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Label: Mode

Cat No: MODCD305

Barcode: 0764593030522

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 8th February 2019

Contents

Artists

Elliott Sharp (electroacoustic guitar)
Veni Academy

Conductor

Marian Lejava

Works

Sharp, Elliott

Dispersion of Seeds
Flexagons
Palimpsest
The Hidden Variable

Artists

Elliott Sharp (electroacoustic guitar)
Veni Academy

Conductor

Marian Lejava

About

‘Working with forces unknown to me has always been an exciting challenge,’ says Elliott Sharp, ‘especially when those forces are in the form of younger musicians, highly skilled and enthusiastic.’ For his work with the musicians of the Veni Academy, in Kosiçe in eastern Slovakia, it was decided on three previously composed works that would be easily adaptable to a large ensemble whose instrumentation was not the result of prior design plus one newly composed for the occasion.

The chosen pieces were based on well-defined processes, which made use of instant decision-making on the part of both the players and the conductor, and finally, some graphic notation.

Composed in 2003 for string quartet, The Dispersion of Seeds uses a simple algorithm of arpeggiation of nine chords throughout its arc to create shifting verticalities. The piece would be different with every performance yet would retain its distinct identity.

A flexagon is a flat model, usually constructed by folding strips of paper, which can be flexed or folded to reveal faces besides the two that were originally on the back and front. The composition Flexagons is similarly based on permutations of composed fragments ordered in time with instructions on how to flex and fold them. Augmenting the flex is the possibility of players ‘popping out’ with short improvised statements that may be acted upon by the other players and thereby revealing another facet.

The Hidden Variable is a suite of graphic scores originally conceived for solo guitar using ‘alternate bows’ to generate sounds on the guitar. The gestures translated well to a smaller subset of the Veni Academy players whose skill and openness allowed then to manifest the synesthetic states suggested by the visuals.

Palimpsest was composed for the occasion and a world premiere. Historically, a palimpsest manuscript could be reused by scraping or erasing the text. While the removal of the original texts might be quite thorough, elements of the original items might still be evident, whether explicitly or subliminally, creating a ‘palimpsest.’ Here Sharp’s ‘original texts’ are sample measures taken from previous scores, compiled as raw materials in this new work, superimposed on the now-erased substrate, the ‘manuscript.’

Liner notes by Elliott Sharp and an overview of Sharp by Paula Matthusen. Cover image by Elliott Sharp.

Veni Academy is a project aimed at forming an ensemble which systematically educates young people and students of conservatoires in the interpretation of 20th-century and contemporary music through workshops, seminars, and summer master courses. This results in a public presentation of their accumulated knowledge and experience, such as this CD of music by Elliott Sharp.

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