Limited edition of 250
Out on December 12, 2021
All compositions by Taku Sugimoto
Rebecca Lane: flute
Michiko Ogawa: clarinet
Sam Dunscombe: bass clarinet
Johnny Chang: violin (1), viola (5, 6)
Cat Lamb: viola (1)
Lucy Railton: cello
Jon Heilbron: contrabass
Fredrik Rasten: guitar
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sam Dunscombe
Track 1 recorded at KM28, Berlin
Tracks 2-7 recorded at The Crystal Ball, Berlin
Artwork by Taku Sugimoto
Design by Cathy Fishman
Liner Notes by Taku Sugimoto
For the past three years I have been fascinated with composing pieces that can each be played simultaneously with the other ones. I started composing this type of music when I was down with influenza at the beginning of 2018. I recovered within a couple of days, but one night I found that a melody was repeating in my brain. I tried to memorize the melody and wrote it down the next morning. It became "Solo for Violoncello 1," the first piece in the Solo for Strings series. While this Solo for Strings series focuses on bowed stringed instruments played only with natural harmonics, the pieces in the Nexus series were composed not only for bowed strings but also for guitar and voice, and there are no tones played with harmonics.
The pieces of these series have some common features: Though the pitches of tones are fixed, the lengths of tones are written only relatively-longer or shorter than one another. The number of repetition times is not specified, so the performers can decide the length of both the tones and the performance depending on the situation.
When I was asked by Michiko Ogawa and Sam Dunscombe to write a composition for their ensemble, I conceived the idea that it would work well to make use of the pieces in the Solo for Strings series, because at that time the specification of the strings parts, i.e., who was to play which instrument, was not fixed. I was pretty sure the Solo for Strings series would fit well in that situation. Then "Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet" was written for the wind players, Michiko (clarinet), Sam (bass clarinet), and Rebecca Lane (flute), and "Solo for the E String of Guitar 2," the latest piece of the Solo for Strings series, was written for Fredrik Rasten (guitar). This CD presents "Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet" and five solo pieces from the Solo for Strings series, as well as "Octet," which is the all-at-once version consisting of these single pieces.
On this album, works composed in 2018 and '19 by Tokyo-based composer/guitarist Taku Sugimoto are performed by musicians based in Berlin. Sugimoto has in recent years been working on a series in which pieces written as scores for solo performance can also be played as ensembles, with each musician using their respective solo score. For example, a score for guitar solo and a score for cello solo can be played as a duo performance by a guitarist and a cellist using their respective scores. "Solo for Violoncello 1," one of the tracks on this CD, is the first work of this type composed by Sugimoto. It's also the first piece in the series he named "Solo for Strings," which is performed on bowed stringed instruments using only natural harmonics. In the pieces in this series, the lengths of tones and performances can be changed by the performers.
When he was asked by Berlin-based clarinetists Michiko Ogawa and Sam Dunscombe to write a composition for their ensemble, Sugimoto thought of using the pieces in the "Solo for Strings" series. He prepared one piece for wind instruments to be performed by the trio of Ogawa (clarinet), Dunscombe (bass clarinet) and Rebecca Lane (flute), and five solo pieces from "Solo for Strings"--one each for contrabass, cello, and guitar, and two for viola. These pieces were performed and recorded in Berlin. Also recorded was the 25-minute work "Octet," performed by an ensemble of eight musicians using all six scores. This album is comprised of these seven pieces.
In addition to Michiko Ogawa, Sam Dunscombe and Rebecca Lane, the performing musicians are Johnny Chang (viola), Catherine Lamb (viola), Lucy Railton (cello), Jon Heilbron (contrabass), and Fredrik Rasten (guitar).
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