We sent our new CD out prior to its upcoming release (see the 4 december concert), and the first reviews are coming in from colleagues around the globe. This one is from New Zealand born composer Alison Isadora who listened and wrote the following – below some excerpts, the full review can be found here.
“The CD starts with whispering before settling into more melodic phrases with a rhythmic accompaniment. Although we can hear that the choir is singing in a church, the voices are always close to us. There is an immediacy to the voices. As with many of the pieces on this CD, the use of a sense of a constant tonality and the presence of ostinato figures offers support for those listeners who may find the vocal adventures challenging.
In other tracks dense textures break open into jungle-like screams, croaks and gasps. A drone may give continuity within these rich and varied sonic landscapes. Silence may also act as a musical parameter.
In Track 3 I asked myself whether I was listening to an African language or an imagined one. The Genetic choir have developed their own vocabulary – a combination of vowels and consonants which is at once totally believable and yet seductively mysterious. (…)
In other pieces long slow contrapuntal lines coexist with fast ostinato figures. It is fascinating to hear how ideas develop, how melodic lines are shared, inverted and expanded. A melody that starts life as diatonic may move to a microtonal version and back again within the length of a breath.
Throughout the album there is a consistency in melodic material, a predeliction for drones and ostinato figures and a great willingness to explore and accept the richness of sounds a voice can make. We hear how musical ideas are embraced, expanded, developed and varied. This is group improvisation at its best. (…)”
Curious? Come to our magnificent CD release concert in the Obrechtkerk Amsterdam on 4 december –
more info, reserve tickets (and the CD) on this page.
Church Songs for the 21st Century
– the concert –
Friday 4 December 2015 – 20:00
Obrechtkerk, Jacob Obrechtstraat 30
1071 KM Amsterdam
Save that date, as we will have organist-improviser Jacob Lekkerkerker as very special guest and we are planning on having dancers and world music singers as well, to expand on our recent succesful collaboration in the Muziekgebouw concert.
Please support us to make this concert unforgettable by already buying your tickets (5,- Euro p.p.) here. You can also pre-order the CD to be the first to get it on concert day! Check out all the options here.
‘From writings of the Church fathers and other reports, it is unequivocally clear that the rites of worship of the early Christians were marked by a religious ecstasy that manifested itself in unhampered, purely emotional, spontaneous expression. From the earliest time onward there is copious documentary evidence of the extensive part played by improvisation throughout the development of all church music. In vocal music, improvising on all the intervals and internal combinations appearing in Gregorian chant was systematically practised by singers and choirboys. Later, instrumentally, there is evidence that musicians such as the 14th century blind organist Francesco Landini became well-known for their improvising abilities.’
(taken from Derek Bailey: Improvisation, its nature and practice in music (1992, p29)