Story

Fallen Sparrow illustrates Mr. Schrader’s mastery in combining live performance with pre- recorded electroacoustic music. On a large scale, the composer’s carefully designed track arrangement creates a seamless, flowing sonic experi- ence. Each composition fits within the disc’s time stream, progress- ing through a meta-world of sonic events. It’s clear that Mr. Schrader deliberately considers the many rela- tionships that exist between acoustic instruments and electroacoustic sounds. He thoughtfully crafts sonic, rhythmic, motivic, harmonic, and formal materials, creating music that exhibits both freedom and reliance between instruments and electronics. Although temporally aligned with the electroacoustics due to the fixed nature of the sounds, the instrumentalist weaves seamlessly through the synthetic sound world, appearing free from time and technical constraints. The electroacoustic sounds envelop and enhance the acoustic instrument, sometimes providing a driving rhythmic accompaniment and at other times creating a lush textural back- ground allowing the instrumentalist to float above or virtuosically traverse through. Mr. Schrader precisely ad- dresses each compositional element to accurately balance the instrumen- talist and electroacoustics, designing every moment to create a natural amalgamation between the two. This is no easy task, yet the musical result is organic and seamless.

Elainie Lillios, Computer Music Journal

Lyrics

INNOVA 654

  • Love, In Memoriam, Frank Royon Le Mée, voice
  •         L'Oreille Coupée (Severed Ear)  2:54
  •         Marmelade d'oranges (Orange Marmalade)  3:15
  •         Une histoire de portrait (The Portrait's Story)  3:47
  • Fallen Sparrow, Mark Menzies, violin  20:00
  •         Final Rest I
  •         First Spring
  •         Final Rest II
  •         Mystic Night
  •         Final Rest III
  •         Soaring Flight
  •         Final Rest IV
  • Five Arabesques, William Powell, clarinet
  •         Arabesque 1  1:49
  •         Arabesque 2  1:26
  •         Arabesque 3  1:30
  •         Arabesque 4  2:09
  •         Arabesque 5  3:37
  • Ravel, Vicki Ray, piano 15:30

Story

Lyrics

Frank Royon Le Mée (1953-1993) was active as a composer, vocalist, actor, director, calligrapher, and visual artist.  As a composer, he received numerous commissions from various festivals and other musical organizations in Europe.  His works span the field from solo voice to orchestra to electro-acoustic, and he was one of the original members of the Groupe Musique Experimental de Marseilles.  As a tenor and counter-tenor, he was in great demand for both old and new music, and he made numerous recordings, including voice tracks for film and television.  His distinctive and impressive vocal abilities allowed him to specialize in such areas as medieval and renaissance music as well as the most complex contemporary vocal music.  One of the major performers of extended vocal techniques, Frank Royon Le Mée worked with Luciano Berio in performing Berio’s opera and also in creating the Berio Cabaret, and he performed often at the Paris Opera.  In 1989, Royon Le Mée was awarded a large grant from the Cartier Foundation to create new performance and visual art, and in 1990 he received a joint fellowship with Barry Schrader from Yellow Springs Institute to create a new computer-interactive performance work, Night.  Frank Royon Le Mée’s works are recorded on the Baillemont and CIRM labels.

Story

Barry Schrader's Five Arabesques (1999) is a set of musical miniatures set to electro-acoustic backgrounds with an impressive range of settings from rhythmic and syncopated to shimmering/ fluttering, etherial, groove-like and a sort of rondo form at the end with an orchestral theme surrounding separate sections of playfulness, flourishes, and contemplation, all executed with rich and juicy sonic textures.

Dan Krimm, New Music TBD of Los Angeles

Story

Already on the previous release I had the pleasure to review (EAM), Barry Schrader discussed his interest in timbre as a factor of musical development. On Fallen Sparrow, it has very much attained that status. Sound as such has become both a driving force as well as a source of meaning in itself: It accompanies the lyrics with precise strokes on Love, In Memoriam, provides sharp contrasts with the lyrically organic lines of the clarinet on Five Arabesques and charges between complimentary emulation and direct opposition in Ravel. On Fallen Sparrow (the piece), meanwhile, the embodied, designative and timbral meaning come together in perfect unison, the violin melody moves from agitated death cries to warm acceptance as the work deals with the four final stages of the bird’s life and the sounds fill in the unspoken gaps, the metaphysical implications, the silence.
Just as much as there are musical themes enveloping the entire record, the sound world Schrader has created is tightly defined and
recognisable. It certainly had to be with regards to the symbiosis between organic and electronic instruments in all the tracks contained here. This last point opens up another angle from which to regard “Fallen Sparrow”, namely as a distillation of highly personal human relationships, of finding the right partner for a music which requires experience, expertise and a pronounced sensitivity for the nuances that lie in playing with an “invisible orchestra”. “Through all of this journey”, Schrader concludes in the booklet, “there is a variety of musical means and intent that I hope will keep the listener engaged.” He might just as well have written: A variety of musical meanings.

Tobias Fischer, Tokafi