Wild Rumpus requests support for production of In Time, an album of music commissioned by the ensemble from American composers Joshua Carro, Per Bloland, Dan VanHassel, and Jen Wang. The music of In Time comprises richly varied sound worlds, from Radiohead’s lush, ethereal Weird Fishes/Arpeggi to Dan VanHassel’s expansive, rhythmic Incite!. Literary sources inform Per Bloland’s Solis Overture, which sculpts feedback and distortion into a radical reinterpretation of a Scandinavian melody, as well as Jen Wang’s Adrogué, in which deformed and dissolving gestures set a poem about the elusive nature of memory. Completing the album is Joshua Carro’s Spectral Fields in Time, an unrelenting crescendo which rescores the spectrum of a tremolo cymbal for an ensemble of rich timbral possibilities.
Joshua Carro – Spectral Fields in Time (2013) for Percussion, Electric Guitar, Piano, Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Double Bass, Electronics
Dan VanHassel – Incite! (2013) for Electric Guitar, Piano
Per Bloland – Solis Overture (2014) for Violin, Cello, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Piano, Electronics
Jen Wang – Adrogué (2014, in progress) for Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Saxophone, Piano, Electric Guitar, Violin, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion, Soprano, Electronics
Radiohead (arr. Dan VanHassel) – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (2014) for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, Cello, Double Bass, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Piano
Carro’s Spectral Fields in Time is part of a cycle of works which are a direct response to the experience of realizing the greater sense and possibilities of sound when not constricted by traditional constructs or expectations. The piece was created by amplifying the lowest frequencies of a cymbal, and having the ensemble echo those pitches in a series of long phrases that gradually build to the excruciating climax.
VanHassel’s Incite is influenced by the seemingly distant genres of heavy metal and Balinese gamelan. Both genres are viscerally exciting, veering between aggression and euphoria and place an emphasis on rhythmic virtuosity, often at high speeds. These two disparate threads entwine in this energetic work.
Bloland’s Solis Overture was conceived as an overture to his upcoming opera, Pedr Solis. The opera chronicles the fictionalized tale of an actual Norwegian author, Pedr Solis, whose work was best known in Scandinavia during the 60s and 70s. The work also incorporates a modified version of a traditional Finnish song reminiscent of a joik, the traditional song form of the Sami people of northern Scandinavia.
Wang’s Adrogué, currently in progress, sets the poem of the same name by Jorge Luis Borges, which reveals memory as an ever-changing series of erosions and creative re-imaginings while Borges attempts to describe his childhood home. Like the fragile, elusive images of the poem, textures coalesce and deform in a vibrant, constantly-shifting collage.
Radiohead’s Weird Fishes/Arpeggi originally appeared on Radiohead’s 2007 album In Rainbows. This song’s rich harmony, hypnotic polyrhythms, and seamless form that slowly builds throughout the piece lend themselves to adaptation for performance by Wild Rumpus, and Dan VanHassel’s arrangement takes Radiohead’s original and expands this arrangement into its own work.