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Drew: Animating Degree Zero, etc / Barton Workshop

Album Summary

>Drew, James Mulcro : Animating Degree Zero, for 2 flutes, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, bass, 2 trombones, piano & perc
>Drew, James Mulcro : Bonaroo Breaks (Street Funeral Music), for 2 trombones & drums
>Drew, James Mulcro : 12 Centers Breathing, for solo viola (with optional percussion)
>Drew, James Mulcro : The Lute in the Attic, for voice, flute, bass clarinet, cello & gongs
>Drew, James Mulcro : Solemn Acts in Rain, for violin & piano
>Drew, James Mulcro : In Memoriam J.C. Higginbottom, for trombone with digital reverberation
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Nicolas Slonimsky has described James Mulcro Drew as an "authentic member of the American Experimental tradition." Drew, like another member of that tradition, Harry Partch, has always been a loner - not a member of any school or movement, has remained largely outside the U.S. university patronage system and has remained "on the move" - a nomad - rather than settling in one environment. Like Partch, James Drew has made his own brand of theater as well as being a composer - and he has no hesitation to run against the fashion or canon of our time.

"James Mulcro Drew's music has an honesty and sensitivity that make it seem like a natural spirit instead of the construct of an individual. Each work exudes purity of essence and unwavering commitment to the musical/emotional goals quickly set at the start of the piece. Animating Degree Zero, for a large mixed chamber group, colorfully drifts along the ether while a single, un-transposed motive arrives periodically to ground us to reality. The piece could go on forever with its tranquil and slow breathing pace...Bonaroo Breaks (Street Funeral Music), on the other hand, has more of a sense of drive and direction...Twelve Centers Breathing for viola and percussion sounds like a template for the serene and expansive gestural language of Animating Degree Zero.....The biggest surprise on the disc is The Lute in the Attic from 1963. Approximately 40 years the senior of any other work on the disc, this more expressionistic composition hints at the serene style that dominates the disc.....The last twoworks, Solemn Acts in Rain and In Memoriam J. C. Higginbottom, return to the tender and blissful music found earlier on the recording. Solemn Acts in Rain drifts along without much trajectory but it drifts along nonetheless. The music floats around as if it were part of the ether. The pitch language is somber, as you might expect from the title, with a mixture of contemplation and disquiet throughout. In Memoriam J. C. Higginbottom follows up with the more mournful soundworld of a solo trombone in caverns of delay." - Sequenza 21



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Works Details

>Drew, James Mulcro : Animating Degree Zero, for 2 flutes, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, bass, 2 trombones, piano & perc
  • Performers: John Anderson (Clarinet); Enric Barbera (Percussion); Frank Denyer (Piano); James Fulkerson (Trombone); Anne Geus (Cello); Hilary Jeffery (Trombone); Marieke Keser (Violin); Max Knigge (Viola); Eleonore Pameijer (Flute); Stefan Pliquett (Double Bass)
  • Conductor: Jos Zwaanenburg
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2003

>Drew, James Mulcro : Bonaroo Breaks (Street Funeral Music), for 2 trombones & drums
  • Performers: James Fulkerson (Trombone); Hilary Jeffery (Trombone); Tobias Liebezeit (Drums)
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2003

>Drew, James Mulcro : 12 Centers Breathing, for solo viola (with optional percussion)
  • Performers: Tobias Liebezeit (Percussion); Manuel Visser (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2001

>Drew, James Mulcro : The Lute in the Attic, for voice, flute, bass clarinet, cello & gongs
  • Performers: John Anderson (Clarinet); Anne Geus (Cello); Tobias Liebezeit (Gong); Charles Tassel (Bass Baritone); Jos Zwaanenburg (Flute)
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1963

>Drew, James Mulcro : Solemn Acts in Rain, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Frank Denyer (Piano); Marieke Keser (Violin)
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2002

>Drew, James Mulcro : In Memoriam J.C. Higginbottom, for trombone with digital reverberation
  • Performer: James Fulkerson (Trombone)
  • Ensemble: Barton Workshop
  • Notes: Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (07/12/2005/09/29/2005)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2005