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Gabriel Prokofiev and Peter Gregson: Cello Multitracks, suite for 9 cellos, all parts performed by Peter Gregson

Audio Samples

>Prokofiev, Gabriel : Cello Multitracks, for cello
>Guzzetti, Stefano : Waves on Canvas 'Tuff Strum' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Lancaster, Marcas : Jerk Driver Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Miller, Paul D. : DJ Spooky 'Jerk Driver' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Snape, Joe : Home Loner 'Float Dance' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Exile, Tim : Float Dance Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Prokofiev, Gabriel : The Slap Cellos of Douala Remix (after Cello Multitracks)
>Barry, Bobby : Monster Bobby 'Outta Pulsor' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Roberts, Wayne : Heavy Deviance 'Detroit Spin' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Medasyn : Defonce dans le 20eme Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)

Album Summary

>Prokofiev, Gabriel : Cello Multitracks, for cello
>Guzzetti, Stefano : Waves on Canvas 'Tuff Strum' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Lancaster, Marcas : Jerk Driver Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Miller, Paul D. : DJ Spooky 'Jerk Driver' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Snape, Joe : Home Loner 'Float Dance' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Exile, Tim : Float Dance Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Prokofiev, Gabriel : The Slap Cellos of Douala Remix (after Cello Multitracks)
>Barry, Bobby : Monster Bobby 'Outta Pulsor' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Roberts, Wayne : Heavy Deviance 'Detroit Spin' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
>Medasyn : Defonce dans le 20eme Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"... at the forefront of the new music scene... " The New Yorker "Compelling at almost every turn... Altogether exhilarating" The New York Times (on Prokofiev's Concerto for Bass Drum)
Cello Multitracks is Nonclassical's latest release featuring young composer/ cellist Peter Gregson. This release includes a bold, diverse selection of remixes including tracks from renowned producers DJ Spooky and Tim Exile. From dubstep and drum 'n' bass to downtempo electronica.
Born in Edinburgh in 1987, Peter Gregson is working at the forefront of the new music scene. During past two years, he has premiered works by several prominent composers including Max Richter and Steve Reich. His latest US tour included premiering Gabriel Prokofiev's Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra and a performance at the Nonclassical showcase at SXSW.

Notes & Reviews:

British composer Gabriel Prokofiev is establishing enough of a reputation for himself that it shouldn't be long before it won't be necessary to add the obligatory qualifier, "grandson of Sergey," after his name. He wrote his Suite for 9 cellos for Peter Gregson, who performs it here. Gregson pre-recorded eight of the parts, and in performance plays the remaining part along with the recording. It's very much in the vein of Prokofiev's other music for the Nonclassical label, which he founded in 2003: a synthesis of garage music and electronica with sophisticated contemporary compositional techniques, strongly influenced by the repetitive structures of American minimalism. The suite is a successful, engaging piece of modern chamber music. Its appeal is not primarily melodic, but its textures and structures are distinctive, subtle, and varied. Much of it has a steady pulse, but within that constraint, the rhythmic writing is complex and nuanced. The third movement, Float Dance, is especially attractive, a bouncy, delicately textured filigree of sounds that's always slightly off-kilter. Gregson plays the dauntingly intricate lines with panache and complete assurance; his sweet, warm, full tone provides an intriguing counterpoint to the frequently spiky character of the material.

Prokofiev's suite makes up four of the album's 13 tracks, with the remainder devoted to remixes by various artists ranging from heavy-hitters like DJ Spooky to Europeans at the beginning of their careers. DJ Spooky's "Jerk Driver" Remix is one of the most inventive, with startling timbral variety and unpredictable, completely appropriate rhythmic jerkiness. The composer offers two remixes, one under his own name and one under name Medasyn. The engineering is immaculate. This is an album that should be of strong interest to anyone who cares about cutting-edge developments in classical chamber music. There are many composers of Prokofiev's generation who dabble in the interplay between classical and various popular styles, but Prokofiev stands out for his ability to merge genres without compromising either; he's the real thing. ~ Stephen Eddins



Reviews

Cello Multitracks/Gabriel Prokofiev/Peter Gregson/non classical
‘Cello Multitracks’ consists of 4 multi-tracked cello pieces by Gabriel Prokofiev played by cellist Peter Gregson, and includes 9 dance/electro-acoustic remixing of said music by other composers. The composed pieces themselves are vaguely modeled after baroque dance music (all having an ABA form) which I guess are supposed to formally sequa into the danceish remixes. Prokofiev’s style is a fresh amalgam of minimalism, 20th C. eastern European music and the good old fashion Russian neo-classicism of his grandfather. All 4 pieces have a music sketch quality (not unlike a remix), floating somewhere between a club and classical music aesthetic. The subsequent remixes varied in stature, depending on the hours invested and technical/compositional know-how of the dj /composer.

Let’s have a look at the individual tracks:
Track one ,’Quinta Pulsor’ sets up minimalist accompaniment patterns with musical preoccupations similar to Ligeti and Lutoslowski . Overtop melodic motivic fragments float by- some of which are too loud and eqed too boomy in the mix (the piece itself suffers from a lot of amp/grounding hum). This moves to a B section in a more recitative-like, Bartok/Ligeti style then returns to the A material.
Track 2 is ‘Jerk Driver’ where the multi track pizz and marcato cellos are very closely miked (with no reverb) which asserts rhythmic clarity but diminishes listenablity. The idea itself is a quasi prog-rock rift, which given the low range and double stopping, makes the harmony a bit thick and brutish (but maybe that is what he’s going for-kids these days!). ‘A ‘proper consists of the prog-rock riff and its compositional sequencing which takes us into a more relaxed b section. The melody in the B section is reminiscant of his grand father in its’ sheer Russianness. We return to the A material with brief bits of B section resisting the transition. There is a definite kick drum in there but maybe it’s a retuned, cello wood slap.
Track 3 ‘Float Dance’ is a canonic dance with quite a charming and catchy idea. There is again some boominess and harmonic beating in the recording and the cellist, at times, could have benefited from a pitch corrector.
Track 4 ‘Tuff Strum’ consists of a lot beautifully panned pizz strumming and cello body hitting. It establish a great groove with delightful noise (col legno? ) bits in the far left/ right speakers. The best part in the CD is the melodic entry over this great groove (granddad would be proud)—I longed for more of these fantastic moments. The b section is more sus. writing with some performance problems in some of the transitions. The return to the ‘A’ is spectacular, as mentioned, this is a very cool piece of music.

As a general introduction to the remix side of the CD, there is more noise material than harmonic progression and more rave aesthetic than electro-acoustic.
Here is a run down on the duds involved:
Track 5 is ‘Waves on Canvas’ (source material ‘Tuff”) and makes a lot of nice use of Granular sythethist and splicing and dicing.
Track 6 is Marcas Lancaster (‘Jerk’ the source material) and the music is a very percussive looping of the main lick. It’s kinda bold in the shear lack of harmony, which goes into a cool, floating b section then returns.
Track 7 is DJ Spooky (‘Jerk’ source material) and is the least interesting track on the CD. Cliched drum machine timbre with close-miked cello is not that musically enticing and very little happens with not a lot of ear candy colour. Atonalized fragments of the melody float by over top and that’s about it. Maybe a project like this is not compatibly with the sky-rocketing DJ salaries.
Track 8. Is ‘Home Loner’ (‘Float’ source material) and is pretty standard, raver fare.
Track 9 is Tim Exile (’Float’ source material) where the musical highlight is the B section that bathes in reverb. The ‘A’ material is a bit meandering, has groove issues with the source material but love that synth bass sound.
Track 10 is Prokofiev himself in a pizz and slap fest. It has very interesting stereo image with ton-o-nice detail. Highlight is the upbeat 16th Spanish clapping and the very cool faux, classical guitar riffs at the end of phrases.
Track 11 is ‘Monster Bobby (‘Quinta’ source material) and it is a jewel of a beautifully imaged recording .I love the wall slap on what is perceived to be a snare. He has very solid electro-acoustic chops. The thick, dense Penderecki mid part is a bit of a waste of time though.
Track 12 is ‘Heavy Deviance’ whose source material is from all 4 pieces. This has lots of really nice colours made into a rhythmic crazy quilt of patterns with brief melodic fragments on top. Despite an edit pop on one note that really bugged me, this guy has a real melancholic sound. The numbing 4/4 kick is thankfully mixed way back. The kick sound is kind of bland compared to the rest of the colors.
Track 13 by’ Medasyn’ was really a worth-while discovery. There’s lots of great color and space for the colors to sing, with plenty of lyricism to boot. Such a freshness in compositional juxtapositoning of the warm 7th chord harmonies with harsh noise. No mindless 4-on-the-floor either but a very fresh groove. Winner! Someone to watch! I came back for multiple listenings to this one.
Overall, interesting CD –pick it up!



Submitted on 07/12/12 by Mike Maguire 
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Works Details

>Prokofiev, Gabriel : Cello Multitracks, for cello
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Guzzetti, Stefano : Waves on Canvas 'Tuff Strum' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Lancaster, Marcas : Jerk Driver Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Miller, Paul D. : DJ Spooky 'Jerk Driver' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 8 sec.

>Snape, Joe : Home Loner 'Float Dance' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 53 sec.

>Exile, Tim : Float Dance Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Prokofiev, Gabriel : The Slap Cellos of Douala Remix (after Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Barry, Bobby : Monster Bobby 'Outta Pulsor' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Roberts, Wayne : Heavy Deviance 'Detroit Spin' Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Medasyn : Défoncé dans le 20ème Remix (after G. Prokofiev's Cello Multitracks)
  • Performer: Peter Gregson (Cello)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 27 sec.