1 800 222 6872

Bill Ryan: Towards Daybreak - a collection of chamber works for piano, clarinet, cello, sax, violin & percussion

Audio Samples

>Ryan, Bill : Simple Lines, for cello
>Ryan, Bill : Towards Daybreak, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Rapid Assembly, for saxophone, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : A Simple Place, for violin, viola & cello
>Ryan, Bill : Solitude in Transit, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Friction, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Sparkle, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & glockenspiel
>Ryan, Bill : Blurred, for violin, cello & piano

Album Summary

>Ryan, Bill : Simple Lines, for cello
>Ryan, Bill : Towards Daybreak, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Rapid Assembly, for saxophone, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : A Simple Place, for violin, viola & cello
>Ryan, Bill : Solitude in Transit, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Friction, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
>Ryan, Bill : Sparkle, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & glockenspiel
>Ryan, Bill : Blurred, for violin, cello & piano
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A lot has happened since the 2004 release of Billband's innova debut album, Blurred. Where that album was called "gritty and funky" by Gramophone, the group's new album, Towards Daybreak, turns more personal and showcases the broad palette of composer/leader Bill Ryan.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grand View State University, Allendale, MI; Oktaven Audio, Yonkers, NY; Sear Sound, New York, NY; Still Life Recording, North Adams, MA.



Reviews

Some impossible to describe very soothing sounds
Bill Ryan is a young, creative and talented director, composer and promoter of new music who - until now - I was not familiar with. As a conductor Bill has commissioned and premiered dozens of works by Evan Ziporyn, David Lang and many more. Ryan has an extended and deserved reputation as a promoter of new music. This album features his own ensemble, "Billband", and gives a very rewarding glimpse into Ryan's style and capabilities as a composer. I found each work in this set very interesting and, frequently, quite pretty. Just the opening work, "Simple Lines" features some captivating cello work and hooks you in. A similar feel exists in "A Simple Place" while a somewhat darker tone is achieved with the bass clarinet infused "Towards Daybreak." Bill Ryan illustrates his creativity and flexibility in scoring for diverse instruments. The tinkling piano and crystalline texture of the aptly titled "Sparkle" is a perfect example; the soprano sax solo that creeps in adds to the mysterious beauty! Another standout for me was the wholly ethereal "Solitude in Transit" with its somewhat film score feel. It is had to categorize the music of Bill Ryan. It contains elements of minimalism, light jazz, new age and "experimental" classical. It may remind some of Harold Budd in places, Brian Eno in others, maybe even a little Tangerine Dream. Most importantly, this is extremely entertaining music. The members of the "Billband" are outstanding musicians and their chemistry is apparent. This ensemble is completely tight and very capable. I recommend this highly and cannot wait to hear more from Bill Ryan!
Submitted on 02/26/13 by Dan Coombs 
Intimate and engaging
Most of the music on this album was commissioned by a dance company, and the works have a certain programmatic quality to them. As with most composer-founded ensembles, the intimate connection between creator and composer works to the music's advantage. These players know Ryan's music -- and it shows in their committed performances.

Ryan's music is somewhat sparse, so how it's performed makes a world of difference. Simple Lines, for example, is a work for two cellos (or in this case, one cello overdubbed) with rather plain melodic lines. But the expressiveness cellist Ashley Bathgate pours into those lines lines make this work a thing of beauty.

Sparkle, as the name implies, is a light, shimmering work. Glockenspiel and piano tinkle away in the upper register while the soprano sax adds a glistening melody.

My favorite track is Blurred, which begins with a simple piano line. The line becomes obscured as it repeats against slightly different versions of itself. Cello and violin lines slide from note to note, further smearing the sound. Overall, a quiet and quite effective work.

Not all the works are slow -- Rapid Assembly is a jazzy little number, and Friction is a bundle of nervous energy -- bot there is a uniformity to the album. Ryan draws on a small group of instruments; piano, violin, cello, percussion, bass clarinet and saxophone. This provides a consistency of timbre to the album.

Listening from start to finish provides a complete aesthetic experience, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. The works on this album are, on the whole, quiet and introspective, and deeply emotional. This is quiet time well spent.
Submitted on 03/04/13 by RGraves321 
Login or Create an Account to write a review

Works Details

>Ryan, Bill : Simple Lines, for cello
  • Performer: Ashley Bathgate (Cello)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Towards Daybreak, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Running Time: 9 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Rapid Assembly, for saxophone, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Running Time: 7 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : A Simple Place, for violin, viola & cello
  • Performers: Paul de Jong (Cello); Todd Reynolds (Viola); Todd Reynolds (Violin)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Solitude in Transit, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Running Time: 8 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Friction, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & percussion
  • Running Time: 6 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Sparkle, for saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano & glockenspiel
  • Running Time: 3 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ryan, Bill : Blurred, for violin, cello & piano
  • Performers: Ashley Bathgate (Cello); Vicky Chow (Piano); Todd Reynolds (Violin)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Studio/Live: Live