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The music of Greg Bowers: 'Rational Passions' / Karolina Rojahn, piano; Christopher Vuk, violin, Chen Lin, viola, Christana Stripling, cello

Album Summary

>Bowers, Greg : Gestalt Figures, for piano trio
>Bowers, Greg : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("By-Products of Mass Media")
>Bowers, Greg : Perception Etudes, for piano
>Bowers, Greg : Eurydice Returns, for electronics
>Unspecified : [Untitled CD-ROM Track]
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

RATIONAL PASSIONS, Greg Bowers' debut release on Navona Records, takes its listeners on a trip through the psychological world of music. Each piece explores the relationship between the notes played and the emotions experienced, suggesting that emotional meaning can be rationalized. Gestalt Figures uses grouping laws to show how the listener will approximate the piece as a whole by the connections between its parts, suggesting the true function of the composer and listener. String Quartet No. 2: By-Products of Mass Media depicts three movements in pop culture: the intense experience of rave music, the erratic nature of channel surfing, and the accessible convenience of online surfing. In Perception Etudes, Bowers examines the musical experience as a whole and how each element - the audience, the performer, the musical tension and dynamics - is internalized, understood, and communicated. Eurydice Returns is a short psychological examination of the confused, rejected lover in the Orpheus myth. By means of string quartet, piano, and electronics, RATIONAL PASSIONS puts forth a cerebral approach to the listening experience, rationalizing the theoretical and emotional facets of music.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
The liner notes to Rational Passions by Greg Bowers steer clear of justifications and concentrate on the intention of the program. Bowers uses compositional tools, modern culture, and his understanding of psychological principles to try to capture the art of composing in the experience of the listener. `Gestalt Figures' holds three aspects of visual perception central: proximity, continuity, and similarity. Bowers develops each of the three sections and places before the listener approximations of the initial motives. In the same way my brain holds the low notes in Bach's first Cello Suite through the bars, it holds and searches for the common pattern and groupings in `Gestalt Figures'. I mimics the "static-frantic" nature of a rave by having fiercely independent layers suddenly unify. III is a gentle, plucked, but decentralized piece. The nostalgic, folk-like segments come together at the will of the performers. `Eurydice Returns' seems like a strange addition to the program but, as an electroacoustic work using whispered text and the sounds of one harp, it is still a good piece.



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Works Details

>Bowers, Greg : Gestalt Figures, for piano trio
  • Performers: Christina Stripling (Cello); Keun Sun (Piano); Christopher Vuk (Violin)
  • Ensemble: Boston String Quartet
  • Notes: Futura Studios, Roslindale, MA (04/06/2011-04/07/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Bowers, Greg : Quartet for Strings no 2 ("By-Products of Mass Media")
  • Notes: Futura Studios, Roslindale, MA (04/06/2011-04/07/2011)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bowers, Greg : Perception Etudes, for piano
  • Performer: Karolina Rojahn (Piano)
  • Notes: Futura Studios, Roslindale, MA (04/06/2011-04/07/2011)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bowers, Greg : Eurydice Returns, for electronics
  • Performer: Greg Bowers (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Unspecified : [Untitled CD-ROM Track]
  • Period Time: Modern