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Derek Charke (b.1974): Tundra Songs / Tanya Tagaq, voice; Kronos Charke

Album Summary

>Charke, Derek : 22 Inuit Throat Song Games
>Charke, Derek : Cercle du Nord III, for string quartet & recorded sound
>Charke, Derek : Tundra Songs, for voice & string quartet
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"It's really one of the major, spectacular pieces that has ever been written for Kronos, I would say - and I think it's a breakthrough piece for Derek Charke, too." - David Harrington, Kronos Quartet Always at the forefront, seeking the new and pushing the boundaries of the traditional string quartet to its limits, it is no surprise the Kronos Quartet sought out Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq for another extraordinary collaboration with JUNO Award-winning composer Derek Charke. Harrington describes throat singers as sounding as though they have a "string in their body." Tagaq's guttural, highly intimate, primal sounds date back to her ancestors. She has turned these sounds into an art form that has kept audiences all over the world enthralled. For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most intriguing and accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group's numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and "Musicians of the Year" (2003) from Musical America. kronosquartet.org. JUNO & ECMA Award-winning composer and flutist Derek Charke's music has been heard in prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, Roy Thomson Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Derek is a full professor at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is the president of the Acadia New Music Society which runs the annual Shattering the Silence New Music Festival, and he continues to perform regularly as a new music performer and improvisor on the flute. Featuring throat singer Tanya Tagaq; 2014 Polaris Prize Winner and multi-Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards winner.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Canadian Derek Charke (b 1974) investigates Inuit Throat Games (2002, 2005) and adapts his findings to string quartet with the aid of harsh circular bowing and clothespins. As for the pieces, Cercle du Nord 3 (2005) came about through a trip by the composer to the Northwest Territories. These sounds are recorded and synthesized and layered into the collage. The longest work, Tundra Songs (2007), is a string quartet in five continuous movements. The first two are, like the previous work, filled with Eskimo hoedown. Ms Williamson Barbory returns to tell the story on her own without musical accompaniment (Sassuma Arnaa: The Woman Down There), with some of Sedna's responses to her father spoken in Inukritut, their native language. If you tend to have doubts about such things I recommend giving this a shot. Young folk and Kronos fans will naturally be eager to jump on board. John Luther Adams has been famously involved with the same northern obsessions, and his work makes for a good comparison.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012).



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Works Details

>Charke, Derek : 22 Inuit Throat Song Games :: Lullaby
  • Ensemble: Kronos Quartet
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002-2005

>Charke, Derek : 22 Inuit Throat Song Games :: Throat Songn
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002-2005

>Charke, Derek : Cercle du Nord III, for string quartet & recorded sound
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005

>Charke, Derek : 22 Inuit Throat Song Games :: Song of a Name (For a boy)
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002-2005

>Charke, Derek : 22 Inuit Throat Song Games :: Dogs
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002-2005

>Charke, Derek : Tundra Songs, for voice & string quartet
  • Performer: Tanya Gillis (Voice)
  • Notes: Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (08/22/2012-08/24/2012); Sutdio Trilogy, San Francisco, CA (09/05/2012)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2007