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Spin Cycle: Works for String Quartet by Kevin Lau, Laura Silberberg, Rob Teehan & Dinuk Wijeratne / Afiara String Quartet; DJ Skratch Bastid

Album Summary

>Wijeratne, Dinuk : Pop Songs (2) on Antique Poems, for string quartet
>Bastid, Skratch : Soul Searching, Parts 1 and 2, remix of D. Wijeratne's "Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems"
>Wijeratne, Dinuk : Through the Invisible, for dj & string quartet
>Silberberg, Laura [Harp] : Transcendence, for string quartet
>Bastid, Skratch : Dirty Laundry, remix of L. Silberberg's "Transcendence"
>Silberberg, Laura [Harp] : Dirty Laundry
>Teehan, Rob : Infinite Streams 2, for string quartet
>Bastid, Skratch : Stream of Consciousness, remix of R. Teehan's "Infinite Streams 2"
>Teehan, Rob : Ow!, for dj & string quartet
>Lau, Kevin : Quartet for Strings no 3
>Bastid, Skratch : Skratch My Bach, remix of K. Lau's "String Quartet no 3"
>Lau, Kevin : Second Wind, for dj & string quartet
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Spin Cycle is a three-stage, groundbreaking process curating a 360-degree conversation with four young Canadian composers, the Afiara Quartet and the renowned scratch DJ, Skratch Bastid. With classical music as a common denominator, the group explores the different types of music that influenced individual upbringings, be it pop, reggae, hip hop, world, or other musics. The works are repurposed and re-envisioned by DJ Skratch Bastid. Each composer, hearing what Skratch Bastid has done, "respond" by writing parts for the Afiara to play with (or against) the DJ's remix.

Notes & Reviews:

Ever since the groundbreaking fusion experiments of the Kronos Quartet, the string quartet has perhaps unexpectedly emerged as a primary proving ground for the fusion of classical and contemporary popular styles in general, and classical and hip-hop in particular. This entry in the genre comes from Canada, and in a way it shows how far the fusion has come: it may be the genre's first set of variations on a compositional theme. Four young composers plus a single electronic artist, Skratch Bastid, are represented, and each quartet consists of a similar movement configuration: there are two (or in one case, three) movements for the string quartet alone, a "remix" in which Skratch Bastid manipulates the material of the quartet to that point, and finally a "response" in which the composer adds new counterpoints to the remix for the string quartet. The idea gets major points for being novel, and one hopes to see other artists on both sides of the divide take it up. Here, it is Kevin Lau's String Quartet No. 3 that stands out, with the initial quartet parts themselves incorporating popular influences (including that of metal), and the remix, "Skratch My Bach," picking up on a Bach minuet fragment. It's both more diverse and more closely knitted together than the other pieces, but the entire project is enjoyable and fresh. Recommended for any listener with a degree of speculative frame of mind. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Wijeratne, Dinuk : Pop Songs (2) on Antique Poems, for string quartet
  • Running Time: 14 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal

>Bastid, Skratch : Soul Searching, Parts 1 and 2, remix of D. Wijeratne's "Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems"
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wijeratne, Dinuk : Through the Invisible, for dj & string quartet
  • Running Time: 5 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Silberberg, Laura [Harp] : Transcendence, for string quartet
  • Running Time: 11 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bastid, Skratch : Dirty Laundry, remix of L. Silberberg's "Transcendence"
  • Running Time: 4 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Silberberg, Laura [Harp] : Dirty Laundry :: Heavy Load, for dj & string quartet
  • Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Teehan, Rob : Infinite Streams 2, for string quartet
  • Running Time: 14 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bastid, Skratch : Stream of Consciousness, remix of R. Teehan's "Infinite Streams 2"
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Teehan, Rob : Ow!, for dj & string quartet
  • Running Time: 4 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Lau, Kevin : Quartet for Strings no 3
  • Running Time: 13 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bastid, Skratch : Skratch My Bach, remix of K. Lau's "String Quartet no 3"
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Lau, Kevin : Second Wind, for dj & string quartet
  • Running Time: 5 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary