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Cult Figures: Electronic Music From Canada

Album Summary

>Matthews, Michael : On the Outer Edge, for electronics
>Boon, Rolf : Waves for 2 synthesisers, percussion, guitar & saxophone
>Berg, Reinhard von : Cult Figure, for electronics
>Carastathis, Aris : Full of Stars, for electronics
>Ross, Don [Engineer] : My Dad's Story, for electronics
>Boon, Rolf : System 2.3/7, for electronics
>Crutchley, Ian : Arco/Lyrically, for electronics
>Sastok, Helve : Sailing the High "C", for electronics
>Horwood, Michael S. : Monday Afternoon, for electronics
>Morin, Robert : Blue Evening, for electronics
>Grella-Mozejko, Piotr : WOW! (Is My Cat a Rock'n'Roller?), for electronics
Performers Ensemble Composers
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Reviews

Canadian cult heroes
Most Americans may think of Canada in terms of hockey and Molson’s, but our neighbor to the north is also home to a surprisingly large number of innovative modern classical composers. “Cult Figures: Electroacoustic Music from Canada,” presents works from 10 individuals who are pushing the boundaries of abstract electronic music. The pieces were written between 1966 and 2008 and cover a wide range of styles and sounds. Like any sampler-style collection, the quality is a bit variable, but the hits greatly outnumber the misses. Most important, while the music is uncompromisingly experimental, it’s also very accessible. Highlights include Michael Matthews’ computer-generated “On the Outer Edge,” which is distinguished by compelling electronic textures and atmospheric harmonics; Rolf Boon’s “Waves,” which combines live musicians and pre-recorded sounds to serene yet slightly eerie effect; and Ian Crutchley’s “Arco/Lyrically,” probably the most challenging piece with its jagged, complex harmonies and unpredictable tempos. Piotr Grella-Mozejko’s “Wow (Is My Cat a Rock ‘n’ Roller?) proves that even experimental composers have a sense of humor, as synthesized cat sounds are at the heart of this rhythmically aggressive piece. A bit gimmicky, perhaps, but it works. Only a couple of tracks disappoint, notably Don Ross’ “My Dad’s Story,” which consists of a tedious vocal narrative laid over manipulated clarinet and found sounds. Overall, however, this is a highly recommended collection that will take the adventurous listener on a rewarding musical journey, one in which the navigational signposts are grounded in defiantly non-traditional notions of harmony, melody and rhythm.
Submitted on 04/13/10 by Dean Brierly 
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Works Details

>Matthews, Michael : On the Outer Edge, for electronics
  • Performer: Michael Matthews (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Boon, Rolf : Waves for 2 synthesisers, percussion, guitar & saxophone
  • Performer: Rolf Boon (Electronics)
  • Ensemble: University of Lethbridge Contemporary Music Ensemb
  • Running Time: 6 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Berg, Reinhard von : Cult Figure, for electronics
  • Performer: Reinhard Berg (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1988

>Carastathis, Aris : Full of Stars, for electronics
  • Performer: Aris Carastathis (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Ross, Don [Engineer] : My Dad's Story, for electronics
  • Performer: Don Ross (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Boon, Rolf : System 2.3/7, for electronics
  • Performer: Rolf Boon (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1985

>Crutchley, Ian : Arco/Lyrically, for electronics
  • Performer: Ian Crutchley (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008

>Sastok, Helve : Sailing the High "C", for electronics
  • Performer: Helve Sastok (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Horwood, Michael S. : Monday Afternoon, for electronics
  • Performer: Michael Horwood (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1966

>Morin, Robert : Blue Evening, for electronics
  • Performer: Robert Morin (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Grella-Mozejko, Piotr : WOW! (Is My Cat a Rock'n'Roller?), for electronics
  • Performer: Piotr Grella-Mozejko (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1990