Sofia Gubaidulina is one of the originals of our era. A new release comes to us from ECM this week, confirming and extending that idea. Canticle of the Sun (ECM New Series) presents the title work as performed by the Riga Chamber Choir, Maris Sirmais conducting, with Nicolas Altstaedt as cello soloist plus two percussion and celesta. The disk also features the world premiere recording of "The Lyre of Orpheus" with Gidon Kremer as violin soloist, Marta Sudraba, cello soloist and the Kremerata Baltica.
Sofia Gubaidulina (born in the former Soviet Tatar Republic in 1931) has earned immense regard from performers and new music intellectuals for her mingling of sonic innovation with a deep sincerity, and with a respect for the cultural traditions of her homeland. Her music abounds with unfamiliar sounds and equally unfamiliar playing techniques: one of her string quartets has the players bouncing rubber balls off of their instruments' strings. It is impossible, however, to accuse her of innovation for the sake of ego gratification, or merely to shock performers and audiences. Her music, as varied as it is, is consistently personal and honest, and unfailingly humble.
On the Grateful Dead’s Anthem of the Sun the studio with its production work dissolves into live performance, the carefully crafted is thrown together with the casually tossed off, and the results are spliced together. The end product is one of the finest albums to come out of San Francisco, a personal statement of the rock aesthetic on a level with the Jefferson Airplane’s After Bathing at Baxters. To be sure, the album has its weak points, but as a total work it is remarkably successful, especially when compared to the first Dead album.
Coming from the home of Future Sound of London and credited to their ‘producer’ Yage, "Ignition of the Sun" is a deep and evolving journey through liquid spewing analogue sequences, warm saturated swampy sine waves. It calls back to a time from the early 70s with bands such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.
All sounds were created and sequenced entirely on the EMS Synthi AKS, multitracked and mixed to 15ips 1/4 Revox tape. The EMS Synthi AKS was first introduced in 1971, one of the earliest Synthesisers available and as used by Radiophonic Workshop, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno.