James Tenney: Harmonium

Scordatura Ensemble

of discs
Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Classical, Contemporary Classical
New World
July 20, 2018

Format: Compact Disc



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"The brilliant Amsterdam based Scordatura Ensemble bring out the sensuous and involving nature of Tenney's music as well as its conceptual refinement." Wire magazine.

"Scordatura Ensemble, whose tuning, stillness,and steadfastness are all utterly remarkable, perform the pieces expertly." Tempo Magazine

Asked whether he would describe his music as "Sound for the sake of sound," James Tenney (1934 - 2006) replied, "It's sound for the sake of perceptual insight - some kind of perceptual revelation." This release aptly demonstrates Tenney's deep exploratory fascination with the nature and potentialities of aural perception. His attraction to these topics was simultaneously intellectual and sensuous, and its musical products at once invite both sustained reflection and the most immediate of corporeal responses.

A number of his works feature pitch collections that progressively approach or diverge from the structure of the harmonic series, or that gradually move between its "harmonically complex" or "dissonant" upper reaches and its "harmonically simple" or "consonant" lower regions. The differing styles of his compositions are collated on this CD.

From 1975 - 84, Tenney produced a number of other compositions calling for the use of a tape-delay system in live performance, which he once referred to as "the poor man's orchestra" for its ability to produce lush textures from few instruments. The most texturally sophisticated of these pieces is Voice(s) (1984), which requires the use of four separate tape machines. The final track, Blues for Annie (1975), offers a glimpse into the breadth of Tenney's personal musical interests. His appreciation for the blues is expressed forthrightly in a literal transcription and arrangement of Jaybird Coleman's 1927 recording of "No More Good Water 'Cause the Pond is Dry."

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number NW80803
Barcode 0093228080329
Number of items 1
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 100g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 142mm x 10mm x 125mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Harmonium #1 -
2. For 12 Strings (rising) -
3. Two Koans And A Canon: I. First Koan (a Gentler Beast) -
4. Two Koans And A Canon: II. Second Koan -
5. Two Koans And A Canon: III. [Canon] -
6. Voice(s) -
7. Blues For Annie -