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strange imaginary animals

Jennifer Higdon Zaka
Gordon Fitzell violence and evanescence
Steve Mackey Indigenous Instruments
David M. Gordon Friction Systems
Dennis DeSantis
(composer/dj) strange imaginary remix

eighth blackbird
Tim Munro, flutes
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Matt Albert, violin & viola
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Lisa Kaplan, piano
Matthew Duvall, percussion

Cedille Records CDR 90000 094

This CD of innovative new music by a Chicago-based group which had brought us fine accounts of Rzewski's Fred (Pocket Symphony, Les Moutons de Panurge & Coming Together) is a delight.

To characterise it, for those in the know, I'd say that each track would've been seized upon by Unknown Public (q.v. their Re-invented) had they come their way; and that is a high compliment.

The music is zany and unified by unselfconscious use of extended instrumental techniques by each of the blackbirds.

The top link produces the entire contents of the folded inset leaflet in good-sized images, plus generous sound samples in fine quality sound (excepting the caricatures of each player).

Follow all the links; who needs more from me?

A very desirable Christmas surprise for the young and young in heart.

Peter Grahame Woolf

P.S. Feb 2008
Chicago-based new-music sextet eighth blackbird has just scored its first Grammy!
strange imaginary animals was cited in three separate classical categories.The album is one of the most widely-reviewed – and widely-acclaimed – classical recordings of 2007, having accumulated an almost unprecedented number of raves from critics in the U.S. and abroad. Of eighth blackbird’s third disc for Cedille, fred, which comprises three works by Frederic Rzewski, the San Francisco Chronicle reported: “The music covers all kinds of moods and approaches, from dreamy surrealism to caffeinated unison melodies, and the members of eighth blackbird deliver it all with their trademark panache.” See also Musical Pointers' review of Rzewski's Fred [Editor]