Music of Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon
Literature is a frequent source of inspiration for Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, whose compositional voice is also shaped by a steady collaboration with the particular group of musicians for whom he writes, including soprano Tony Arnold, flutist Molly Barth, percussionists Stuart Gerber and Paul Vaillancourt, guitarist Dieter Hennings, violinist Hanna Hurwitz, pianist and composer Daniel Pesca, and conductor Timothy Weiss.
Strike . Convergence
Jeff Meyer, piano
Paul Vaillancourt, percussion
"Serious and significant music performed with exceptional skill and musicality and no little wit. A disc worth taking a chance on if only to have a piece in your collection called Mechanically Separated Chicken Parts..."
Music of Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon
The miniature opera NiñoPolilla, on a libretto by Juan Trigos senior, is a funny but very lugubrious story, eminently Mexican, with the directness of an old fairy tale. The scenic cantata Comala, is based on the novel Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo. The song cycle Flores del Viento is a setting of poems by Laura Zohn (with the exception of "El Río Pasa", of ancient Otomí origin). The poems in Flores del Viento recount the episode of Quetzaclcóatl's deception at the hands of Tezcatlipoca. Quetzalcóatl (translated as "the feathered serpent") was a pre-Hispanic deity.
Production values are high, with sound that is vivid and detailed. Paul Vaillancourt, an active performer in his own right with an impressive résumé, plays in the ensemble for two of the works, and is
soloist in the Cherney piece. The happy news is that I cannot determine from listening who is
teacher and who is student, as all of the artists appearing on this release are superb. Clearly CSU
and Vaillancourt have a percussion program of which they can be proud. With such talent, and a
program of innovative and appealing music, this is a release that any fancier of percussion music
will want to explore. Fanfare
Music of Matt Welch
The Self and the Other is a meeting place of many sets of ideas. The piece initially sprung up as an idea from Paul Vaillancourt regarding the possibility of a composition for smallpipes (a quieter, sweeter variant of the highland pipes) and harpsichord. This combination was of interest because of their uses of ornamentation. The title comes from a celebrated collection of poetry by Jorge Luis Borges. Borges' use of fiction as a vehicle for philosophy encourages me in the creation of a concerto atmosphere that has a philosophical fantasy of its own. Matthew Welch
Strange Exclaiming Music
Music of Eric Moe
Eric Moe is an alchemist of expressive extremes, from what he calls ‘beautiful quiet music’ to ‘the rough, raucous stuff’. His exquisitely controlled music distils rare eloquence, grace, force and beauty from the incongruous elements of pop, rock, jazz, African drumming and classical sources as diverse as Mozart and Stravinsky. Edgy and lyrical, gritty and elegiac, the works on this disc synthesise the harmonies of Debussy, the drum licks of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Bud Powell’s extraordinary pianism and much more besides into an exuberant musical fusion.