The Noise is a very exciting Sydney based string quartet, with a special love for improvised music. For this album, they commissioned seven Australian composers to create new works for string quartet that left open opportunities for improvisation and the element of chance.
Numerous improvisational techniques were used in the album. One piece uses an animated score, another is based on responses to sequences from an Andrey Tarkovsky film. For his piece, Andrew Ford composed melodic and harmonic ideas yet left other decisions such as when exactly to play the notes to the musicians. Lyle Chan took a much more left field approach. He developed a set of rules to interpret the cards dealt and played by the members of the quartet during a card game of 500. The musicians then used these rules and interpretations as the basis for their improvisations.
The resulting music ranges through delicately beautiful melodic music, dramatic harmonic clusters, and rich acoustic and electronic textures. It’s a wonderful trip through many different types of contemporary classical music. The use of electronics by the members of the quartet and the album’s co-producer Bob Scott wonderfully complement the acoustic instruments.
The upcoming performances of Composed Noise promise to be a couple of exciting nights of music. Will there be a pre-show game of 500 to determine a new set of 10 bagatelles? How will a live audience energise the feedback drenched finale of Alex Pozniak’s Force Field? We will have to wait to see what “improvisation” and “the element of chance” have in store for us!
Buy the CD on itunes:
- Track 1-3 Rosalind Page – Zerkalo (Mirror)
- Track 4 Andrew Batt-Rawden – 28
- Track 5 Alex Pozniak – Force Fields
- Track 1 Paul Cutlan – Merge/Emerge
- Track 2 Andrew Ford – String Quartet No. 4
- Track 3-12 Lyle Chan – Smoke Weather Stone Weather
- Track 13 – Amanda Cole – Ecliptica