Jay Cloidt: Spectral Evidence
latest CD from composer Jay Cloidt features the premiere studio recordings
of two ambitious and diverse works for string quartet, Spectral
Evidence and eleven
windows, performed by the Cypress String Quartet.
Spectral Evidence begins
with a straightforward performance of the first two minutes of the Mozart
quartet (No. 14 in G, K. 387). At
first subtly then radically, the piece is broken down into parts and reassembled
into a series of ten new movements. Meticulously recorded at George Lucas's
SkyWalker Ranch, the music is solely based on the deconstruction and reconstruction
of the melodic materials found in the original opening section. Spectral
Evidence was commissioned for the Cypress String Quartet by the
San Francisco modern dance company ODC/SF and choreographer Brenda Way.
Allan Ulrich, in the San Francisco Chronicle, said of the work:
"Jay Cloidt's exceptional score, a Mozart string
quartet and its subtle deconstruction and transformation into something
ominous, tracks the choreography every step of the way... the
Cypress String Quartet... performs Cloidt's score masterfully."
Kronos Quartet originally commissioned and premiered eleven
windows, written for string quartet, recorded sound environments,
and electronics. The work incorporates sound elements collected from
around the world by the composer — the swoosh of an electric
door from a Seville hotel, the buzz of a Pachinko parlor in Nagoya,
a farmer shooing birds away from a Balinese rice paddy, and more. The
sounds of the Cypress Quartet, sometimes electronically treated,
are dexterously woven through and melded with these sound environments
to create otherworldly sonic landscapes.
Jay Cloidt is a composer and sound
designer working in the San Francisco Bay Area. After receiving
his BA in piano performance, he moved to Seattle and worked as a
professional rock and blues musician in the 1970's before being "born
again" as a contemporary
music composer. Cloidt studied at the Center for Contemporary
Music at Mills College with Robert Ashley and David Behrman. He
has collaborated with many performing groups, such as the Paul Dresher
Ensemble, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, the Gary Palmer Dance
Company, California EAR Unit, and Kronos Quartet. His works have
been performed at major venues such as New York's Lincoln Center,
London's Royal Festival Hall, and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
The San Francisco Chronicle has dubbed Cloidt "The Spike Jones
of the Bay Area new music scene."
Starkland previously released Cloidt's
Kole Kat Krush CD to widespread acclaim. Stereophile awarded
4 Stars to the CD, stating that Cloidt is "one of the few composers
in the post-sampler era to fully develop that tool's fascinating
and witty potential." The
All-Music Guide also gave the CD 4 Stars, describing it as "a
wonderful, accessible, and yet challenging album from one of new music's
brightest lights." And the American Record Guide called it "creative
and attention-grabbing... haunting and original." Cloidt
also has an electronic music CD, Dark Matter, on Phthalo.
Cypress String Quartet has performed to great acclaim at prominent venues
worldwide, including appearances at the Kennedy Center, the Chautauqua
Institute, the Ravinia Festival, and Stanford Lively Arts. Praised by
the Washington Post for their "beautifully
proportioned and powerful" interpretations of classical masterworks,
the quartet has been featured as a "Generation X Ensemble to
Watch" in Chamber Music Magazine. Consisting of Cecily Ward and
Tom Stone (violins), Ethan Filner (viola), and Jennifer Kloetzel (cello),
the quartet has commissioned and premiered over 25 works from America's
leading composers including Jennifer Higdon, Benjamin Lees, and George
Tsontakis. Cypress has won the prestigious Aaron Copland Award in recognition
of the quartet's work championing contemporary music.
Visit Jay Cloidt's website.
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