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Sun Moon And Stars

Sun Moon And Stars

Item No. ZZCD 9813

Jazz

Price GBP 7.50 / USD

Units  
Medium: CD 
Release Date: 20.05.1999

Here’s a collection of music, not so much off the beaten track but rather from around the world and spanning 19 centuries. It’s put together by two close friends who on a number of occasions have had the chance to work together in Europe. The oldest piece is from Crete, written by Mesomedes around 130 AD. Originally written on papyrus it can be found in a well known anthology. To have such an ancient piece is such a gift either to a singer (it has words) or to an instrumentalist; the problem is when, where and how to play it. I first played it in the stone circle of Arbor Low high up in the Derbyshire Peak District. A remarkable friend (artist/philosopher) Keith Critchlow was showing Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Art students where the sun would have risen in the distance. Yes, it was in the 60s(!) but I can assure you that Hymn to the Sun was by far the most affective piece of music played there. Moreover, the cows stood still, the rain stopped and the sun came out. We begin and finish with an Irish tune. The first is, of course, She Moves Through the Fair but with a title from the words that fits in with our title! Chodsko is a District in Bohemia well known for is clarinet and bagpipe music. Our three tunes (which I play on the Eb clarinet) were collected in the late 19c. Moon: although my original idea was connected with the discovery of water, Tony chose to base his solo on all the "moon" popular songs. The two Blues that Tony plays are partly on this recording to show the connection between the early jazz style of clarinet playing and Greek and Turkish styles. You will notice that I play Hymn To The Sun in the Greek way; the Turkish Taksim is not far removed. The clarinet was introduced to the Ottoman Empire by Donizetti’s brother, the Imperial Band Master. Taksims which are also played on metal clarinets in low G are reminiscent of the Arabic flute, the Ney. Many years ago a musical scholar, James McGillivray, told me that at the beginning of this century there were records of Eastern European players on sale in New Orleans.... Besides Icarus Tony improvises to the late medieval tune L’homme Armé. Henri Pousser’s Madrigal I, written in 1958 to celebrate a birth which I play like the Hymn to the Sun on the C clarinet, has an improvisatory side. Many of the durations, dynamics and rhythms are left open to the performer. John Cage’s Sonata also has a degree of freedom. This and its general style are all the more remarkable since the piece was written in Los Angeles in 1933. An artist friend guessed from its character that it was from that time. The three Birtwistle Duets for Storab were written on the Island of Raasay off the West Coast of Scotland. It’s obvious that William Sweeney’s Para Subir is written by a Scotsman. He was the first of current Scottish composers to use indigenous music as building blocks like Dvorak and Janacek – though the idea is not necessarily to write "Scottish music". Now the two Far Eastern pieces: A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky is my improvisation based on a Shakuhachi piece several hundred years old. Quick Variations was transcribed for me by Somsak Ketukamchan. He was a Bangkok student of mine when I taught at the University of York. The original composer is called Seang Kum Neung Thao (1940). Last but not least is the short Plaything, one of a Suite written for me by the Irish composer James Wilson. © Alan Hacker


Tracklist and soundclips:
Title Composer Artist Time Play
01 One Star Awake Irish - arranged Alan Hacker, improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 4:34
02 Madrigal I Pousseur Henri b. 1929 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 5:25
03 Sousedska Czech - arranged Alan Hacker, improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:30
04 Moon Improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:45
05 Bavorák Czech - arranged Alan Hacker, improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:36
06 Taksim Turkish - transcribed Alan Hacker Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 3:50
07 Blues I Improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 2:14
08 Plaything Wilson James b 1922 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:11
09 A Bell Ringing In The Empty Sky Ancient Japanese - transcribed Alan Hacker Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 6:46
10 Hymn To The Sun Mesomedes (130 AD) b Crete fl early 2nd C Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 3:20
11 Icarus Improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 2:48
12 L'homme Armé Early renaissance - arranged Alan Hacker, Improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:51
13 Urlar Birtwistle Harrison b. 1934 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 3:00
14 Stark Pastoral Birtwistle Harrison b. 1935 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:36
15 Fanfare With Birds Birtwistle Harrison b. 1936 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:19
16 Seang Neung Theo - Quick Variations from Thailand Luang Pradit Phiro Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 3:32
17 Polka Czech - arranged Alan Hacker, improvisation Tony Coe Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 1:27
18 Sonata Cage John b. 1912 Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 3:56
19 Para Subir Sweeney William Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 4:26
20 By Myself, Alone Irish - arranged Alan Hacker Alan Hacker - Tony Coe 2:37
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