James Weeks: TIDE
TIDE is a composite of pieces for three solo instruments (clarinet, oboe d’amore and cello) – newly composed by James Weeks. It is given here on CD1, and the three solo works are on CD2. Each is in its own right a virtuoso piece and played by leading instrumentalists Andrew Sparling (Clarinet), Christopher Redgate (oboe d’amore) and Anton Lukoszevieze (cello). Both individually and together these compositions create a fascinating sound world which seem to be born of nature. The works are spilt onto two discs at the composer’s request but given the total playing time the set is sold at the price of 1 CD.
Tide is a beguiling and impressively conceived and performed collection that testifies to the continuing vitality of the experimental project.” —Stephen Graham
When performed together, as they are on disc one, Cageian controlled chance comes into play, with the points of entry being left to the chance decision of the musicians, but with the shape of the three discrete musical strands controlled by the score. If I was controller of BBC Radio 3 – one can but dream – I would order the thirty-one minute composite version of James Weeks’ Tide to be played in its entirety on the station’s Breakfast programme every day for a week as an antidote to the neurofissilty inducing dumb-downedness that currently prevails there.” —“Pliable”
Weeks’ own music clearly resonates in empathy with the composers he likes to programme. Tide is a composite composition – the gradually unfolding canonic energy fields of the clarinet piece anchors everything else … composed beginnings trigger a structural labyrinth.” —Philip Clark
There’s obviously something procedural going on in this music, probably more than two or three things at once … The piece is composed as series of waves, of dynamic, of pitch, of rhythm, of tessitura, of density, and so on. Waves of one sort or another overlap, producing cascading effects of beating patterns and interferences … for all its superficial simplicity this isn’t music that is easily summarised. The more one listens, the more one is impressed at how much variety Weeks has built in to what began as such simple inspiration.” —Tim Rutherford-Johnson (editor of new Oxford Dictionary of Music, johnsonsrambler.wordpress.com)
Heard alone, Sky is a work of transcendental calm. Burnham Air, by contrast, is a plaintive work of curling scales and arpeggios. Tide sits in between. The gradual unfolding of these three planes in the composite work TIDE feels almost mystical in its inevitability, the whole becoming greater than the already substantial sum of its parts. The result is music that feels original but in some way also primeval.” —Christian Morris