Opus Classical (Netherlands)

These recordings were made in 2010, but only recently published . The Dutch flutist Jos Zwaanenburg presents a recording under the title ‘Grist’ . That means corn and is perhaps inspired by the name of the third work on this issue , flute feed. The name of the composer Stephen Cornford – coincidence or not . Moreover, it is characteristic of the music we hear here . Nearly half an hour we heard the howling uninterrupted e which is stubbornly trying to be a f . All a round circling sorts of electronically manipulated sounds , because that’s what this CD is about. Zwaanenburg is an authority in the field of electronic manipulation of the flute. He therefore uses a special instrument with open valves so he can produce m icro-intervals and glissandi . He divides his activities between the Amsterdam Conservatory and England , where he has developed much rapport with British composers engaged in his field.

One of the titles on this disc is “ Has the world changed or have I changed”. That was the thought that came to me when I listened to these sounds . About half a century ago, a number of LPs came on the Nonesuch label with electronic music , which we then found mighty interesting , partly caused by the followers and style of Karlheinz Stockhausen . Since then I have followed the creations of the Dutch Jan Boerman , Ton Bruynèl , Roderick de Man , Dick Raaijmakers and René Uijlenhoet with some regularity. The musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer also played for a while an important role , especially through the magnificent issued by Philips LPs in silver covers. But I was totally unprepared for what we hear on this CD . Mind- boggling.

These are sounds that one associates with a terrifying nightmare , non-linear sounds . Some will be fascinated while immersed in an ocean of sounds. Those sounds are in one way or another, all caused by flutist Jos Zwaanenburg , helped by the composers involved with electronic material or manipulation. Zwaanenburg composes himself : he won in 1984 an honorable mention at the Gaudeamus Competition. All works on this issue are contained in collaboration with the composers involved : Efthymios Chatziagannis , Paul Whitty , Stephen Cornford and Paul Dibley . The recording is of course spectacular, but adjust to the volume – the neighbors might think you ‘re trying to drown the cat …

—Aart van der Wal (translation by Stephen Sutton)