The Wire

James Weeks has made his name as artistic director and conductor of EXAUDI, the British vocal ensemble that relishes taking a warble on the wild side: Finnissy, Fox, Cage, Sciarrino, Xenakis. And Weeks’ own music clearly resonates in empathy with the composers he likes to programme.

Tide is a composite composition incorporating three solo instrumental pieces – Burnham Air for oboe d’amore, Tide for cello, Sky for clarinet and electronics – their structures interlaced, as Weeks writes, so that the “components are not so much simultaneous as coexistent”. The gradually unfolding canonic energy fields of the clarinet piece anchors everything else; cello and oboe d’amore are directed to enter when they like, and composed beginnings triggers a structural labyrinth that is predetermined by chance, or a higher intelligence, or some benign, mysterious meeting between the two.

—Philip Clark