Joe Cutler: Boogie Nights
Joe Cutler’s music has been described as “propulsive” (BBC Music Magazine), “alluring” (Scotsman), “neurotic” (Re- Diffusion) and “the best thing to come out of Neasden since Twiggy” (Gramophone).
Contrasts flourish in this collection of pieces, which are bound together by an underlying post-minimalist approach. The title track Boogie Nights (featuring a genuine 1920’s mechanical dancehall organ) plays on the pun of giant organs, making a connection with the 1990s Hollywood film of the same name. Entering this world are a dizzying array of musics ranging from hard-driven post-minimalist rock, 70’s funk, elements of Butch Morris-style conduction, twisted waltzes and music that would not be a-miss on pre-school television. Slippery Music, meanwhile, brings country-and- western into the hallowed medium of the piano quintet, with the result perhaps resembling Schubert’s Trout Quintet on illegal drugs.
Within the three movements of Comfortable Music the Baroque rubs shoulders with American roadhouse music, eventually giving way to a far-from-comfortable finale which hints at the existentialism of contemporary Polish composers such as Tomasz Sikorski. Extended Play develops Cutler’s interest in exploring the boundary regions between post-minimalism, rock and jazz, with each of these genres coming to the fore at various points on this journey. But this is not a polystylism based on elements that do not belong, rather a naturally transformative process of materials that have the ability to re-invent themselves.
Music for Parakeets shows how Cutler uses ostinati as a thread to lead the listener through a journey of carefully placed zones, in this case moving from the tentative, to the lyrical, to the pastoral and finally to the brutal. Cutler’s love of Polish Goralski music is apparent in Folk Music. Initially deconstructed, the folk material gradually re-assembles itself, finally coming to the fore in the widely exuberant closing section. All of it adds up to a flavoursome mix in which irony is created through the dialogue between musics that conventionally should not be brought into contact.
1 Boogie Nights (prelude)
2 Boogie Nights (Mvt 1)
3 Boogie Nights (interlude)
4 Boogie Nights (Mvt 2)
5 Boogie Nights (postlude)
6 Slippery Music
7 Comfortable Music (Mvt 1)
8 Comfortable Music (Mvt 2)
9 Comfortable Music (Mvt 3)
10 Extended Play
11 Music for Parakeets
12 Folk Music
Artists: Orkest de Ereprijs | Wim Boerman conductor | The Schubert Ensemble | Darragh Morgan violin | Mary Dullea piano | Decibel | Daniele Rosina conductor | Lionel Handy cello | Nigel Clayton piano | The Coull String Quartet
Cat # BRC003
Joe Cutler’s music has been described as ‘propulsive’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘alluring’ (Scotsman), ‘neurotic’(Re-Diffusion) and ‘the best thing to come out of Neasden since Twiggy’ (Gramophone).
With collaborators ranging from the London Symphony Orchestra to Evan Parker and Orkest de Ereprijs to Vince Mendoza, his music has been performed in over 40 countries and on six continents including at festivals and venues such as Bang-on-a-Can Music Marathon (New York), Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam and Utrecht), Opera City (Tokyo), Musik Monat (Basle), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Beijing Modern Music Festival, London Jazz Festival and the BBC Proms.
In 2008 he was awarded the British Composer Award in the chamber music category for Folk Music, written for the Smith Quartet, whilst in 2016 he received the British Composer Award in the jazz category for Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder, a commission from Emulsion Sinfonietta. In 2016 he received an award from the PRS Foundation’s Composers’ Fund to support the composition of Elsewhereness for symphony orchestra.
Since 2000 he has been a founder member of the collective Noszferatu, and since 2005 he has been Head of Composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.