Bozzini+ combines Montreal’s famed Quatuor Bozzini with pianist Philip Thomas and Scottish fiddler Sarah-Jane Summers in world premiere recordings of piano quintets by Bryn Harrison and Mary Bellamy and a work for string quartet, fiddle, and electronics by Monty Adkins. The double-CD release is the culmination of a three-year project that included collaborative development residencies, workshops, performances, and recordings scattered between Huddersfield, Canada, Scotland, and Norway.
The three compositions presented on Bozzini+ represent diverse aesthetic approaches and working methods. Bryn Harrison’s Piano Quintet features rapid, tangled, filigree cycles and not-quite-repeating loops across its nearly hourlong duration, particularly through its dense, intricate piano writing. Continuing Harrison’s interest in the role of memory in our perception of time in music, these cycles are more varied in their treatment than in his previous work—they are layered and intertwined, presented forwards, backwards, often at the same time or at subtly slower or faster rates to produce a multi-dimensional view of time passing. Mary Bellamy’s beneath an ocean of air draws its inspiration from the artwork of James Turrell, and specifically his Deer Shelter Skyspace from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Bellamy creates a musical analogue that replicates the experience of light and air inside of Turrell’s sculpture through high, untethered whistles, flickers, wisps, and slides created through a collection of novel performance techniques developed in conjunction with the work’s performers. Finally, Monty Adkins’ Still Juniper Snow is an electroacoustic reworking of instrumental material composed for Summers and the Bozzini Quartet inspired by the Norwegian landscape where Summers lives as well as the Scottish and Norwegian folk traditions she blends in her work. Adkins takes these audio documents as a starting point and reuses, alters, effaces, and obfuscates the original material, extending, freezing, and stretching it into a texture that becomes suspended, glacial, and timeless.
Bozzini+ celebrates the longstanding relationship between the quartet and Huddersfield. They have been a regular presence at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival since 2002, including extended residencies at hcmf// from 2011–14 for their Composer’s Kitchen programme for emerging composers.
1 Bryn Harrison - Piano Quintet
1 Mary Bellamy - beneath an ocean of air
2 Monty Adkins - Still Juniper Snow: I still hollow
3 Monty Adkins - Still Juniper Snow: II distant waters
4 Monty Adkins - Still Juniper Snow: III spiral paths
Artists: Quatuor Bozzini | Philip Thomas piano | Sarah-Jane Summers fiddle
Cat # HCR19CD
Piano Quintet was recorded at St Paul's Hall, University of Huddersfield on 19 February 2018 and beneath an ocean of air was recorded at St Paul's Hall, hcmf// 2017 on 21 November 2017
ALEX BONNEY Recording Engineer
AARON CASSIDY Recording Producer
Still Juniper Snow was recorded at both NoTam, Oslo, Norway on 25 June 2015 and Aberdeen University, Scotland on 6 November 2016
MONTY ADKINS Recording Engineer and Producer
RICHARD SCOTT Mastering