Glossolalia - NeoQuartet plays music of Dosia McKay
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Release date: June 4, 2014
©(P)2014 Dosia McKay / Gavia Music (ASCAP), All rights reserved
"The music is ecstatic and trance-inducing, strongly influencing emotions of the listener, even one who is not musically educated". - Ewa Palinska in the Gdansk magazine Trojmiasto.pl.
Glossolalia - The Inspiration
Glossolalia, meaning speaking or praying in tongues, is a spiritual practice or a worship expression found in certain streams of the Christian church as well as in some non-Christian religions. An interesting phenomenon is singing in tongues during public worship when members of a congregation improvise short melodies instinctively embellishing the notes of a common major chord. This group expression can lead to a spiritual trance and ecstasy and the improvised music is quite mesmerizing and beautiful. I sometimes think about all of the music being presently created in various styles and genres, merging into a single essence, expressing the sum total of our humanity. And what is music, but a search for ecstasy, a transcendent and an otherworldly experience?
The Language of Glossolalia
Stylistically, Glossolalia draws from the post-classical contemporary idiom. I have approached the medium of string quartet in a traditional way but with my own, fresh focus. While some passages are deeply meditative and simplistic (almost modal) in their harmonic structure, others are convoluted and treacherous, giving the stage to the most outrageous and forceful emotions. In this compilation I am faithful to my colorful and vibrant sound palette infusing it with a touch of pop, rock, jazz, and a few typically Schoenbergian post-tonal outbursts.
NeoQuartet, featuring Karolina Piatkowska-Nowicka, 1st violin, Pawel Kapica, 2nd violin, Michal Markiewicz, viola, and Krzysztof Pawlowski, cello, are great enthusiasts of modern art, often combining contemporary classical music with visual arts, modern dance, and electronics. Their repertoire highlights compositions by Reich, Crumb, Schnittke and contemporary Polish composers, such as Penderecki, Stulginska, Czerniewicz and Kosciow. The Quartet's 2008 recording of the music by Stulginska released by DUX was nominated to the Fryderyk Award in the Contemporary Music Category and was included in the album commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Gdansk Music Academy. In 2009, NeoQuartet participated in the Gaudeamus International Competition in Amsterdam, achieving the semi-final level, becoming one of the ten best contemporary music ensembles of that edition. In 2010, NeoQuartet recorded their debut album released by DUX feauring a diversity of contemporary classical music by Lason, Hosokawa, Janssen, Stulginska, and Czerniewicz. In 2012, NeoQuartet was nominated to the Sztorm Roku Award, the Pomeranian Artistic Award, and the Fryderyk Award (Polish Grammy Award) for the debut recording. The Quartet performed in the "Voices of the Mountains" in Lausanne, Switzerland marking the state visit of the President of the Republic of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski. NeoQuartet is the organizer of the NeoArte Festival aka. the New Music Spectrum in Sopot, Poland. The idea of the festival is to popularize contemporary classical music among a wide range of audiences. www.neoquartet.pl / Photo by Tamara Wyrzykowska
1. Is Now Not Enough? [9:46]
The opening piece explores the restlessness and insatiability of the human spirit. The same invisible force that propels migrating birds and fish, seems to stir the imagination in search of the ideal and the transcendent, but can it ever be truly found? The music echoes the themes I have explored earlier in my poem entitled "Unfurling": Be still my soul / What is your unfurling? / Your trembling? / Your flutter? / What is your ache? / A void that's ever empty / What is your shape / That I may fill it? / Chords unstrummed? / Songs unsung? / Words unspoken? / Colors unseen? / A flock of geese / Captured in perpetual takeoff / You have startled / The stillness of the pond / Marred it with ripples / Your wings / Water shedding / Gasping for air / Hungrily / Ecstatically / Forcefully / What is your haste? / Is now not enough? / Is here not plenty? / Run, soul, run / For stillness be the death of you / Chase the sun / Fly
I have always been fascinated by the ability of many actors to portray contrasting emotions at the drop of a hat. Those with many years of experience and a full control of their bodies, are able to switch seamlessly between tearful sobbing and stupefying laughter. Often, when called to audition, they are required to recite short monologues showcasing their abilities. Surge, Cantabile, and Expletivo portray a wide
range of human emotions, from conflicting, dissonant, and aggressive, through delicate, fragile, and innocent.
2. Surge [6:17]
Get ready for an avalanche of long-suppressed grudges and grievances. This movement has a lot to say, but it will carefully weigh its words to deliver the punch at the right time. Its harmonic language is a cross between Schoenbergian post-tonalism, and, at times, echoes of hard rock riffs.
3. Cantabile [5:09]
Cantabile (in Italian "singable", or "song-like") should unfold through long and eloquent phrases, but it does not have enough courage to immediately convey what hides in its heart. It is full of hesitation and uncertainty. How do we express fragile, undefinable emotions in a loud and cynical world? The secret of strength sometimes lies in tenderness. As the movement progresses, individual phrases gain shape
and begin to form a bold message through a colorful harmonic progression of jazzy quartal sonorities.
4. Expletivo [4:56]
This is high-brow art music, and so it is proper to hide behind a made-up Italian word like Expletivo, but the essence of this movement might be better expressed through the Polish idiom for swearing, which is "to throw meat". Expletivo is vulgar. It should be bleeped out and cleaned up. Listener discretion is advised.
5. Glossolalia [7:53]
Glossolalia, meaning speaking or praying in tongues, is a spiritual practice or a worship expression found in certain streams of the Christian church as well as in some non-Christian religions. An interesting phenomenon is singing in tongues during public worship when members of a congregation improvise short melodies, instinctively embellishing the notes of a common major chord. This group expression can lead to a spiritual trance and ecstasy and the improvised music is quite mesmerizing and beautiful. I sometimes think about all of the music being presently created in various styles and genres, merging into a single essence, expressing the sum total of our humanity.
6. First In Flight [9:10]
"First In Flight" is a slogan found on all North Carolina car license plates, commemorating the achievement of the Wright brothers. The composition is my nod toward the state of North Carolina, which has recently become my new home. This fast paced and energetic piece is full of colorful harmonic progressions, vibrant melodic lines, playful jazzy riffs, and dreamy soundscapes depicting the thrill of a take off and flying.
7. Grit and Glitz [8:52]
Brooklyn - a dream destination of many artists with its chic neighborhoods, and glitzy walk-ups. But then you get off the wrong subway station after dark and you can't believe the grit and despair. Brooklyn has it all - love it or hate it, take it or leave it, but one thing is certain, Brooklyn has many faces and is bound to surprise you. "Grit and Glitz" is a high energy, show-off piece, venturing out into the territory of catchy pop and rock melodic gestures, stretching their boundaries until it breaks into a cadenza-like section exploring jazz harmonies. The piece marks my first Brooklyn premiere.
About Pawel Nowicki, vibraphone
Pawel Nowicki studied percussion performance in Gdansk and Strasburg. He is a laureate of international competitions of contemporary music; Gaudeamus in Rotterdam (1999) and Clarment-Ferrand (1999). Since 2002 he has been a part of contemporary music ensemble Kwartludium, who participated in festivals of contemporary music in Poland (Warsaw Autumn), Radio Festival WDR in Cologne, and Unsound Festival in New York. Since 2003 the artist has been collaborating with the Warsaw Autumn festival as a soloists, premiering solo and chamber works. As a member of Kwartludium, he is a multiple recipient of grants from the Office of the Speaker of the House, the Town of Gdansk, and the "Young Poland" of the Ministry of Culture. Since 2004 he has been collaborating with an ensemble "Kobiety", garnering important awards in the world of pop and rock music. The artist regularly collaborates with such ensembles as Ecstasy Project, Pink Freud, and Kwadrofonik. He has performed throughout Europe and in Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space in New York.
All music composed by Dosia McKay / All tracks performed by NeoQuartet, except Grit and Glitz features Pawel Kapica, violin, Michal Markiewicz, viola, and Krzysztof Pawlowski, cello / Vibraphone soloist on First in Flight - Pawel Nowicki / Recorded at Janusz Hajdun Concert Studio at Radio Gdansk in February 2014 / Edited, mixed, and mastered by Jacek Puchalski at Radio Gdansk / Produced by Dosia McKay / Graphic design by Dosia McKay / ©(P)2014 Dosia McKay/Gavia Music (ASCAP), all rights reserved