||Masako Kunimoto, Steve Sehman, Bill Sallak, Steven Schick, Aiyun Huang, Fabio Oliveira, Justin DeHart, Jude Traxler, Berndt Thurner, Ayano Kataoka, Chris Leonard, Dale Speicher, Matt Apanius, vibraphone; Katalin Lukacs, piano; Gisela Mashayekhi-Beer, flute
Stuart Saunders Smith (b. 1948) has created a diverse and unusual body of musical and literary compositions. His music is usually chromatic, atonal, and rhythmically complex, with his pitch material selected in an intuitive manner rather than via the twelve-tone technique. Many of his works are theatrical, asking the performers to speak, sing, act, and perform pantomime in addition to playing their instruments. His works often feature improvisation. Approximately half of his more than 130 works involve percussion, and his works are particularly popular among percussionists. This is the first complete recording of the Links series.
"The Links Series of Vibraphone Essays is scored for vibraphone in various settings, from unaccompanied solos to duos with flute, piano and off-stage orchestra bells. This series was composed between 1975 and 1995. There are eleven individual Links pieces. The title refers to the entire structure of the work, in that the end of one composition elides to the beginning of the next-a link in a delicate necklace. Also, "links" in German means "left" in English. The Links Series remains left of the center of the past and current musical languages in which composers have composed and are composing. It is the most physically, melodically, rhythmically, and conceptually demanding vibraphone music yet composed. The Links are performed all over the world and are part of important percussion curriculums from Yale to UC-San Diego, to mention a few."
-Stuart Saunders Smith