Todd Reynolds, violin, with electronic processing; Members of the Yale Philharmonia, Julian Pellicano, conductor; The Berkeley Gamelan, Daniel Schmidt, director; Ingram Marshall, gambuh (Balinese flute), Serge synthesizer, live electronic processing
The pieces on this compact disk span almost three decades and represent the principal threads that have run through Ingram Marshall's (b. 1942) work: his remarkable skill in using electronics to create expressive and voluptuously beautiful pieces; the influence of Indonesian music, particularly in the slowed-down sense of time and melodic repetition; a thorough knowledge of some of the most stirring and poignant compositions of the Western tradition, especially Sibelius and Bach; and the hovering presence of Charles Ives, particularly his use of quotation and juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated elements.
The works on this CD can be thought of as an archeological dig, flowing in reverse chronological order from a recent work to one of the composer's earliest. They range from the dramatic and gripping 2002 work relating to a horrible event in New York City to a timeless ethereal 1976 piece relating to an idyllic period in Indonesia. Along with these dynamic contrasts, there's surprising consistency: Marshall's lifelong efforts to combine electronics with instruments and to render them with warmth and expressivity; but moreover, his extraordinary ability to capture profound human feeling and create works of poignancy and depth.