Ishijima / Lang / Lugano Percussion Ensemble - Ondes | RECORD STORE DAY

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From it's inception with landmark works like Edgard Varèse's Ionization (1929-31), Amadeo Roldán's Ritmicas (1930), or John Cage's First Construction (In Metal) (1939), the percussion ensemble has been associated with innovations in rhythm-with driving, pulsating, and complex explorations of the domain of time. The titles of these works suggest this aesthetic, calling conspicuous attention to their own modernity and hinting at a type of abstraction and scientific outlook towards the investigation of new materials. Alongside these rhythmic explorations, however, there has always been another aspect of percussion music: an intense preoccupation with the nature of sound. From instruments fashioned out of everyday objects to those with long and distinguished histories, the sheer variety available to the percussionist is staggering, as is the range of different sounds each instrument can produce. The sounds of the percussion ensemble run the full spectrum from dense noises to clear chimes and bells, and navigating this variety presents both challenges and opportunities. The performances of the Lugano Percussion Ensemble, recorded on this disc, meet these challenges admirably with interpretations that are sensitive to the nuanced shaping of individual sounds, technically precise, and authoritative in bringing to life new works, many of which were composed specifically for this Ensemble. The pieces presented on this album represent a new generation of music for percussion ensemble, building on the innovations of Varèse and Cage, but also bringing the vast array of abstract material to new expressive forms-shaping sounds, both familiar and novel, into evocative images and associations, even narrative journeys through the world of sonic possibilities.