VOICES OF OUR TIME
Cyrill Deaconoff
Voices of Silicon Valley

Musical Zodiac - Makrokosmos I & II - George Crumb   (OR 3968 - 0581)    

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VOICES OF OUR TIME - Cyrill Deaconoff - Voices of Silicon Valley

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VOIC

VOICES OF OUR TIME

 

Included in this album are Stockhausen's vocal masterpiece, Stimmung, as well as several works influenced by it, such as Our Time and Kontakion for Pascha. Earlier works from Cyril Deaconoff's output are represented by the String Quartet and No Ladder Needs the Bird. 

Our Time for chorus and electronics is driven by the desire to capture modern spirit with its constant forward motion, yet find a moment of reflection in the middle section of the piece. Outer sections also emphasize the broken nature of our world today through the electronic part. Kontakion for Pascha (Easter) represents the meditative and ethnic nature of Eastern Orthodox Christian celebration of this feast. No Ladder Needs the Bird is a movement from cantata Canticles of Love, Despair and Hope. In this movement, Emily Dickinson's poetry is given a joyful treatment through polytonal orchestral and choral texture. 

String Quartet, whose movements 2 and 3 are included in this album, makes use of American spiritual Were You There which talks about the New Testament story of Crucifixion. The theme is surrounded by a 'halo' of strings and is followed by contemplation on the tragic nature of the story. This contemplation comes back in the 3rd movement, only this time it is moved toward an affirmative ending. 

Stimmung for 6 vocalists and 6 microphones by Karlheinz Stockhausen broke a new ground as for the first time in a Western composition, vocal formants are manipulated to create a melody consisting entirely from overtones proceeding from a low B-flat drone. In combining these overtones, the composer is looking to create a perfect tuning - Stimmung - constantly asking the singers to move away and disturb this harmony, then come back to it in key moments. The work is split into 51 sections called "models", and each one of them has a lead or model singer whose goal is to direct the rest of the ensemble to come into eventual harmony with him before proceeding to the next model. Often, singers call out "magic names" that come from different religious traditions from around the globe. Thus, Stockhausen embraces all of humanity in this search for a perfect harmony. 

Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) students and faculty from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music collaborated with Voices of Silicon Valley on this project. 

Cyril Deaconoff

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