The Kronos Quartet
’s career is a unique musical phenomenon driven by an insatiable curiosity for music from every corner of our planet. The programme will open and close with works by two historic minimalist composers: Terry Riley
and Steve Reich
. Riley’s Good Medicine
is the closing chapter of his Salome Dances for Peace
, which brings Salome into the present to use her allure to secure world peace, while Reich’s new work Triple Quartet
is dedicated to the Kronos Quartet by the composer. Michael Gordon
’s (Bang On a Can
founder) Clouded Yellow
translates the kinetic impression of the flight of a swarm of yellow butterflies into a dense and pulsating musical texture.
After this lone allusion to nature, the remaining works (like Reich’s) take the city of New York as their starting point. Missy Mazzoli
has written a “love song to the Brooklyn Bridge”, while the same neighbourhood provides Bryce Dessner
(best known as a member of the rock band The National) with the starting point for a memorial journey to Poland and Russia, retracing in reverse the route his family took when they emigrated to the US. Laurie Anderson
is taken form her latest album Homeland
(2010). The Smyrneiko minore
is a transcription of the Rebetiko song which Marika Papagika recorded in 1918 in New York.
(who is better known as Foetus) travelled from Brooklyn to Oman to record the unworldly sound of sand whirling around the dunes, which he incorporated into his Eremikophobia
. The composer has said that the sound of the desert continued to ring in his ears long after his return to New York.