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Plays Gavin Bryars & Philip Glass

Released: 01/13/09





Sentieri Selvaggi

Plays Gavin Bryars & Philip Glass


  1. Sub Rosa
  2. Façades


Sentieri Selvaggi is a group made up of some of the best Italian musicians, united in a cultural project aimed to bring contemporary music to a larger audience. Founded in 1997 by Carlo Boccadoro, Filippo Del Corno, and Angelo Miotto, the group has garnered much international acclaim and has developed close working relationships with renowned composers - Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, David Lang, James MacMillan, Gavin Bryars and Louis Andriessen.

In Sentieri Selvaggi's new EP, the Italian ensemble presents pieces from two of today's most celebrated composers - Gavin Bryars and Philip Glass. When Bryars recorded his first album for ECM, Three Viennese Dancers, Manfred Eicher (the founder of ECM) introduced him to American guitarist Bill Frisell's In Line. Bryars transcribed the melody of one of Frisell's solos, and the result transported Frisell's notes into a magical, but melancholy world - distinctive of Bryar's music. Notably, he slowed down the tempo of the theme and used the piano to play a simple pattern, which continued for the entire piece. Bryars also added sweet melodies performed by a strange ensemble of a recorder, a clarinet, a vibraphone (played with a bow to produce harmonies), a violin and a bass. The result, Sub Rosa, is a sense of almost ethereal lightness pervading through the score.

The second piece - Facades, was originally composed for the score of Koyaanisqatsi, a cult film directed by Godfrey Reggio and Glass' debut to film scoring. As Facades' scene was cut from the film, Glass transposed it into a piece for his ensemble of saxophones and electronic keyboards, and released it on Glassworks. Sentieri Selvaggi's recording is a further re-orchestration, including strings, a flute, and a clarinet. Stylistically, the piece is halfway between Glass' first period, based on few cells obsessively repeated which undergo very gradual harmonic changes, and the following decade, a period more melodic and lyrical. The immediate communicability of this piece made it into one of the most popular works of Glass.

For more information about the composer and artist, please visit the artist pages for Sentieri Selvaggi, Philip Glass, andGavin Bryars.