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Simplicity Itself


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As their name suggests, contemporary music duo New Morse Code (cellist Hannah Collins and percussionist Michael Compitello) prioritize communication in their performances. Their new recording, Simplicity Itself, is a document of their wonderful balance between instrumental brilliance, programming acuity, commissioning zeal, and warm performance style. The album begins and ends with works by Boston-based composer Robert Honstein, whose individual approach to minimalism involves a playful approach to shifting phrase lengths and subverting rhythmic expectation through displacement. The duo is joined here on the opening track, Patter, by guest violinist Katie Hyun, and in a display of New Morse Code’s versatility and open minded approach, Collins joins Competello on mallet percussion for the final track Unwind, a contemplative study in polyrhythm. Tonia Ko’s Hush operates more gesturally, and her style is at times reminiscent of the type of sound painting and economy of materials one hears in the work of George Crumb. There is plenty of complexity in the works on this recording, but by naming the album Simplicity Itself (taken from the Virginia Woolf text in Ko’s work) New Morse Code seems to suggest that deep within this music is an underlying ground of fundamental elements that is a source of connection. For a group dedicated to communicating through a new “code,” the message of joy on this recording reads loud and clear.
Facts
Item number FCR189
Barcode 747565635178
Release date 9/22/2017
Category Chamber Music
Label NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
Performers
Classical Artist Andres, Timo
Hyun, Katie
Ensemble New Morse Code
Disc: 1
Patter00:06:00
1 Patter 00:06:25 Hyun, Katie New Morse Code
Hush00:12:00
2 Hush: I. Tongue Is but a Clapper 00:02:39 New Morse Code
3 Hush: II. How (Hush!) 00:03:28 New Morse Code
4 Hush: III. Simpilicity Itself 00:05:44 New Morse Code
Boris Kerner00:08:00
5 Boris Kerner 00:07:59 New Morse Code
Trio in Two Parts00:12:00
6 Trio in 2 Parts: I. Turning 00:03:59 New Morse Code Andres, Timo
7 Trio in 2 Parts: II. Three Rooms 00:07:37 New Morse Code Andres, Timo
Unwind00:06:00
8 Unwind 00:06:25 New Morse Code
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