Steven Kemper: Mythical Spaces

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Steven Kemper makes his debut on Ravello Records with his electroacoustic album Mythical Spaces. Kemper combines acoustic instruments and electronics to create meditative compositions that explore the connections between real and imaginary worlds. Kemper writes that “myths represent traces of our collective imagination, and similarities between myths from different cultures point to a shared human experience.” The title work Mythical Spaces concerns the liminal space between physical and mythical locations, both of natural and human construction. Amplified vessels evoke specific spaces in each of the five movements, such as an amplified pot of dirt in “Underground” and a wooden bowl in “Forest.” Lament for flute and computer responds to the poem “A History of Lament.” Drawing from the text’s evocation of the myth of Orpheus, Kemper explores the transitions between the world of the living and the underworld. In Illa Tempore bridges not only geographical space, but temporal space as well. The piece quotes Monteverdi’s Missa in illo tempore. This music of the past is juxtaposed with technology of the future—the musical robots AMI and CARI designed and built by Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, co-founded by Kemper. AMI and CARI produce a backdrop of shifting drones, upon which a saxophone and bassoon employ a variety of extended performance techniques. The album closes with The Seven Stars for prepared piano, a piece devoted to the mythology of stars, the constellations. Each of the work’s seven movements portrays a star in the Big Dipper, with musical intensities that correspond to each star’s apparent magnitude. The percussive, resonant sound profile of The Seven Stars includes special materials used on the piano strings, including marbles, mallets, and ping-pong balls.
Item number RR7980
Barcode 636160195814
Release date 1/12/2018
Category Classical Music
Number of units 1
Classical Artist Various Artists
Disc: 1
Mythical Spaces00:12:00
1 Mythical Spaces: I. Underground 00:01:50 Truesdell, Mike
2 Mythical Spaces: II. Water 00:01:45 Truesdell, Mike
3 Mythical Spaces: III. Forest 00:02:33 Truesdell, Mike
4 Mythical Spaces: IV. Mountain 00:02:00 Truesdell, Mike
5 Mythical Spaces: V. Temple 00:02:27 Truesdell, Mike
6 Breath 00:04:03 Kemper, Steven
7 Lament 00:09:16 Chambo, Wayla
In Illo Tempore00:08:00
8 In Illo Tempore 00:07:48 Jessen, Dana Wegehaupt, David
The Seven Stars00:12:00
9 The Seven Stars: I. Ak (Dubhe) 00:02:05 Hsu, Aurie
10 The Seven Stars: II. Merak 00:01:26 Hsu, Aurie
11 The Seven Stars: III. Phecda 00:01:19 Hsu, Aurie
12 The Seven Stars: IV. Megrez 00:01:30 Hsu, Aurie
13 The Seven Stars: V. Alioth 00:01:43 Hsu, Aurie
14 The Seven Stars: VI. Mizar/Alcor 00:01:51 Hsu, Aurie
15 The Seven Stars: VII. Alkaid 00:02:07 Hsu, Aurie
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