Backward Inductions

Ofer Pelz here with a fine showcase of contemporary avant-classical composed works on Trinité (NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR303)…the composer is based in Montreal just now and appears here with the Meitar Ensemble from Israel, plus the Quatuor Ardeo and the pianist Amit Dolberg, who also happens to be Pelz’s artistic director.

Much complexity and maximal richness are the takeaways from today’s spin, in a battleground where acoustic instruments lock horns with live electronics played by the composer himself, and small ensembles deliver brittle, short phrases along with a prepared piano. My favourites here are those where one single instrument is highlighted and augmented with the electronic interventions of Pelz, as on ‘Convergence’ with the crazed flute exhalations of Roy Amotz, a piece packed with “granulations” and “fragmented sounds”, and on ‘Backward Inductions’, where the wayward peregrinations of Amit Dolberg’s augmented piano are almost too convoluted for the ear to follow. Of the Ensemble pieces, I like ‘Chinese Whispers’ mainly for the variety of timbres and textures that the five-piece Meitar guys are able to spark out of their collective cylinders, and even if the grand design is hard to perceive, the very notion of ‘Chinese Whispers’ implies a fascinating process of change through repetition. ‘Blanc Sur Blanc’ features the Quatuor Ardeo and manifests something of the composer’s preoccupation with short truncated phrases, stated and restated in constantly-changing configurations. Almost every instrument here is called on to behave in a percussive, stabby fashion, so there’s some relief afforded when the string section is allowed a brief moment or two of continuum droning.

A very busy, intricate record; it keeps your ears alert and you won’t be allowed to fall asleep for a second. From 16th June 2021.