John Fonville, flute
Steven Schick, percussion
Aleck Karis and Jacques Linder, piano
Prague Radio Symphony
Stacey Mastrian, soprano
Thomas DeLio: Selected Compositions II (1972-2015)
Thomas DeLio: Selected Compositions II (1972-2015) is another fascinating Neuma “sonic-doc” chronicling 43 years of some of the most radical experimental music ever composed. This album displays DeLio’s intense focus on sonic materials by placing acoustic works next to electroacoustic works, which the composer calls “deconstructions”, in which the composer reframes the acoustic materials into a more exacting perspective. Listening to the acoustic piece followed by the deconstruction is like experiencing a new sonic universe and then going inside DeLio’s head to explore how he, himself, hears that universe. Delio’s meticulous attention to detail in his compositions is reflected in his analytical work. In fact, he has often stated that composition and analysis are the same process for him—even the compositional techniques classes he teaches at the University of Maryland are exclusively centered around analysis. As the album progresses, it is easy to get the sense that every timbre; every pitch, rhythm, and duration; every texture, and every silence have a specific purpose in his conception of the sonic world he constructs—they are the result of a deeply analytical understanding of his own experience of sound. Perhaps this is the most important reason to listen to this music. It is rare to find such original and distinctive compositions on one album, especially considering how clearly they articulate the self.
DeLio is keenly aware of his position in the world of sonic art—whether music or poetry. His unusual titles are often based in literary references; particularly unique are those involving texts by P. Inman. The fact that this composer refers to his electroacoustic works as “tape” music articulates his aesthetic and historical position in music literature. While he composes these strictly on his computer, the manner in which he does it is more akin to the way composers made tape music before computers were readily available. At the same time, he also clearly utilizes cutting-edge technological capabilities which have only recently become possible.
Selected Compositions II is certainly a unique and intense artistic experience, but it is also an historic look at one of the most important musical minds of our time. Performances are by well-known artists such as John Fonville (flute), Steven Schick (percussion), Aleck Karis and Jacques Linder (piano), Stacey Mastrian (soprano), and the Prague Radio Symphony. Included in the booklet are an essay by the composer on his perspectives about the music and reprints of poetry by P. Inman and Octavio Paz.
|Thomas DeLio||inents (version 1, 2015, tape)|
|anti-paysage (1990, flute, piano, percussion, tape)|
|anti-paysage II (2013, tape)|
|- en / l’espace de... (2007, soprano, orchestra)|
|inents (version 2, 2015, tape)|
|x, e (1999, tape)|
|Text (1983, piano)|
|inc,e (1999, tape)|
|Transparent Wave II (1993, piano)|
|m,nce (1999, tape)|
|not (1992, piano, percussion)|
|Serenade (1974, piano)|
|n,c (1998, tape)|
|A Draft of Shadows (1972, soprano, percussion, piano)|