The project from the Michigan powerhouse GVSU New Music Ensemble features new work from the slashsound collective, Adam Cuthbért, Matt Finch, & Daniel Rhode, on the Innova label.
The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI) has established itself as an innovator and incubator within the new music community. Founded in 2006 by Director Bill Ryan, the ensemble has commissioned over 60 new works, toured extensively, and received wide recognition for its recordings of both Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians, and Terry Riley’s In C. These albums have been on year-end best-of lists at WNYC, Time Out Chicago, the Washington Post, the New York Times, LA Weekly, and many others.
In its 11 years, the program at GVSU has developed a proud and supportive culture. Realizing a longtime goal of an “100% homegrown project,” Ryan, who also teaches composition at GVSU, turned to program graduates: Adam Cuthbert, Matt Finch, and Daniel Rhode after continuing to follow the work of the three composers on their recently formed experimental collective, slashsound.
Return is a forward-looking electro-acoustic vision. The 15 tracks are a lush and explorative marriage of electronic and acoustic sounds and gestures, in what Cuthbert describes as “electronic chamber music.” While rooted in the initial notation provided by the composers to the ensemble, recordings of this material were then used by the composers as the raw material (or “samples”) for the album. Despite creating something completely new out of the source material, the traditional composer/performer foundation provides an undeniable intimacy and warmth.
01. daily limits lie (Rhode) [2:30]
02. location sharing (Cuthbert) [5:44]
03. with a hint of blue (Finch) [3:10]
04. glass surface (Rhode) [6:06]
05. glacier (Finch) [8:32]
06. background refresh (Cuthbert) [5:04]
07. dearest rewinder these (Rhode) [7:39]
08. elegant (Cuthbert) [2:16]
09. under its own colorless weight (Finch) [8:27]
10. there are no gradients (Cuthbert) [6:39]
11. ash (Rhode) [0:58]
12. in the manner of her operations (Cuthbert) [5:46]
13. airport for light (Rhode) [1:29]
14. in a clear wall (Finch) [7:32]
15. return (Rhode) [6:36]
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"Of all the amazing projects we’ve been a part of for the past decade, this recording represents everything I envisioned when I started to build a community at GVSU—an entire album composed by three outstanding creative thinkers that came through our program, enthusiastically performed and recorded by current students. The result is a strikingly beautiful 78-minute journey that has been the most gratifying experience of my career."
NME performs Cuthbért’s “location sharing” at the 2017 New Music Gathering in Bowling Green, OH.
Produced by Bill Ryan.
Engineered by Niko Schroeder & Nate Bliton.
Mixed by Adam Cuthbert, Matt Finch, & Daniel Rhode.
Mastered by Randy Merrill @ Sterling Sound.
Artwork/Design by Michael Cina.
Stuart Wolferman // email@example.com // 718-938-7679