Frequently shifting focus as its harmonies melt one into another, this swirling piece finds its wildly branching roots touching on many styles of music—from Delius and Debussy to bop to techno. Los Tigres de Marte is sometimes lush and enveloping, sometimes brittle and percussive, sometimes suspended and motionless, sometimes agitated and aggressive, but always engaging.
Daniel Lentz writes about Los Tigres de Marte:
“Like many American composers of my generation, I was raised on a diet of bebop and serial music. In college in the 1960s, my music reflected these influences and teachings—from Miles Davis to Stockhausen. I abandoned all this in 1970/71 when I made my first pieces in my then-new style—one of clear, tonal harmonies and ‘pretty’ melodies. In Los Tigres de Marte, I tried to place my recent (still harmonically based) language inside of one that resembles that of my student days: tight clusters, glissandi, and even some bebop-driven rhythms.”
The recording features the playing of long-time Cold Blue clarinetist/collaborator Marty Walker, for whom the piece was written in 2003, and a quartet of some of Los Angeles’ top studio string players, all bathed in lively, glowing textures of electronic sounds and samples.
Daniel Lentz’s works have been commissioned and performed by noted ensembles and soloists around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Zeitgeist, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A prolific composer whose works are often characterized by intricate musical processes, a bit of theater, and an interest in the human voice, Lentz has written large- and small-scale works for most common instrumental combinations, many unique ones, and the many ensembles (usually consisting of multiple keyboards, singers, and electronics) with which he has toured his music throughout the U., Europe, and Japan since the early 1970s. Lentz has been the recipient of many awards and grants, including five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Video presentations of his work have been seen on Alive From Off Center (PBS), the Preview Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver, BC, NHK-TV in Japan, NOS-TV in Holland, BBC-TV in England, West German Television, Czech Television, and many local television stations in the U.S. and abroad. Recordings of his music have been released on the New Albion, Angel/EMI, Cold Blue, Fontec, Aoede, Les Disques du Crepuscule, Gyroscope/Caroline, Icon, Materiali Sonori, and ABC labels. Commenting on Lentz’s music, noted composer/performer Harold Budd has said, “I have heard the music for the new millennium, and it’s Daniel Lentz’s.” The Los Angeles Reader has written that “Lentz’s work ‘chortles’ in ways both sensual and intellectual.”
“Los Tigres de Marte mutates dizzyingly through multiple keys and stylistic episodes: Debussyesque one moment, Glass-like another, with aggressively stormy moments offset by harp-flavoured interludes of delicate languor. It’s a concerto of sorts for Marty Walker with his clarinet enveloped by glissandi strings and electronic choirs, bells and assorted other percussion.” —Ron Schepper, Textura and Stylus
“Daniel Lentz offers the most sonically dense music of the four discs [CB0015–18]. Clarinet, violin, viola and cello, combine forces with all manner of electronic keyboard sound, including quite a bit of harp and brass, to convey music of near orchestral force and scope.” —Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox