This CD presents the premiere recordings of two spirited and enticing quartets that draw on Peter Garland’s well-traveled ear and great sense of personal vision. Both works move with a unique sense of grace and a sincerity of expression that is purely Garlandesque—marked by a sometimes lively dancing, a sometimes alluring stasis, and an often sauntering gait that allow musical ideas to seem to appear intuitively and develop subconsciously..
Performed and recorded beautifully by members of the renowned British new music ensemble Apartment House, which has for many years championed the music of such composers as Christian Wolf, John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Philip Corner, and many other experimental and avant-garde composers at major festivals throughout Europe.
Peter Garland is a composer, world traveler, musicologist, writer and former publisher (Soundings Press). He studied music composition with Harold Budd and James Tenney at Cal Arts and maintained long friendships with Lou Harrison, Conlon Nancarrow, Paul Bowles, and Dane Rudhyar. Garland also studied performance art with Wolfgang Stoerchle and American literature with poet Clayton Eshleman.
As a musicologist, he has primarily focused on Native American, Mexican, and Southwestern American musics and 20th-century experimental composers of the Americas, championing the music of such composers as Revueltas, Partch, Nancarrow, and others long before their music became fashionable and regularly programmed.
Since the early ’70s, Garland’s own music has been marked by a return to a “radical consonance” and a simplification of formal structure influenced by Cage, Harrison, early minimalism, and a great variety of world musics. His unique and highly engaging music has been performed around the world by such noted performers as pianists Aki Takahashi and Herbert Henck, percussionist William Winant, accordionist Guy Klucesvek, and the Kronos Quartet and released on the Tzadik, New Albion, Cold Bue, Mode, Avant, Toshiba-EMI/Angel and other labels.
“Peter’s quartet [No. 1] is the most beautiful thing since Corelli.” —Lou Harrison
“Garland… an avatar of an American experimental tradition … a composer of mesmerizing music; and in many ways, the musical conscience of my generation….” —Kyle Gann, Chamber Music magazine