Garden of Diverging Paths

Mivos Quartet
Kate Soper
New Focus Recordings
Jun 10, 2016
Purchase (Bandcamp)
Purchase (New Focus)

Mivos’s second solo album, featuring works by Taylor Brook, Andrew Greenwald, and Kate Soper. Josh Modney performs on all tracks, and is featured in the “Narcissus” first violin solo in Soper’s work.

Press Release:

The album’s title track, Taylor Brook’s El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan (The Garden of Diverging Paths), takes its name from a short story by the Argentinian magic realist Jorge Luis Borges. Brook explores Borges’s idea of alternative histories, creating six movements based on musical histories that could have been. He imagines worlds where musical evolution made slightly different turns, forever altering fundamental musical concepts of tuning and playing styles.

Andrew Greenwald’s A thing is a hole in a thing it is not borrows the title from a dictum by the American minimalist artist Carl Andre. Greenwald, a member of the composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse, writes music of extreme complexity and timbral variety. In “A thing is a hole in a thing it is not”, Greenwald creates a kaleidoscope of choked bow sounds, fragile string harmonics, and startling silences.

In the album’s final work, composer/soprano Kate Soper joins Mivos for Nadja, a three song cycle which sets texts by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ovid, and André Breton. Soper, a co-director, performer, and composer with New York’s Wet Ink Ensemble, links these texts through their common focus: feminine love and desire. Similar to such previous works as “Cipher” for soprano and violin or “Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say” for soprano and flute, Soper masterfully blurs the traditional lines between vocalists and instrumentalists, sharing the dramatic role with her string-playing colleagues.

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