Aventa Ensemble – Strange Matter

Di Castri, Nobles, Llugdar, and Ruders

1. Strange Matter Zosha Di Castri (8:05)
2.  Einstein’s Dreams – May 14, 1905 Jordan Nobles (8:40)
3.  Todos los recuerdos presentes envolvían ese sonido y algo me miró Analia Llugdar (11:24)
4.-6.  AbysmPoul Ruders i. Abysm (13:39) ii. Burning (1:40) iii. Spectre (8:22)

Total duration: 51:50

Aventa Ensemble
Bill Linwood, conductor; Mark Takeshi McGregor, flute; Russell Bajer, oboe; AK Coope, clarinet; Jenny Gunter, bassoon; Darnell Linwood, horn; Lou Ranger, trumpet; François Levesque, trombone; Corey Rae, percussion; Miranda Wong/Roger Admiral, piano; Muge Buyukcelen, violin; Mieka Michaux, viola; Alasdair Money, cello; Darren Buhr, doublebass

Produced by Aventa Ensemble
Live in concert:
Strange Matter:  Nov. 18, 2018, Victoria, BC
Einstein’s Dreams – May 14, 1905:  June 3, 2011, Copenhagen, Athelas New Music Festival
Todos los recuerdos…: Oct. 2, 2016, Victoria, BC
Abysm:  Mar. 5, 2008, Scandinavia House, NYC

Digital Editing and Mastering: Bill Linwood
CD design: Denise Burt, Elevator Graphics
Cover Artwork: Denise Burt
Special Thanks: Kirk McNally (University of Victoria); Wise Music Classical; Edition Wilhelm Hansen; Canadian Music Centre

Strange Matter is available from:

TK503 © 2021 Redshift Music

Albums by Aventa Ensemble

Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer/pianist living in New York. Her work (which has been performed in Canada, the US, South America, Asia, and Europe) extends beyond purely concert music including projects with electronics, sound arts, and collaborations with video and dance. She has worked with such ensembles as the San Francisco Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the L.A. Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, ICE, Wet Ink, Ekmeles, JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, the NEM, and Talea Ensemble among others. Zosha is currently the Francis Goelet Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University.  zoshadicastri.com

Strange Matter (2011):  “Physicist, philosophers and artists have been trying to get to the root of matter for most of recorded history. From the four states of matter, to molecules, to atoms, to the nucleus, neutrons and protons, and finally, deep matter, where quarks and gluons such as “strange” matter are presumed to exist, an infinite intricacy reveals itself (ever more minute). I was drawn to the idea of strange matter partially because of its name, but also because of its unusual properties. It is thought of as a “liquid”: comprised of “up”, “down” and “strange quarks”. Strange matter is much heavier than normal matter, and within it, there are no boundaries. Scientists believe that it could only be created if matter were to be squished to an extreme degree with a critical amount of pressure and density. There was something evocative in this that seemed to resonate with the odd gestural musical material that was circulating in my mind – never behaving the way I would expect, coming from me, and yet always remaining a bit mysterious.”  – Zosha Di Castri

JUNO award-winning composer Jordan Nobles is known for creating music filled with an “unearthly beauty” (Mondomagazine) that makes listeners want to “close (their) eyes and transcend into a cloud of music” (Discorder Magazine). He has received many honours in recent years including a JUNO Award, a Western Canadian Music Award, and numerous International prizes. He was also the recipient of Jan V. Matejcek Award from SOCAN in recognition of his “overall success in ‘New Classical Music” and was honoured with the “Barbara Pentland Award of Excellence” from the Canadian Music Centre for his “extraordinary contribution to Canadian Music”. His focus is spatial music, making musicians stand in weird places with stopwatches, and composing works for open instrumentation. He lives in Deep Cove, BC with his wife Kelly, and son Julian. www.jordannobles.com

“The title of this work, Einstein’s Dream – May 14, 1905, was taken from a chapter in the novel EINSTEIN’S DREAMS by Alan Lightman. In this wonderful work of fantasies about time, this specific chapter describes a place which is the centre of time. Here, time stands still. Raindrops hang motionless in air. Pendulums of clocks stop mid-swing. As one approaches this place time moves more slowly. Heartbeats slow, breathing slackens, even light slows to a feeble red glow. Precious moments can be preserved forever as people here are frozen like butterflies mounted in a case. Upon leaving the centre, time will again begin slowly and accelerate as you move farther away. until it once again races in it’s hectic place. This chapter has inspired me to dream myself, and to write a work with similar qualities: A heartbeat pulse that gradually slows as we approach the frozen, motionless centre of the piece; only to inevitably accelerate to the hectic pace of life as we move farther away from the middle.” – Jordan Nobles

Born in Argentina, composer Analia Llugdar initially studied piano and composition at the Cordoba National University, Argentina. She continued her composition studies at the University of Montréal, where she completed a Master’s degree with José Evangelista and a Ph.D. in Music composition with Denis Gougeon. Drawing upon literature, history, dance, theater and plastic arts, her catalogue of music includes some 40 pieces for voice, orchestra, chamber music, solo instrument, ballet, opera and mixed music.

“Todos los recuerdos presentes envolvían ese sonido y algo me miró (2007) is a reflection on the place that memory occupies in artistic creation in general and in music in particular. The notion of memory joins the idea of resonance as musical ideas are generated. The work is divided into twelve sections, articulated by contrasts, gradual transformations or triggering elements that appear by chance.“ – Analia Llugdar

Poul Ruders was born in Ringsted, Denmark on March 27, 1949. His early studies in piano and organ eventually led to studies in orchestration with the Danish composer Karl Aage Rasmussen.  Ruders regards his own compositional development as a gradual one, with his true voice emerging with the chamber concerto Four Compositions in 1980. Writing about Ruders, the English critic Stephen Johnson states “He can be gloriously, explosively extrovert one minute – withdrawn, haunted, intently inward-looking the next. Super-abundant high spirits alternate with pained, almost expressionistic lyricism; simplicity and directness with astringent irony.”  

Abysm derives its title from the literary quotation heading the first of the 3 movements of the entire work.  Not uncommonly, writers put a motto – often a short quotation from famous literary pieces … on the page preceding their own work, as an “appetizer” of sorts or a spiritual and mental companion to what the reader is about to experience.  Each of the 3 movements is inspired by a short literary quotation taken out of its original context, serving solely as a spiritual inspiration for the music that follows; in other words, it is the beauty and profundity of the words and the many-layered associations yielded by them, which are mirrored in the music.” – Poul Ruders poulruders.net

With a reputation for superb performance and ambitious programming, Aventa has established itself as one of Canada’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Comprised of musicians who are passionate about new music and its place in our culture, Aventa pushes musical boundaries through diverse projects, collaboration, and cultural exchange. https://aventa.ca/