Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CD Review: The Kronos Quartet Re-Visits The Work Of Derek Charke With "Tundra Songs"

American string section, the Kronos Quartet recently celebrated their 40th anniversary together. After their first performance in 1973, the Kronos Quartet have released over forty albums and scored over a dozen films and their latest release, "Tundra Songs" looks to push the boundaries of contemporary classical music.
 
Inspired by the music of Canadian flutist Derek Charke, the six-songs represented on this new album were recorded between 2002 and 2005. The music looks to emulate the sounds of Inuit throat singing, made famous by world-reknown singer Tanya Tagaq. Beginning quickly with the short takes of "Lullaby" and "Throat Song," the Kronos Quartet finally get to open up their talents on the thirteen-minute piece "Cercle Du Nord III," which premiered live at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, Canada in 2006. The song's energy lays the perfect backdrop for the vast snowy lands of northern Canada. After a couple more quick numbers, the Kronos Quartet dives into the five part suite entitled "Tundra Songs." This thirty-minute song features vocals/chants from Tanya Tagaq as the song paints the perfect soundtrack to nature and the seasons.
 
The 28-page full color booklet that accompanies the new album, features a load of information on the songs and the meanings of the performances. The Kronos Quartet also have a very busy live schedule which currently runs to the end of June. To find out more about the Kronos Quartet's latest release "Tundra Songs," please visit kronosquartet.org.

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