James Wood is one of England’s leading composers of the younger generation. Composer, conductor and virtuosopercussionist, Wood has received commissions from the Arditti Quartet, BBC Proms and The Kings Singers and is alsofounder/director of the New London Chamber Choir and London’s Center for Microtonal Music.
Wood’s unique writing for percussion is showcased on this CD containing two major works for percussion ensembleperforming on a large array of instruments, including some of his own design and construction.
Village Burial with Fire evokes a princely Hindu funeral ceremony, dealing with death and the after-life froman earthly point of view. Spirit Festival with Lamentations looks at the same phenomenon from the side of thespirit world , featuring Robert van Sice as soloist on a quatertone-marimba. Both works incorporate chants derived fromthe vocal language of Sri-Lankan drummers.
With this release, Mode is proud to begin a new series with Robert van Sice, considered to be the world’sleading exponent of contemporary marimba music. Concert tours have taken him across four continents, including numerouspremieres of concertos, chamber and solo works by leading composers. Van Sice regularly appears in Europe’s majorcontemporary music festivals and with leading ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Contrechamps andL’Itineraire.
The young Dutch percussion quartet Percussive Rotterdam make their recorded debut here. Formed in 1991 aroundVillage Burial with Fire, they have toured extensively around Europe and the U.S. Their awards include the prestigiousKranichstein Musikpreis from Darmstadt, Germany as well as second prize in the 1993 Gaudeamus Competition in Holland.