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291 Gallery - The Launch of Max Richter

291 Gallery presents:

The Launch of Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks
Thursday 4th March 2004 at 8pm, £8 & £5 (concs)

Max Richter¹s new ensemble launches The Blue Notebooks at 291 Gallery. Richter is a British-based, German-born pianist and composer. Following 2002¹s acclaimed Memoryhouse - performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, The Blue Notebooks, is his second solo album - a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope.

Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano melody, the album moves through gorgeous, heart-wrenching string swells of On The Nature Of Daylight (which quotes a tune from ŒMemoryhouse¹); through to sparse but lyrical piano pieces; hazy, swirling atmospherics, avalanche pulse-beats and partially occluded melodies that recall Aphex twins Ambient Works albums; and to reverberant organ / choir recordings. Utilising piano, cello, violin and viola, alongside electronic beats (made using a variety of antique electronics and Reaktor), spoken word passages and the occasional field recording, other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders. The organ music was made for a chapel near Tourtres in South-West France, whilst the environmental sounds are mainly recorded around London.

The tone of the album is generally downbeat ­ a series of bittersweet articulations that seem suspended somewhere between a certain dreamy sense of wonder / awe and a heavy melancholia. Peppered across Richters music like diary entries (and backed with attendant typewriter clatter) are a number of literary texts or shadow journals (lifted from Kafkas the Blue Octavo notebooks, and from Polish author Czseslaw Miloszs Hymn Of The Pearl and Unattainable Earth). Apparently chosen by Richter on instinct, they were recorded by acclaimed British actress Tilda Swinton, long time collaborator of Derek Jarman. These brief passages muse over time, memory, and the impermanent nature of things.

Born in 1966, Max Richter trained in composition and piano at Edinburgh University, at the Royal Academy of Music, and with Luciano Berio in Florence. Richter then co-founded the renowned contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus, where for for ten years he commissioned and performed works by Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe and Steve Reich. Richter was also pro-active in developing the groups use of live sampling. From 1996-1999 he worked closely with The Future Sound of London on their Dead Cities, and The Isness releases as co-writer/ co-producer. Maxs orchestrations have also graced In The Møde by drum n bass pioneer Roni Size.

This performance features Louisa Fuller & Katharine Chappell on Violins, John Metcalfe on Viola, Chris Worsey & Ian Burdge on Cellos and Max & Kirsteen Davidson-Kelly on Keyboards and samples. It also includes pieces from memoryhouse released on BBC Late Junction Records 2002.

The Blue Notebooks is the fourth release on FatCats 130701 imprint, established as an outlet for orchestrated, instrumental material.
Label:130701 (distributed by Vital),
Formats: CD (CD13-04),
Release date: 23rd February 2004

Tickets: in advance 020 7383 5003, or on the door

For details of 291¹s programme or to join our mailing list contact Lisa Jensen 0207 613 5676

For information about 291 Gallery or the 291 Programme contact Lisa Jensen: 0207 613 5676

291 Gallery, Director Edwina Orr,
291 Hackney Road London E2 8NA
Tel:020 7613 5676 Fax: 020 7613 5692


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