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Lou Harrison   (1917 - 2003)

composer

Born in Portland in 1917, the American composer Lou Harrison won a particular reputation for his percussion music, his experiments in intonation, and his synthesis of East and West in his music. A pupil and friend of Henry Cowell, whose interest in other musical traditions he shared, he also profited from a close study of the work of Charles Ives.  Lou Harrison collaborated with John Cage in San Francisco, studied under Schoenberg in Los Angeles, wrote under Virgil Thomson in New York, continuing a varied career and the development of his many gifts as a poet, artist and musician.

Many of Harrison's early works are for percussion instruments, often made out of what would usually be regarded as junk or found objects such as garbage cans and steel brake drums. He also wrote a number of pieces using Schoenberg's twelve tone technique, including the opera Rapunzel and his Symphony on G (Symphony No. 1) (1952). Several works feature the tack piano, a kind of prepared piano with small nails inserted into the hammers to give the instrument a more percussive sound. Harrison's mature musical style is based on "melodicles", short motifs which are turned backwards and upsidedown to create a musical mode the piece is based on.

 

Live Dates

10/11/2011   Hillier brings attention to Australian music
Limelight Magazine feature about the music on A Bridge of Dreams which brings Australian music to international attention and "offers huge potential for the expansion of cultural understanding". Read the article here
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04/07/2012   Audiophile Audition

A Bridge of Dreams
"Hillier continues his penchant for excellent recitals in superb sonics."
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09/02/2012   Gramophone

A Bridge of Dreams
"Anne Boyd's As I crossed a bridge of dreams steals the show (...) and - like everything else here - admirably performed"
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01/02/2012   BBC Music Magazine

A Bridge of Dreams
4/5 Stars

"Unsual, moving pieces nicely performed and recorded"
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01/02/2012   International Record Review

A Bridge of Dreams
"This is an intriguing disc of barely known and often very beautiful music"
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30/01/2012   The Whole Note

A Bridge of Dreams
"Curious and delightfully captivating."
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27/01/2012   American Record Guide

A Bridge of Dreams
"This is a delightful release full of worthy music and performances that bring it alive with infectious joy."
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01/12/2011   Allmusic.com

A Bridge of Dreams
"This is an album that should be of strong interest to fans of new choral music from off the beaten path"
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27/11/2011   The Observer

A Bridge of Dreams
"A world-class choir at its best"
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24/11/2011   SA-CD.net

A Bridge of Dreams
5/5 Stars

"Lovers of choral music should not miss this inspiring programme ... a typically superlative performance by Ars Nova Copenhagen"
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Discography

A Bridge of Dreams
A Bridge of Dreams
Harrison, Edwards, Body, Sola, Boyd

SACD 6.220597 (2011)

Unusua music from the Pacific Rim featuring composers and poets from China, Japan, California, New Zealand and Australia recorded by Ars Nova Copenhagen and Paul Hillier


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