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Apollo Duo | Genesis

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Instrumental
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by Apollo Duo

This is our debut album, featuring three works which we commissioned in 2014 and an exciting compliment of supporting contemporary music for flute and percussion. Enter into the sound world of various flutes combined with marimba, gongs, and drums!
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Piedra En La Piedra
10:10 album only
2. Ilta
9:34 album only
3. Azul: I. Cerulean Ice
5:40 $0.99
4. Azul: II. Sapphiric Fire
4:38 $0.99
5. Origin of Energy
6:38 $0.99
6. Two Duos: I. Whac-a-Mole
3:39 album only
7. Two Duos: II. Floam
4:53 album only
8. Song of Songs: Chapter 4
8:29 $0.99
9. Kembang Suling: I.
3:50 album only
10. Kembang Suling: II.
3:17 album only
11. Kembang Suling: III.
3:08 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Genesis" is the Apollo Duo's debut album, and it features three works they commissioned in 2014. Supporting these three commissions is an eclectic selection of contemporary works for flute and percussion.

"Piedra en la Piedra" by Ricardo Lorenz
The title of the work was borrowed from the collection of poems entitled "Canto General" by the late Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. "Piedra en la piedra" translates as stone on stone or stone against stone. This four-word phrase jumped at me while reading Neruda's Canto General because at the time, and while I was composing Piedra en la Piedra, the newspapers were reporting two stone-related stories that raised contrasting, almost antagonistic issues. On the one hand, the falling stones of the Berlin wall, symbolizing integration, and on the other hand the flying stones used as weapons by the Palestinian kids of the occupied territories in Israel, symbolizing segregation. This convergence of imagery was the basis for this musical work written for flute and marimba.

"Ilta" by David Maki
Ilta opens with gongs, alto flute and vibes in a slowly unfolding texture based on the spectrum of pitches contained in the low C# and E gongs. It is largely consonant in a somewhat modal-sounding area of three or four sharps. The solo flute introduces a more angular, less tonal sounding music that, after a few interruptions, provides the basis for the active middle section featuring C flute and glockenspiel. Slowly, the glockenspiel reintroduces the pitch collection from the first section; after a brief transition, the low gong marks the last section as the opening texture returns, but with C flute. This last section, along with the modal inflections of the entire piece, brought to my mind a specific image: I was in Finland with my dad one summer and each evening the sun would dip just below the horizon and the night would take on a glowing, quiet light, never getting completely dark. Ilta is the Finnish word for night or evening.

"Azul" by Nathan Daughtrey
The title is simply Spanish for the color “blue”. The two movements reperesent two opposing incarnations of the color blue. The first movement, Cerulean Ice, features only metallic keyboard percussion and begins with fairly harshly struck unison 5ths in the crotales and vibraphone. The contemplative mood is meant to suggest the vast icy-blue glaciers of Antarctica. The second movement, Sapphiric Fire, utilizes only the marimba with the flute. The “infernal” tempo and constantly shifting meters/pulses represents the unpredictability of the element fire. It functions much like a rondo, insistently returning to the opening motivic materials, while also bringing in some elements from the first movement.

Also providing shape and context for the work is the short, dark poem by Robert Frost, Fire and Ice.

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice,
From what I've tasted in desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Azul was commissioned by the Apollo Duo in 2014.

"Origin of Energy" by Jason Cress
This musical process begins and ends in complete fragmentation and asynchronous interplay–developing from silence, and gradually fusing together. The centric force that pulls all of these fragments into a synchronous and sequential whole is steady and curiously made of the very thing that started the work, silence. Throughout, a paradox is embodied in the flute and percussion as they become one through fragmentation and separate through synchronicity. This complex symbiosis then reaches its dramatic center point and returns to oblivion. It is the renewal and dissipation of energy.

Origin of Energy was commissioned by the Apollo Duo in 2014.

"Two Duos" by Mark Engebretson
The movement titles for Two Duos are taken, respectively, from the name of a game and a toy. Whac-a-Mole is an arcade game in which players use plastic mallets to hit figures of moles when they pop up from holes. Listeners will undoubtedly understand the meaning of the title when they hear the music. See http://whacamole.com for more information and links to online versions of the game. According to the extremely entertaining website http://www.floamit.com, Floam is a microbead modeling compound. It’s kind of like a space-age Play-Doh made of small Styrofoam beads (such as you might find in a beanbag chair) that are colored and sticky. You can make sculptures out of Floam, but it doesn’t dry out, so it can be re-shaped over and over again. The music is appropriately sticky and gooey. On a more serious level, both movements, and especially Floam, represent a renewed attempt to discover and develop means of working with harmony in ways that are both somewhat “traditional” and at the same time, appropriate to our time and place. Whac-a-Mole further tries to maximally exploit a minimum of percussion instruments (snare drum, bass drum and hi-hat) in a virtuosic context (especially for the flute), along with metric modulations for both.

"Song of Songs: Chapter 4" by Danielle Fisher
Song of Songs, Chapter 4 is a programmatic work based on the 26th book of the Bible, the Song of Solomon. This book chronicles the story of two young lovers in their coming of age and finding their perfect love for one another. The fourth chapter specifically details the praise offered to the bride from her groom, and the imagery of the two lovers meeting in their garden. The music represents the impressive bond between two lovers. The marimba and flute share rhythmic and fluttering melodies that entwine effortlessly to evoke intimate reflections in the listener.

Song of Songs: Chapter 4 was commissioned by the Apollo Duo in 2014.

"Kembang Suling" by Gareth Farr
Kembang Suling represents three musical snapshots of Asia:

I On the magical island of Bali, flowing gamelan melodies intertwine with the sound of the suling (Balinese bamboo flute) to form rich colourful tapestries. The marimba and flute start out as one, their sounds indistinguishable. Bit by bit the flute asserts its independence, straying further and further from the marimba melody. An argument ensues – but all is resolved at the climax.

II The haunting sounds of the Japanese shakuhachi flute float out over the warm echoes of the rolling landscape.

III Complex rhythms and South Indian scales set the two instruments off in a race to see who can outplay the other. The marimba is set in a three bar cycle of 5/4+5/8+5/16 but the flute plays a different cross rhythm each time, returning to the marimba’s pattern at the end of every cycle.



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