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Circle of Wind - chamber music for saxophones by Colin MacDonald

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Circle of Wind - chamber music for saxophones by Colin MacDonald

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 6:54 AM
Author: Mark Higgins

Circle of Wind - chamber music for saxophones by Colin MacDonald for immediate release Vancouver Saxophonist and composer Colin MacDonald is excited to announce the release of his debut CD recording, Circle of Wind. A collection of his chamber music for saxophone written between 1996 and 2003, this album features MacDonald as a soloist, as well as in collaboration with pianist Ken Cormier, cellist Stefan Hintersteininger, and with the Saxophilia saxophone quartet. MacDonald's compositions for saxophone are his most personal works, written to expand his own performance repertoire in a postminimalist style. Influenced by composers Steve Reich, Michael Nyman, and Michael Gordon, MacDonald's pieces also demonstrate his pervasive interest in world music rhythms from Africa, India, and Indonesia. The six works on this album range emotionally from quietly introspective, to heartfelt and sentimental, to exuberantly ecstatic. Pak Alit and Thaumaturgy, solo works, highlight MacDonald's virtuosity on soprano and alto saxophones, respectively. Created as showcases for the extended technique known as circular breathing, both pieces flow with spiraling melodic patterns spinning on and on, sometimes creating a "conversation" of two melodies sharing one line. The duo for soprano sax and piano, Flow Like Water, and the saxophone quartet Prana both explore canonic patterning, reminiscent of Reich, that surround the listener in energetic rhythmic cycles. Here Again is an unapologetically romantic duo for soprano saxophone and piano. Written for two friends, the incredible clarity and flute-like tone of MacDonald on Soprano evokes the tender and sweet emotions of an evolving relationship. Prison of Bone, a moody work for eleven saxophones, is MacDonald at his most darkly introspective. In it he plays each of the parts, weaving and juxtaposing them to create an enigmatic journey into the soul of the composer as interpreted through the artistry of the performer. Circle of Wind is available exclusively from [URL="http://crypticmusic.bandcamp.com/"]http://crypticmusic.bandcamp.com/[/URL], in multiple digital download formats, as well as physical CD. Scores for all works are available from [URL="http://www.crypticmusic.ca"]www.crypticmusic.ca[/URL] and the Canadian Music Centre. More information about Colin MacDonald and his works for saxophone as well as other instruments and ensembles can be had at his web site: [URL="http://www.crypticmusic.ca"]www.crypticmusic.ca[/URL]. Colin MacDonald is a freelance saxophonist, composer and arranger living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He completed a B.Mus. in saxophone at the University of British Columbia, where he studied with Julia Nolan and David Branter. He teaches classical saxophone at Douglas College and St. George’s School. Colin has studied jazz arranging with Fred Stride, world rhythms with Glen Velez and Trichy Sankaran, and Balinese gamelan with Michael Tenzer and Dewa Ketut Alit. His works have been premiered by the Turning Point Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, Ad Mare Wind Quintet, and The Microscore Project. In 2007 the Vancouver-based Fringe Group commissioned and recorded the percussion quartet Enginuity. His compositions Ex Libris and Dragons in the Air were part of the Vertical Orchestra spatial-music performances at the Vancouver Public Library. The gamelan compositions Canang Sari and Arakok were featured in performances at the Bali Arts Festival in Indonesia. In 2006 he formed his own chamber orchestra, The Colin MacDonald Pocket Orchestra, to present his original works. Colin is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. As a saxophonist Colin has been a founding member of the Saxophilia sax quartet, and was co-director of the new music group Ensemble Symposium from 1995-2005. Colin has performed with the Vancouver New Music Ensemble, the Vertical Orchestra, the Vancouver Miniaturist Ensemble, and the West Coast Symphony Orchestra. As a member of Saxophilia he was involved with Vancouver Opera's 2010 production of John Adams' Nixon in China.


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