Steve Reich calls Kingdom Come, Marshall’s impassioned reflection on the Bosnian conflict, "a remarkably beautiful work." Here it is paired with Hymnodic Delays, which features Marshall’s graceful electronic manipulation of traditional hymn tunes for vocal quartet, and Fog Tropes II, commissioned by Kronos Quartet, an updated version of Fog Tropes, one of the composer’s best-known works.
“… a composer with his own voice. The amalgam of influences on that voice includes Sibelius, Indonesian music, Eastern European folk song, electronics, and most recently, American hymns. The resulting music seamlessly and gracefully combines all these sources into a generally reflective and increasingly elegiac music that is often extremely moving. His recent Kingdom Come, for orchestra and tape, combines many of these sources into a remarkably beautiful work.” –-Steve Reich
Combining interests in electronic music and Asian performing traditions, American composer Ingram Marshall has developed one of the most distinctive and singular voices in contemporary music. Since the late 1970s, Marshall has applied his interests to developing a body of work that blends elements of speech and music with electronics and natural acoustics. Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed calls Marshall’s writing “remarkable music … It exemplifies our contemporary experience of music."
The focal work on this new recording is Kingdom Come–-Marshall’s impassioned reflection on the Bosnian conflict–-which makes use of vocal sounds and bells recorded in a Croatian Catholic church and a Serbian Orthodox church in Dubrovnik. There is a Bosnian element in the music as well, exemplified by an old recording of a Bosnian Muslim “gusle” epic singer. The piece was originally commissioned and premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in 1997, and the ensemble is featured on this recording under the direction of Paul Lustig Dunkel. The work is dedicated to Marshall’s brother-in-law, who was killed by a mine while working as a journalist in Bosnia in 1994.
Hymnodic Delays features Marshall’s graceful electronic manipulation of traditional hymn tunes for vocal quartet. Through his previous work with Paul Hillier, lead baritone and director of Theater of Voices, Marshall knew that his idea of using electronic processing devices to extend, alter and otherwise “effect” the voice would be a welcomed experiment. Subsequently, the piece was written for four singers, all being delayed and echoed. The first three movements rework psalmodic settings from the end of the 18th century, and the last (anonymous) setting is from the Bay Psalm Book, Ninth Edition, of 1698. In Marshall’s words, these reworkings are “simply elaborations that seek to pay homage to the straightforward, honest and often poignantly expressive music of this era.”
Fog Tropes II, commissioned and premiered by the Kronos Quartet in London in 1994, is an updated version of Fog Tropes, one of the composer’s best-known works. Although it shares a common background with the original work for brass sextet and tape, Fog Tropes II differs in that the pre-recorded sounds and live sounds are of contrasting natures.
Kingdom Come is Ingram Marshall’s second recording for Nonesuch. His debut release for the label, Three Penitential Visions / Hidden Voices, was issued in 1990.
Produced by Wilhelm Hellweg
Recorded April 2000 at SUNY Purchase Concert Hall – The Performing Arts Center, Purchase, NY
Engineer: Mark Donahue
Assistant Engineer: Blanton Auspaugh
Produced and engineered by Judith Sherman
Recorded October 2000 at The United Church in Warren Village, Warren VT
Live Digital Delay Processing: Ingram Marshall
Assistant Engineer: Steve Blair
Mixed by John Kilgore at Masque Sound
Fog Tropes II
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded August 1996 at Skywalker Sound, CA
Engineered and mixed by Craig Silvey at Skywalker Sound, CA
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Klepko
Assistant Mix Engineer: Bob Levy
Mastered at Sound/Mirror Inc., Jamaica Plain, MA
All compositions by Ingram Marshall
Design by Evan Gaffney
Cover by Gilles Peress / Magnum
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
American Composers Orchestra, Paul Lustig Dunkel, conductor (1)
Theatre of Voices (2-5): Paul Hillier, director; Ellen Hargis, soprano; Steven Rickards, countertenor; Paul Elliott, tenor; Paul Hillier, baritone
Kronos Quartet (6): David Harrington, violin; John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello