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Anthony Cheung's "Dystemporal" Now Available from Wergo

Wergo, the iconic new music recording label, has released a new album of six premiere recordings of works by Anthony Cheung. Performed by the Talea Ensemble (which Cheung co-directs alongside percussionist Alex Lipowski) and Ensemble Intercontemporain, these works represent a formative period in Cheung's career, and this new recording presents a landmark document of Cheung's unique compositional voice. 

The earliest work on this album also is scored for the smallest ensemble; Windswept Cypresses, for flute, viola, harp, and percussion, was written in a period of ten days when Cheung was only 23 years old. Enjamb, Infuse, Implode, available on PSNY, is scored for six players and describes the actions taken by several dimensions of this work—melody, harmony, and phrasing. Centripedalocity, along with Running the (Full) Gamut), were both composed in 2008, and show Cheung's connection to post-Bop jazz, enjambing melodic lines remeniscent of Thelonious Monk with elegant writing for microtonal harp.  

(excerpt from "Enjamb, Infuse, Implode") 

The two larger ensemble works on this recording, SynchroniCities and Dystemporal, are more recent works, both performed by the ensembles who commissioned them. SynchroniCities, commissioned and performed by the Talea Ensemble under James Baker, sees Cheung's multivalent compositional style explore the concept of space—Cheung calls it a "personal sonic travelogue". And Dystemporal, commissioned and performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, explores that other major dimension: time. Smooth and striated, time in this work becomes a spiral, a groove, a canon; the final movement stunningly imagines an orchestration of Henry Cowell's "Rhythmicon", which Cheung describes as "a machine designed by Léon Theremin to re-create Cowell’s theories about the unification of overtone and rhythmic ratios, a true rhythmic and harmonic 'consonance' resolving the overall arrhythmic dissonance that permeates the piece."

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