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Maim (Water) (mode219)

by Chaya Czernowin

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Maim, a major piece in Ms. Czernowin’s œuvre, is a large scale, 50-minute orchestral tryptch with 5 soloists. The 5 soloists are include regular interpreters of her music: Rico Gubler, tubax (a hybrid of a saxophone & tuba); Peter Veale, oboe & musette; John Mark Harris, piano & harpsichord; Seth Josel, guitars; Mary Oliver, viola.

Maim, “water” in Hebrew, is the metaphor which dominates the piece. Elementary forms of water appear throughout Maim, musically translated. Scattered droplets — articulated as points — close Maim zarim, maim gnuvim; the same droplets begin Mei Mecha’a, but this time, perhaps, condensed. Condensation, indeed, is meant in almost a literal sense here: where at the end of Maim zarim, maim gnuvim these are truly heard as liquid points, in their re-articulation at the beginning of Mei Mecha’a, they are in a state between that and one seemingly gaseous, or at least cloud-like, even if whether vapor is condensing into liquid, or vice versa, remains unclear. Those same points begin to crystallize into solid form in their rapid, meccanico repetition, which dominates the centre of The Memory of Water. But this is not a romantic tone poem. The motion between its states follows a logic which is anything but that of water itself.


released January 28, 2010

Rico Gubler, saxophone, tubax (recorded and live)
Peter Veale, oboe, musette, English horn
John Mark Harris, piano & harpsichord
Seth Josel, electric & steel guitars
Mary Oliver, viola
Live-Electronics: Experimentalstudio des SWR,
Michael Acker, Reinhold Braig, Thomas Hummel, sound direction
Konzerthausorchester Berlin
Johannes Kalitzke, conductor


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