Boomkat Product Review:
The third release on (leader of the London Contemporary Orchestra) Galya Bisengalieva’s increasingly intriguing Nomad imprint is a captivating work in four movements presenting viola & violin “speaking as one voice” performed by Galya and Robert Ames and composed by Edmund Finnis between 2012-2015.
Proceeding the dreamlike and experimental nature of Galya’s first two label entries alongside Claire M. Singer, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Shiva Feshareki, and Chaines, the Kazakh violinist’s collaborative recording of ‘Brother’ is another gripping example of contemporary classical composition that naturally experiments with ideas about consonance/dissonance in a way that relates to folk music.
The composition was conceived first with the final moment in 2012, which was written in a single day during a residency in Massachusetts, 2012. Its other three movements were subsequently commissioned by The London Contemporary Orchestra and recorded at St. Michael’s Highgate, London, then premiered by Galya Bisengalieva and Robert Ames at London’s Roundhouse in 2015. They have since gone on to perform the work numerous times, allowing them to get under its skin with an intensity of tone balanced by a lightness of touch.
In four sections, ‘Brother’ calls for the performers’ instruments to be closely intertwined to the extent their colours become fused and coalesced, essentially speaking as one in a dense weave of patterns, tracing lines that arc, overlap, dovetail and mirror one another. The composition’s elegant pacing and spacious dimensions have already lent themselves to film, used by Icelandic filmmaker Hlynur Palmas’s feature ‘A White, White Day’ which premiered at the London Film Festival 2019 at the BFI, and is set for general release in March this year.