MUSIC WITH CHANGING PARTS
WITH PASCAL MEYER & LAURA SANDEE - KEYS
Music with Changing Parts is a minimalist masterwork by the renowned American composer Phillip Glass, whose work has featured prominently in Amstel Quartet programs and projects for years. From his early period in the late 1960s-early 1970’s, when Glass was helping to redefine how ‘Classical’ music could both sound and behave, this amplified, trance-inducing work features grooving, repetitive musical cells which gradually expand and contract over the course of a one-movement, over 1-hour piece.
While many listeners are more familiar with Glass’ somewhat more accessible film scores and symphonies of recent decades, this earlier work represents what some call “hardcore” minimalism: music that focuses on the processes of gradually transforming musical motifs and the psychological state of the listener as the experience the piece.
In order to bring out the mind-bending and experiential aspects of the music, Amstel Quartet and their keyboard collaborators Pascal Meyer and Laura Sandee have crafted a version which combines acoustic saxophones with electronic keyboards, and EWI electronic wind instruments (a saxophone-inspired synthesizer). A special aspect of the piece is the composers’ instructions for various improvised long tones throughout as accompaniment to the rhythmic musical cells. These long tones are given a variety of colors through use of triggered electronic sounds, voice, saxophone and EWI.
Developed during the Covid-19 lockdowns and premiered in a livestream from the world-famous Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Amstel Quartet’s version of ‘Music with Changing Parts’ is a minimalist/electro-acoustic trip that leads listeners into new perceptions of time, space, and sound.