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Convergence 07:23


Composer Ofer Pelz celebrates an eight year collaboration with Israeli based Meitar Ensemble with Trinité, a collection of five works that highlight Pelz' intricate hybrid ensemble textures and deft command over applying repetition with variation to looped material. With a special emphasis on the illuminating possibilities afforded by prepared piano writing in solo and chamber settings, Pelz' music is both experimental and grounded in unfolding narrative.

Backward inductions is scored for “augmented piano” (prepared and heavily amplified, with contact mics triggering auxiliary percussion instruments) and performed here by Meitar’s artistic director and pianist Amit Dolberg. The compositional organization of the piece works backwards from an original, multiple layered structure of repetitive gestures. Pelz makes small variations in phrase contours, removing a note in a sequence, repeating a grouping, reversing the direction of one of the component motives. In doing so, he not only creates propulsive dynamism in the subtly varied lines, he places the extended sounds of the prepared piano in slightly different spots in the rhythmic scaffolding. The work achieves a hypnotic balance between mechanistic impulses that are nevertheless animated with life and character.

Repetition with variation is a guiding principle in Pelz’ music, and Chinese Whispers zooms in on this developmental technique. Taking inspiration from the game associated with the title (otherwise known as “telephone” in the United States), we hear similar material morph and transform as it is heard in new iterations. Pelz organizes the piece into several sections, each of which focuses on components of the original “message,” from glitchy textural machines to disembodied sustained material. In this way, he puts his finger on a fascinating feature of communication, our individual capacity to focus on different portions of a whole, and to filter them through our own biases of understanding.

This approach to segmented sound can also be heard in Convergence for alto flute and electronics, performed here by Roy Amotz. Pelz explores granulations of sounds in contrast with their fully realized incarnations. The electronics function often as the middle-ground between fragmentary sounds and sustained ones, extending the former through a series of echoes and delays, and dissecting and manipulating the latter.

Like Chinese Whispers, marchons, marchons is scored for the full Meitar instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and prepared piano. For the first seven minutes of the work, it is decidedly more inward facing, eschewing the rhythmic propulsion of the first two tracks in favor of blooms of hazy harmonies connected by glissandi and ethereal harmonics. Written for the Expo Milano 2015, whose theme was “feeding the planet, energy for life,” Pelz reflected on phrases in the French and Israeli national anthems that position themselves at odds with that mission, lending the piece a critical stance. In the final four and half minutes of the piece, we hear darting, sardonic ensemble passages, perhaps a more direct challenge to live up to the Expo’s credo.

Three members of the Meitar Ensemble are joined by string quartet Quatour Ardeo for the final work in two movements, Blanc sur Blanc. Pelz chooses to amplify the string quartet and uses them as one might employ a “tape” part in an electro-acoustic piece – to create a sense of spatialization, timbral augmentation, comment on and frame a sonic environment for the other instruments. Again we hear a penchant for loops and repetition as a structural component in the “First Movement,” where Pelz’s loops accumulate in a manner he describes as a “logarithmic spiral,” accumulating material that becomes the enlarged loop before the process resumes. The “Epilogue” is a contrasting movement of sustained lines, quietly delicate yet charged with intensity and direction. It is a powerful way to end this collection of mostly very active music – a glimpse at an uneasy inner world lying behind the permutations and transformations of material.

– Dan Lippel


released June 11, 2021

Track 1 recorded, 2019, at the studio of Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University
Rafi Eshel – recording and mix; Ofer Pelz – electronic technician

Track 2 recorded, December 2013, at the Ogen Studio, Kibbutz HaOgen Mix 2015 at CIRMMT, Montreal
Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal
Shlomi Gvili - recording technician
Eyal Mahabad - recording assistant
Noam Dorembus - recording producer and tonmeister Ofer Pelz - mix 2015
Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Track 3 recorded, June 2013, at the music faculty studio, University of Montreal Mix 2013 at CIRMMT, Montreal
Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal
Paolo Vignaroli – flute sampling Samuel Bonnet - recording technician Matthieu Duvault - recording assistant Julie Delisle - musical assistant
Ofer Pelz - recording producer
Ofer Pelz, Samuel Bonnet - mix 2014
Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Track 4 recorded in concert at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall October 27, 2017

Tracks 5 and 6 recorded live, November 26th 2011, at the Art en Résonance Festival, organized by the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Mix 2021 at Studio Sophronik, Montreal
Hervé Le Dorlot - recording technician and mix 2011
Sylvaine Arnaud - mix 2021

Produced by Ofer Pelz and Meitar Ensemble

Mastered by Padraig Buttner-Schnirer

Cover © by Mathieu Boris (Mateo)

Album design by Ofer Pelz

This production has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts




New Focus Recordings New York, New York

New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers. ... more

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