CD 6 – Spinning Forth
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When I founded The Marais Project we created a statement of purpose which read “to perform the music of Marin Marais and other music for the viola da gamba in a contemporary Australian context.” I wanted to play the viol and do it in a way the reflected the fact I lived and worked in Australia. I still feel strongly that what we do and how we do it should consciously relate to our place and time. This CD draws together several threads implicit in our original purpose and one that has emerged since, Swedish music. At the core remains the viola da gamba music of the French baroque as represented by my arrangement of Marais’ Tombeau pour Marais le Cadet and a fine, lyrical suite by his pupil, Louis de Caix d’Hervelois. I still believe the English-speaking world has a long way to go in embracing the delicacy, wit and sophistication of the French musical cousins of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Purcell.
I never wanted to get stuck in an “early music ghetto”, so I’ve regularly commissioned Australian composers to create new works to present alongside the historical greats. I’ve known and collaborated with Llew and Mara Kiek for many years through our work in Musica Viva in Schools and am a great admirer of their band, Mara!. In 2015 I asked them to set an Australian folk song to complement all the Swedish music we were playing. The Streets of Forbes was the result. Similarly, I’ve loved Paul Cutlan’s sax and bass clarinet playing for some time but came to know his compositions more recently. Spinning Forth is the second work I’ve commissioned from him, the first being for viol consort and bass clarinet. It is a major piece and I hope other gambists take it up.
Swedish classical and folk music was not on my mind until several years ago. This nod to my and Tommie Andersson’s Swedish ancestry found expression in our previous recording,Smorgasbord!. The process continues on this CD and with my electric viola da gamba band, Elysian Fields. The CD’s track list includes an arrangement of an Australian folk song and a Swedish fiddle tune alongside new and old music for the viola da gamba. To paraphrase Paul Cutlan, whose piece provides the title for the CD, I hope that the music played suggests the music yet to come, a kind of “spinning forth”.
Koen van Stade — tenor
Matthew Bruce — baroque violin
Mikaela Oberg — baroque flute
Tommie Andersson — theorbo and classical era guitar
Raymond Harvey – harpsichord
Catherine Upex – viola da gamba
Jennifer Eriksson — viola da gamba
Chris Doherty – Sound Engineer
Produced by Llew Kiek