Composers: O’Halpin, Roth, Dennehy, Ring
Compositions: Music for flute and percussion
Performers: Lina Andonovska fl, Matthew Jacobson perc
Catalogue Number: DIATRIBE RECORDS diatribe.ie
Five years ago, an urgent text from a German conductor landed Australian flautist Lina Andonovska in Dublin working with that city’s premier group of contemporary players, Crash Ensemble. The task at hand was a new opera with a fiendishly difficult flute part, The Last Hotel by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy (b. 1970). Cut to 2020 and Andonovska is still in Dublin with a new album, A Way A Lone A Last, featuring five new works written with her unique aesthetic and technical abilities in mind. These include Dennehy’s Bridget, which plays with speed and tempo as do the paintings of its namesake, visual artist Bridget Riley. This beautiful work flashes with colour and tonal nuance, shifting constantly in a shimmering dance.
A Loved A Long is one of two works by Nick Roth (b. 1982). Breathy and resonant, it makes lovely use of space, overtone, speech and gorgeous liquid lines of melody. By contrast, Roth’s Bátá features drummer/percussionist Matthew Jacobson and takes inspiration from the jungle/drum and bass style of dance music popular (particularly in Britain) in the 1990s, its off-kilter rhythms intertwining with amplified flute and feedback.
Judith Ring (b. 1976) lectures at Trinity College Dublin, and A Breath of Fresh Air meditates on the centrality of breath to life while incorporating some extraordinary harmonic effects. The recording is stunning: a rich, resonant setting for luscious sounds, all of which results in an exciting, beautifully performed and very impressive exploration of flute timbre and sonic possibility.