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drawn only once represents the NewAm debut for accomplished duo Due East (Erin Lesser, flute; Greg Beyer, percussion) and innovative new music composer John Supko. The album contains two pieces, Littoral, written for the duo, and This window makes me feel, both coupled with cutting-edge videography by Kristine Marx and Don Sheehy, respectively. The pieces explore, among other things, Supko’s interest in field recordings, and computer-generated randomness of harmonies and melodic material. The multimedia pieces are presented in both CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD formats.
Littoral melds the lustrous timbres of flute, electronics, and an impressive array of percussion with texts by contemporary Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom and 16th Century English writer Richard Hakluyt. Supko calls Littoral “music of shifting terrains, each with its distinct sense of time and color and space… more alluring than any destination plotted on a timetable.” These impressions are realized by flute alto flute, piccolo, an array of unorthodox percussion instruments, and synthesized field recordings of the sea, Supko’s voice, and the voice of a poet. Marx’s entrancing video accompanies the piece with rapidly changing geometric forms superimposed over transient oceanic landscapes. This window makes me feel is based on Robert Fitterman’s brilliant poem of the same title, which makes use of completions of the poem’s title based on hundreds of Google searches, chronicling a vast range of humane poetic sensibilities. The work includes pre-recorded mezzo-soprano (Hai-Ting Chinn), keyboards (David Broome), and other electronics. Sheehy’s video accompaniment captures the hysteria of the congested cityscape with short clips clandestinely captured on the streets of New York that visually amplifies the pre-recorded poetic whispers of Fitterman’s poem.