thingNY – Rick Burkhardt: Passover (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 55:33 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Innova
Passover is a new album documenting ensemble thingNY’s performance of composer-writer Rick Burkhardt’s piece of the same name, in which a sextet of speaking instrumentalists, seated around a dinner table with a double bass lying on it, take turns relating stories of escape.The album marks the first time in a decade that a recording of Burkhardt’s remarkable compositions have been released, and the first time ever that one of his extended compositions has been released on an album. Burkhardt is an Obie award winner known for his intricate chamber pieces like “Great Hymn of Thanksgiving” and musically centered theatrical works like “Three Pianos”. His work fuses explorations of extended instrumental technique as in Helmut Lachenmann, use of compositional linguistics influenced by Kenneth Gaburo, an ear for American speech akin to Robert Ashley, and an experimental approach to narrative inspired by his favorite innovative playwrights, Adrienne Kennedy, David Greenspan, and Wallace Shawn.
Though thingNY are best known for creating their own musically focused multi-media pieces, Passover marks the first time the group commissioned another artist to create an evening-length piece for them to perform. Given Burkhardt’s precision with language, instrumental technique, and gesture, it has been a natural and fruitful fit. thingNY premiered the piece in 2018 and performed it across the Northeastern US, recording it in 2019.
The flow of Passover is loosely based on a Passover seder, in which celebrants recount and embody the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. Each of the five movements in the piece recalls such an exodus, from an emotionally difficult conversation in Movement 1 to the life-threatening traffic stop in Movement 5. The piece nods to Passover traditions like that of four children asking questions of the adults – in Movement 3, Jeffrey Young’s narrative about navigating an ethically dubious job is constantly interrupted by tangential inquiries from the rest of the group.
1-1. thingNY – A (02:44)
1-2. thingNY – Movement I (05:26)
1-3. thingNY – B (01:38)
1-4. thingNY – Movement II (06:38)
1-5. thingNY – C (03:17)
1-6. thingNY – Movement III (09:15)
1-7. thingNY – D (04:42)
1-8. thingNY – Movement IV (07:39)
1-9. thingNY – Movement V (11:22)
1-10. thingNY – E (02:46)