The idea of scale within the context of music has vast potential; interpretations could range from literal (scales - dorian, major, minor, octatonic etc) or relative (instrumentation, structure, volume and pace) to much broader perspectives like production and concept.
London label Bigo and Twigetti commissioned 17 musicians to create 17 pieces for the first anthology release for the label titled Scale. Jim Perkins, the label’s creative director, selected a spectrum of artists both new and familiar to the label, some who prefer a traditional approach to those who experiment with manipulating instruments, noise and field recordings. The artists were chosen for their interesting perspective of composition or production and whose style fits with the label's aesthetic; a blend of classical, electronica and sound design.
Atlanta composer Philip G Anderson focused on the growth and scale of the human mind. “People never stop learning, never stop growing, constantly gaining new experiences and perspectives over their lifetime.” He reflected this idea by beginning with minimal instrumentation and a very dry muted sound which is eventually joined by expanded instrumentation, parts, and textures, which by the end, says Philip, “the
sense of scale and depth has intensified through reverb, instrumentation, and energy.”
A platform for absolute creative freedom, the artists mostly submitted unedited responses to the brief explains Jim, “I'm happy to feedback, but mostly my approach is to select people whose work I like and stand back.”
“Recording a Cristal Baschet, three disassembled music boxes played with watch screwdrivers, the beat of an sm57 microphone being hit by my palm” are some of the
experiments utilised by Californian composer William Ryan Fritch in his contribution titled “Disproportionate Joys”. “Ultimately, I just wanted to play with discrepancies of
proximity, range and resonance” says Fritch, “and make something a bit lighter out of these experiments.”
Italian composer Laura Masotto chose the viola and violin to convey the concept of scale not only because of the corresponding shapes but the sounds produced. Travelling in perfect parallel throughout the piece, Laura explores the scale of the natural harmonic ratio between the two instruments.
Ranging from the traditional piano compositions of Yoko Komatsu, Marika Takeuchi and Gareth Broke to the more experimental, electronic work of Yeheskel Raz, Jameson Nathan Jones and Luca Longobardi, Scale maintains aesthetic interest and colour by interweaving the various styles.
There is a presence to Perkins' music that is so very attentive to its listener. He makes sure you feel the emotions he's trying to express, but not in an overbearing way, but one that leaves you eager to feel more of it. This cup whether happy or sad, is definitely overflowing. Lost Tribe Sound
This is one of five long-term members of my wishlist, which I was able to promote into my collection all at once thanks to a generous name-your-price promotion granted by the fine "bigo & twigetti" label. Fiona Brice is a name you will bump into several times while flipping through the label's catalog. Her breathtaking 1st String Quartet in three movements is an exciting contribution to contemporary classical chamber music. Sven B. Schreiber