Spark, the classical band, comes forward on its Berlin Classics debut album "Wild Territories" with a bold release on which the ECHO-winning group pursues the logical development of its wholly personal sound in the space between post-classical, minimal music and avant-garde.
Virtuosic and unfettered, the five young musicians move between the poles of contrasting musical worlds and eras and forge tradition and innovation into a thrilling new sonic experience attuned to the zeitgeist. The album title tells a story. These are five young artists determined to chart virgin musical territory, confound convention and give free rein to their imagination. Together they conjure up a luxuriant rainforest that spreads its fronds from baroque times to the present day.
They run the gamut from Telemann alla polacca to Beyoncé on recorder. It's wilful and amazing, it's catchy on the ear and it goes right to the heart. Each of the chosen pieces is wild and uninhibited, be it in gesture, in timbre or in its rhythmic complexity. This is Spark's way of proving that musical wildness is a timeless phenomenon that finds expression on all levels throughout human history. There is a definite emphasis on the modern. Kenji Bunch, Chiel Meijering, Kamran Ince and Johannes Motschmann have tailored exciting new sounds to the profile of this classical band. The American Kenji Bunch devotes himself in his three-part work Alphadog to daring harmonic, rhythmical and motivic layering. The constant overlaying of the voices, one above another, reflects the struggle for dominance that is to be found in the wilderness in a pack of wild dogs: Nature red in tooth and claw is transmuted into music.
Chiel Meijering creates in Silver Falls In The Heart Of The Forest a natural setting of mystical melancholy. The Amsterdam composer's other pieces have the immediacy of wildness. When in the Spark classic When The Cock Crowed His Warning the eponymous cock crows, pure anarchy bursts forth for one brief moment; chains of stinging semiquavers and energetically pulsating rhythms raise the emotional level of Candybox, Beyoncé and Cruiser to boiling point. This explosive force surges seamlessly into Vivaldi's Concerto "alla rustica" and Telemann's Concerto in E minor, which merge harmoniously into the overall concept. Spark's bridge between old and new, Baroque and modern, is the tempestuous Romantic language of Songs In Other Words by the Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince. The title is taken from Felix Mendelssohn's "Songs Without Words". A Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize laureate, Ince renders them in radically new words of his own. In six short movements, he blends the tonal inflections of the great German early Romantic with Turkish folk and American minimalism. This expedition into wild territories ends with Encore by Berlin composer Johannes Motschmann, closing the album in a blaze of technoid vibrations. Wild Territories is the plunge into cold water, the playing with fire, the lust for adventure.
Abounding energy and unbounded delight in music-making characterize the way in which flautists Andrea Ritter and Daniel Koschitzki, violinist Stefan Glaus, cellist Victor Plumettaz and pianist Mischa Cheung attack their pieces – and they are performing without a safety net or a false floor. They are constantly driven to the verge of the technically possible. But that is the very attraction for these five musicians. They want to do what the album title says: go wild, strike sparks, set new frontiers and make intensive contact with themselves and their listeners. Welcome to the wild territories of Spark, the classical band!