The second half of a composition commissioned by l'Ecole Nationale Musique de Villeurbanne for the final concert of a two-year residency from 1994-1996. The first part of the performance consisted of the occupation of every room of the music building by different ensembles all playing at the same time. This disc documents the second part of that performance, given in the concert hall without informing anyone. The audience simply wandered in during the course of exploring the other rooms full of music, (though the recording here is a recreation of said event).
The piece is a large slice of everything Frithian played by a 19-member orchestra conducted by Frith. We get all that's expected — explosions of free dissonance, oddly insistent rhythms, folk-like melodies and lots of humor. Some passages fly by in an instant while others linger and build through written melodies or well-played solos. Rhythms give way to atmospherics, which give way to chaos out of which arise new themes or ideas, and even though a lot of it seems familiar, the voicings and individual personalities of the various players serve to make it all new. I would single out the drummer Denis Mariotte and the guitar soloist, Fred Smith as being especially impressive, though all the players are obviously top-notch, or at least somewhere near there.
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