Virgin Venture CDVE 924
The Michael Nyman Band
Michael Nyman: piano
Jonathan Carney: violin
Bill Hawkes: violin
Catherine Musker: viola
Antony Hinnigan: cello
John Harle: soprano, alto sax
David Roach: soprano, alto sax
Jamie Talbot: soprano, alto sax
Andrew Findon: baritone sax, piccolo, flute
Nigel Barr: trombone, tuba, euphonium
Martin Elliott: bass guitar
Extra Musicians on tracks from The Piano
Gueorgui Stoianov Boiadjiev: violin
Nanko Milkov Dimitrov: violin
Evelina Nedeva Arabadjieva: violin
Kantcho Stefanov Kantchev: violin
Nediltcho Suilianov Hristov: viola
Stefan Todorov Jilkov: viola
Marieta Mihaylova Ivanova: cello
Emilia Hristova Radilova: cello
Musicians from Orquesta Andaluzi de Tetouan on Upside Down Violin
Abdessadak Chkara: violin
Abdellah Chekara: laud
Jelloul Najidi: kanoun
Ahmed Taoud: violin
Driss Aaufi: saxophone
Ahmed Mrabet: clarinet
Abdesslam Beniisa: cello
Mohamed Achaalh: banderita (tambourine)
Jalla Chekara: violin
Nour-Din Aghbal: violin
Abdelouahid El Bazi: derboliga (drum)
Mohammed Chkara: cello
(on The Upside-Down Violin)
The piece was commissioned for Expo ‘92 in Seville where it was first performed in September of that year.
A cursory examination of the Arab-Andalusian tradition from which the Orquesta Andalusi De Tetouan derived its music -a learned, classical tradition developed in southern Spain in the 19th. Century- showed me the inadvisability, the impertinence of imposing my music on musicians conditioned by a totally different musical culture. Nor could I borrow, or appropriate their music.
So I set out to adjust my compositional language in some way to Moroccan conditions: to write (for the first time) purely melodically / monodically with a phrase-rhythm and model structure from which I hoped the Orquesta would not be alienated.
In rehearsal I encouraged the musicians to play melodies -which they had learned with a diligence made necessary by the fact that our respective musical systems were so different- with the individual performance style they naturally brought to their own music: to make my music theirs.
I then added the material for the Michael Nyman Band -discovering in the first movement especially that my harmony-less melodies implied no harmonies other than notes to be sustained from the melodic lines themselves- an important discovery for me.
Structurally the work is divided into three movements, the first and second of which end with material invented by the Moroccan musicians themselves according to my instruction ‘make music related to, or suggested by, the music you have just played’.