Mathew Rosenblum’s latest CD, Circadian Rhythms, is now available from New World Records. Most the works on the album were composed within the last ten years and three are recorded here for the first time.
Cellist Dave Eggar combined forces with percussionist Chuck Palmer and pianist Robert Frankenberry on the 1989 title track, Circadian Rhythms. Eggar has been championing the work in recent years and it sounds as fresh as ever alongside the newer pieces. In describing Circadian Rhythms, Joshua Kosman of The San Francisco Chronicle writes,
"The 20-minute score that gives the disc its title does include two differently tuned pianos, along with cello and percussion, and much of the music's distinctive sound comes from the interplay of the various scales. But what makes the piece so rich and inviting are the wit and dexterity with which Rosenblum deploys those sounds, incorporating them first into sparse, evocative dreamscapes, then into bursts of punk rock or piano jazz that maintain a connection to the whole."
The more recent compositions include larger ensemble pieces as well as chamber music. Yonah’s Dream, commissioned by Newband for the Harry Partch instruments, features flutist Stefani Starin. The Big Rip (A Science Fiction Cantata) was written for the Rascher Saxophone Quartet and Calmus Ensemble who premiered the work in 2009 and performed on the recording. Lindsey Goodman is heard on Under the Rainbow for flute and electronics (2003), and the 2011 Two Harmonies is performed by violist Wendy Richman, percussionist Timothy Feeney, and pianist Shirley Yoo.
Circadian Rhythms paints a compelling portrait of Mathew Rosenblum’s creative accomplishments over the last ten years and beyond. Many of the familiar elements in his work — his highly individual use of just intonation, fascination with language, and pop culture references — emerge in surprising ways. And the composer’s vision shines through in a collection of committed, nuanced performances. It’s a signpost that points back to a very productive period and ahead to even more impressive achievements.
Listen to a discussion of Mathew Rosenblum's music on WNYC.
Update: This story has been expanded with a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle's glowing review. Read the entire SFGate review here.