Joe Cutler: Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii

Released November 21 2020
CD: £12.99 | MP3: £7.99 | FLAC: £8.99

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Following hot on the heels of his critically-acclaimed 2018 NMC album Elsewhereness, Joe Cutler’s new release focusses on dynamic live recordings of four works for large forces written over a two-decade period. At the heart of this release is the recent saxophone concerto Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii, a BBC Commission premiered in 2019, and written for Trish Clowes with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

“Just marvellous … a deep musical intelligence combined with genuinely new sonorities and expression.”

composer Errollyn Wallen on Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii

Trish Clowes has been described in The Guardian as “one of the most agile and original jugglers of improv and adventurous composition to have appeared in the UK in recent times”, and Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii is the result of close collaboration between Cutler and Clowes, with the piece exploiting sections of ‘directed improvisation’. The work itself is a meditation on David Mitchell’s story ‘Somni-451’ from the novel Cloud Atlas, set in an East Asian dystopian empire in the near future. Cutler’s work has often been described as ‘post-genre’ and this powerful compositional statement references a diverse range of influences ranging from Morton Feldman to Ben Webster, or Brian Eno to Tōru Takemitsu, but refracted through the composer’s unique and idiosyncratic lens.

The other three works on the album derive from Cutler’s twenty-year close relationship with the Netherlands-based collective, Orkest de Ereprijs. The baroque-infused September Music is a powerful reflection on the passing of time, whilst in Bad Machine, the piano soloist metaphorically becomes entrapped within the brutal mechanisms of the machine. Chorale for Wim Megans is an intimate and touching memorial to the ensemble’s founding conductor.

Like Elsewhereness, this fascinating album is packed with playfulness, but alongside that, profound philosophical questions emerge relating to the relationship between reality, freedom and time.

“Raw raucous graphic immediacy”

Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

“Bone shaking, spirited live performances … lots of fun”
★★★★

Geoff Brown, The Times