BMOP/sound, the nation's foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings, announces the release of its second album, Michael Gandolfi: Y2K Compliant. Known for his rhythmically buoyant, complex and colorful works, Gandolfi, a faculty member of New England Conservatory, is a master of innumerable compositional approaches, all evident in the disc's three pieces. Taking inspiration from the world outside of music including current events and literature, Y2K Compliant evokes an interesting sense of musical, dramatic narrative making for a highly entertaining album.
The CD's namesake, Y2K Compliant, is a piece inspired by aspects of music that have grown out of the use of computers. The work emerged as a satirical response to the doomsday predictions of 1999, during which time there was much discussion about the probability of all computer controlled systems self destructing with the resetting of internal clocks from "99" to "00". "At the time I was writing this piece, the developed world was about to meet a cataclysmic disaster of unimagined proportions," explains Gandolfi. "I couldn't resist borrowing the Y2K phrase for the title of my work". Scored for classical orchestra of paired woodwinds and horns with strings, this celebratory and unexpectedly joyous work represents the convergence of elementary musical materials and the correlation that is found between technology and music.
The earliest of the three works, Points of Departure, is also the most abstract. Scored for an ensemble of double woodwind-quintet and sixteen strings, Points of Departure was premiered in 1998 by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. As the title implies, each of the four movements spins out from material introduced in the previous movement in a twelve-tone language. Themes from a Midsummer Night features selections from Gandolfi's ninety-minute concert adaptation of incidental music from A Midsummer Night's Dream. This transparent, light work maintains its freshness throughout. After receiving its 2001 premiere by students of New England Conservatory, Gandolfi was urged to fashion the piece into a concert suite. He says he was not mindful of the chronology of the play, but instead the balance of movements regarding instrumentation and affect of the work's overall sequence.
In addition to Michael Gandolfi: Y2K Compliant, BMOP/sound is releasing nine more albums in 2008 on a monthly basis: John Harbison: Ulysses (released March 1, 2008); Lee Hyla: Lives of the Saints featuring Mary Nessinger (mezzo-soprano) in May; Gunther Schuller: Journey Into Jazz featuring Gunther Schuller (narrator) in June; Charles Fussell: Wilde featuring Sanford Sylvan (baritone) in July; Lukas Foss: The Prairie featuring The Providence Singers in August; Louis Andriessen: La Passione featuring Cristina Zavalloni (mezzo-soprano) and Monica Germino (violin) in September; David Rakowski: Winged Contraption featuring Marilyn Nonken (piano) in October; John Cage: 16 Dances in November; and John Harbison: Full Moon in March featuring Lorraine DiSimone (mezzo-soprano), James Maddalena (baritone), and Janna Baty (soprano) in December.
BMOP/sound recordings are distributed by Albany Music Distributors, coupled with global online distribution. An interactive BMOP website with digital download capabilities is planned for later in 2008. For more information, visit http://www.bmopsound.org.