26 April 2007 -- Tarik O'Regan's manner is so punctiliously reserved that you could type him as a banker, which is what he almost became after graduating from Oxford. But as the reviews indicate, the world of music would have been the poorer if that career move had occurred: "breathes new life into the motet form", "tonal but cutting edge", and "worthy of Britten's pen" are just three of the critical verdicts that have greeted the choral works of this 29-year-old composer, whose musical voice has a gritty freshness unlike that of anyone else.
Now based in New York, and writing for a plethora of ensembles both there and in Britain, he's keen to talk about a new piece for the Britten Sinfonia entitled Raï, which does indeed refer to the blues style indigenous to Algeria. For that is where he spent much of his childhood, with his diplomat father and Algerian translator mother, absorbing musical influences whose power over his imagination he is only now beginning to acknowledge.
But Scattered Rhymes, which the Orlando Consort will be performing in Edinburgh with the Estonian Philharmonic Choir, draws on two very different wells of inspiration: the sonnets of Petrarch, and the mass by his French contemporary Guillaume de Machaut. O'Regan has here interwoven literary expressions of sensuous and sacred love in such a way that they can be performed either separately, or with movements from the Machaut mass, or as a continuous 15-minute work. Watching how music is presented in New York art galleries, he has become fascinated by the variety of ways in which any given piece can be heard.
"Short events in galleries can also suggest instant hooks across the disciplines," he says. His description of the elements that constitute this work reflects the kind of craftsman he is: "peculiarly rich 'scrunches' and false relations mixed with open fifths, fourths and syncopated plainchant-like motifs". If that sounds daunting, O'Regan's very personal art is never so.
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26th April 2007 04:32 #1Super Moderator
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- Jan 2006
Scattered Rhymes, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, May 6th
26th April 2007 04:34 #2Super Moderator
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- Jan 2006