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Vijay Iyer
Mutations

Vijay Iyer piano, electronics
Miranda Cuckson violin
Michi Wiancko violin
Kyle Armbrust viola
Kivie Cahn-Lipman violoncello
 
Spellbound and Sacrosanct, Cowrie Shells and the Shimmering Sea

Vuln, Part 2

Mutations I-X
Mutation I: Air
Mutation II: Rise
Mutation III: Canon
Mutation IV: Chain
Mutation V: Automata
Mutation VI: Waves
Mutation VII: Kernel
Mutation VIII: Clade
Mutation IX: Descent
Mutation X: Time

When We're Gone


Recorded September 2013

ECM 2372
 
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Mutations is Vijay Iyer’s first album as a leader for ECM, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composer’s work. At its centre is “Mutations I-X”, a composition scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change. Iyer gives a positive value to the concept of ‘mutation’ in this music, and variously appears in it as an interpreter of notated elements, as an improviser, and as “a sort of laptop artist, mixing in noise and different sounds,” encouraging the transformative processes: The suite is framed by three solo statements: "Spellbound and Sacrosanct, Cowrie Shells and the Shimmering Sea”, a solo piano reading of one of Iyer’s early compositions, and “Vuln, Part 2" and "When We're Gone", pieces created in summer 2013. The newer compositions put the piano in counterpoint with electronically generated rhythms and textures which extend the aura of the suite, making the arc of the whole album a journey over changing terrain.

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