The Salt Lake Electric Ensemble (SLEE) announce signing with Orange Mountain Music (OMM) of New York City, NY. The record label was founded in 2001, and was developed out of a project undertaken to archive all the master recordings that Philip Glass had made. OMM will release SLEE’s recording of Glass’ classic 1970 masterwork, Music With Changing Parts, worldwide on Feb. 16. Relying on a combination of synthesis, sampling and traditional acoustic instruments SLEE’s recording is hypnotic, dreamlike, and psychedelic.
SLEE formed in 2009 with a dual purpose: to perform and record Terry Riley’s 1964 masterwork In C, and to explore music making with the most powerful and intriguing musical instrument of our time: the computer. SLEE’s 2010 recording of In C, notable for being the first rendition to primarily use electronic instruments, was lauded by critics and audiences throughout the world. Now the ensemble has turned their attention to one of the world’s most cherished and influential living composers: New York City’s Philip Glass. Glass’ extensive body of work includes symphonies, operas, chamber music, piano works and more.
SLEE views Music With Changing Parts to be a culmination of Glass’s early career. The score is comprised of a progression of 76 intricate harmonic patterns distributed across 6-8 performers who are free to repeat the patterns as many times as they wish and to play the patterns using any combination of instruments. Along with these patterns, in a number of places Glass instructs the performers to improvise a series of long held tones, to be individually selected through careful listening to the prevailing ensemble sound.
The Salt Lake Electric Ensemble have delivered an interpretation of the music that, while true to the instructions contained in the score, is thoroughly of the present moment. By employing multiple laptop computers programmed with each note from the score to assist them, the musicians of the ensemble were able to achieve exact rhythmic precision while performing, freeing them to focus on sound design and improvisation.