Monday, 26 March 2018

Ana-Maria Avram / Iancu Dumitrescu - A Priori, De Sacrae Lamentationem etc (1994)

Returning to two of my favourite composers today, for the first time this year.  Still gutted by Ana-Maria Avram's death at just 55 last August, and just had a quick search there for any more recent information about her passing - couldn't find anything other than the obits that I'd already read.  Her extraordinary music still needs a higher profile, as does the music of her partner Iancu - so here's another share from me, with two great examples of Ana-Maria's early work, and three characteristically imposing Dumitrescu pieces.

This 1994 release of pieces from 93-94 starts with Iancu's A Priori, 16 minutes of groaning and snapping strings, deep reverberating metal percussion, and occasional synth buzz - the latter most likely from Ana-Maria.  Five Implosions is up next, for full orchestra, and definitely announces itself with a big bang before the banks of strings spread out into space.  The eerie, Ligeti-like middle section features wordless voices floating over the top of the strange atmosphere before the full orchestra expands its universe even more.  The final piece from Iancu is the 18-minute Mythos, returning to a smaller ensemble for a lengthy exploration of the unsettling drones and clanging percussion that were his signature at the time - see also the tracks on the Pierres Sacreés disc in the list below.

Ana-Maria Avram's first piece on this collection is De Sacrae Lamentationem, with the full weight of the Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra behind it.  Great waves of slippery strings propel it forward into the spectral, microtonal unknown.  Not sure if there's more voices or something else making those sounds, but this phenomenal track just keeps getting weirder and more unsettling - although oddly enough it's probably the most accessible and satisfying highlight of this album.  The other Avram piece showcases her alone with the synthesiser workout Icarus.  The subtle drones gradually gather momentum until it oozes electronic hypnosis directly into your brain, like an Eliane Radigue track with a lot more going on.


Previously posted on SGTG:
ED.MN.1001 - Medium/Cogito
ED.MN.1002 - Au Dela De Movemur
ED.MN.1003 - Pierres Sacreés
ED.MN.1004 - Musique de Paroles
ED.MN.1008 - Five Pieces
ED.MN.1011 - Musique Action '98
ED.MN.1014 - Orbit of Eternal Grace
ED.MN.1018 - Remote Pulsar
ED.MN.1019 - In Tokyo


  1. THANKS!! any dumitrescu /avram shares are met with excitement in this house.
    great shares all round really!

  2. Another great looking share. You introduced me to both composers and I have not yet been disappointed. Many thanks.