Ixesha. African Suite No. 20

For Recorder Quartet.

First movement: Circle Dance (ATBG)
Second movement: Sad Song (TBBG)
Third movement: Consolation (ATBG)
Fourth movement: Simple Solution (ATBG)

Ixesha in Xhosa means time, and this refers to the African Proverb: "The Europeans have the clock, the Africans have the time." I tried to capture this different, floating, African feeling of time in this work. All four movements are centered around one theme and there are many repetitions and variations, as if the time slowed down, went in circles or stood still. In the rhythm of the four-bar theme of Circle Dance, for example you could dance round and round for hours.
For the first time, I also let the players sing in the recorder and tap with their feet (I owe this idea to Tom Beets from the Flanders Recorder Quartet). As simple as the theme may seem, the first two bars are probably the most difficult of the whole piece because they should groove from the very beginning as if the music already had played for a long, long time.
The second movement, Sad Song, is pure feeling. Please don't withhold rubato, breaks, phrasing, and vibrato. It shall breathe and touch - do not fear pathos. Life is also suffering, and who has better words for this than music?
Then follows the Consolation: this piece in 12/8 should also be extremely groovy, smooth, relaxed and laid back. Imagine you are a mother, you hold your child, that has hurt itself, in your arm, lull the child, tell it stories to distract it and keep whispering "Everything will be fine". This, of course, is the theme of the bars 174 to 181 (and all parallel passages). I wrote the first version of Consolation for the Musashino Recorder Ensemble in Saitama, which edits my works in Japan together with the Placebo Ensemble.
The last movement is a witch dance, a coursing, real scherzo, virtuosic and full of untamed energy. The meter is as complex as the pieces of Bartók. The composed, irregular bars produce a very special nervous and floating atmosphere. What Bartók borrowed from the Romanian folk music I applied to the Black African Music here.
I wish to thank the Boreas Quartet from Bremen – Jin-Ju Baek, Julia Fritz, Luise Manske and Elisabeth Champollion - for the marvelous premiere in Michaelstein on September 23 this year and the music video shooting in Bremen. You really brought the piece to life!

These are the Youtube videos of the four movements:

1. Circle Dance

2. Sad Song

3. Consolation
(Mein erfolgreichstes Video!)

4. Simple Solution

Enjoy listening!

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro