16.99 17.99

Artist: Los Angeles Percussion Quartet

Composers: Christopher Cerrone, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Ellen Reid, Daniel Bjarnason, Andrew McIntosh

Format: Pure Audio Blu-ray + 2 CDs


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There are more languages spoken in Los Angeles than in any other city in the world. It’s a transitive city. Most residents have come here to contribute to its cultural identity and have ended up calling it “home”. Los Angeles is a city where every industry, creative or otherwise, is fueled by the pursuit of personal creative dreaming. It’s clear then how the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ) created a community of composers and made them all local to the group’s music making and to Los Angeles itself, regardless of each composer’s city of origin.

Is it language that makes someone at home in a given place? If so, the compositional languages of Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Christopher Cerrone, Ellen Reid, Daníel Bjarnasson, and Andrew McIntosh appear as interwoven and complex as Los Angeles itself. Their music similarly courses with chiming repetition, spectral near-silence, and the wearing away of time on objects so barely touched that they appear, in moments, as fragile as paper. These composers from two drastically different continents are brought together by LAPQ, despite their differences in origin, under one banner: friendship.

For years LAPQ has been known for its skill in both championing and cataloging works by West Coast composers, with a specific focus on Los Angeles. With Beyond they explore the deep knowing that comes from making work with old friends. And broadly, the project signals a move for the Los Angeles contemporary music scene, a scene burgeoning out with global significance, and overflowing with artists actively seeking to create community.

Beyond is a remarkable epic in which space and time are stretched on and on, over and past the horizon. Bjarnasson’s “Qui Tollis" spans an incredible arc, emerging from the contemplative space of the works around it, brimming with the bashes and tumbles of bass drums, and then seemingly too early, vanishes again into a lull and rhythmic groan. With “Fear-Release,” Reid takes us into a world of metallic voices, as if we’re listening to a rubbed piece of crystal from inside the gem itself. It’s rare that a piece of music seems to truly sonically shine, and Reid’s piece accomplishes this brilliance early and often.  Thorvaldsdottir’s “Aura” is the wind, the sand in the wind, and the wind chime hanging from the wood on the old falling-apart porch all at once. It speaks multitudes, and miraculously all upon the quiet edge of audibility. The expanse of McIntosh’s “I Hold the Lion’s Paw” is that of a twelve-hundred page novel, in which each page has less than a half dozen words. Its sprawl is scrolled out like a web in air, as the quartet communicates effortlessly with one another across a cavern of distance. In one moment they sit still in space, another they rattle endlessly like the earth; they arrive where we are, simply putting musical puzzle pieces together. With “Memory Palace,” Cerrone creates rooms of sound, each drenched in a subtle hue. In the rooms of this ever-expanding house we find ourselves drinking different air, buzzing with pop, hiss, and click, and lingering with a guitarist who could be inside the guitar itself.

Track List

Daníel Bjarnason
1. Qui Tollis

Anna Thorvaldsdottir
2. Aura

Christopher Cerrone
Memory Palace
3. I. Harriman
4. II. Power Lines
5. III. Foxhurst
6. IV. L.I.E. 
7. V. Claremont

Ellen Reid
8. Fear-Release

Andrew McIntosh
1-9. I Hold the Lion’s Paw

Total time: 1:25:53
Release date: June 16, 2017
UPC: 053479221421

Quotes & Reviews

NPR Music's Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2017

It's a late night, lights down, headphone-friendly adventure into fascinating musical landscapes. Throughout five compositions spanning almost 90 minutes, one barely realizes it's just four guys banging on things.

…immensely satisfying…

Tom Huizenga, NPR

With Beyond, the LAPQ achieves a level of artistic virtuosity which often exists only as a concept. The interpretation of each work on Beyond prepares and pushes you to make previously impossible discoveries in the next. It is this gently guiding programmatic force, the unrelenting sonic precision of the LAPQ masterfully captured and produced which makes Beyond a standout album regardless of genre or classification.

Jacob Kepcienski, I Care If You Listen

…one of the most compelling releases of early 2017…

Christian Carey, Sequenza 21

…brilliant clarity and unbelievable dynamics.

I’ve seldom seen a more sonically satisfying package.

Peter van Cooten, Ambientblog

Welcome to ‘Beyond’, a mind-bending/time-distorting three-disc percussion tour de force…

Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile

With its ambitious programming and album cover of a washed out city skyline, Beyond is a solid statement about the musical links between location and modern language. While the programming selection occasionally overindulges in abstract atmospheres, the music itself is never pretentious or overtly academic. An excellent addition to the new music canon, Beyond also has the potential to turn new listeners, those otherwise adverse to anything related to modern classical music, on to relevant new musical languages and experiences.

Andy Jurik, Pop Matters

Beyond excels in every sphere: this well-chosen programme brims with fine music and impassioned musicianship, all presented in sound that will delight audiophiles, percussionistas and music lovers everywhere.

…Jaw-dropping; the best thing I’ve heard all year.

Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

The LA Percussion Quartet are true creators, capable of interpreting  delicate works of undeniable beauty.

Carme Miró, Sonograma

…stunning in its pristine clarity…

Richard S. Ginell, Classical Voice America

…stunning in its pristine clarity…
— Richard S. Ginell, Classical Voice America

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