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Music Review

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Sky Rings


Artist: Esther Lamneck
Label: Neuma Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 19 March 2021

From Denmark to Germany, Northern Ireland to the Czech Republic, Korea to Manitoba and Alabama, this collection of half a dozen recent works for clarinet and electronics has roots around the world but is nonetheless unified through one important element: All of them were created for Esther Lamneck to play. Lamneck, who has long been at the centre of adventurous uses of the clarinet – not to mention the Hungarian Tárogató too – brings her lifetime of expressive and technical skills to these challenging and rewarding works...

Sky Rings is an interesting experimental collection of pieces by various composers. The electronic music is employed in numerous ways, from fully integrated real-time interaction, to playing a more accompanimental role.

Unlike a lot of avante garde works, Sky Rings actually has melody and themes that are woven throughout. The electronic manipulation enhances the surreal sounds that Lamneck coaxes out of her instrument.

While it won't appeal to everyone, there are enough interesting segments to make it worthwhile for music students.


Nick Smithson

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