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Ensemble Spectrum - Joy Boy

I met these people during the Darmstad Summer School & Festival in 2023. A very open-minded chamber ensemble from Slovakia, specialising in 20th and 21st century music and always eager to perform lesser-known and new works, and to overcome mental and technical challenges in the process.

This double CD from 2023 explores the theme of pulsation, showcasing the works of four distinctive composers.

In their own words:

  • “Julius Eastman’s works “Femenine,” “Joy Boy,” and “Buddha,” expand minimalist music with pop elements, raw sounds, and vibrant colors.
  • Martin Burlas, a Slovak composer, presents “Seventh Day’s Record,” an evolving composition originally critiquing society. Its fierce rhythms and changing meters transform aggression into beauty.
  • Jozef Malovec, another Slovak composer, broke free from post-Webern styles, exemplified by “Cryptogramme I” from 1964. This composition’s mechanical rhythms still sound fresh decades later.
  • Frederic Rzewski, a notable composer, adds his voice with “Les Moutons de Panurge,” a playful piece in his “game pieces” series. It develops from a thirty-second melody into a composition where tempo accelerates, leading to captivating and beautiful music.”


1. Julius Eastman – Femenine (part 1) 32:36
2. Julius Eastman – Femenine (part 2) 23:28
3. Julius Eastman – Femenine (part 3) 21:50
4. Martin Burlas – 7th Day Record 07:40
5. Julius Eastman – Joy Boy 06:21
6. Jozef Malovec – Cryptogramme I 06:30
7. Martin Burlas – 7th Day Record (quiet version) 08:00
8. Julius Eastman – Buddha 10:55
9. Frederic Rzewski – Les Moutons de Panurge 19:50

CD 1 “Femenine” was recorded live at Tatra Gallery, Poprad, Slovakia (August 2022).
CD 2 “Joy Boy” tracks 1-4 recorded at Clarissine Concert Hall, Bratislava, Slovakia (October 2022).
Tracks 5, 6 recorded live as a part of a concert at Clarissine Concert Hall, Bratislava, Slovakia (October 2022).

See other releases by Ensemble Spectrum here.

Label: UBU Collection / UBU #05
Medium: 2CD
Category: .


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