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Country : Singapore Label : Stradivarius Genres and styles : Classical / Contemporary Year : 2020
Diana Soh

Still, Yet, And Again

· by Réjean Beaucage

Originally from Singapore, Diana Soh settled in Paris, where she attended IRCAM.
Her catalogue includes solo pieces as well as orchestral works and operas, but it is
pieces for 6 to 12 musicians, written between 2013 and 2019, that the Milan
ensemble Divertimento, conducted by Sandro Gorli, offers us here. Soh’s writing is
extremely pointillist, very percussive, and each of the instruments uses extensive
playing techniques (the piano, prepared, is struck both on the strings and on its
frame, the strings are plucked, etc.). The most recent piece, Still, Yet, and Again,
leaves room for a certain flexibility through the use of glissandi and held chords, but
generally speaking, it is a carnival of dry attacks and brief sound objects that seem to
be thrown randomly into traffic, preciptating a potential pile-up. However, pure
chance would produce pure mush, and so this anarchy is well and truly organized; it
is fascinating, for example, to follow the complex ballet that the musicians perform
in a piece like “Iota”, from 2016, for 12 instrumentalists. Can’t wait to hear that back
home, you say?

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