. . . the big news here's the last cut, "Delta Space," commissioned by New York University for pianist Kathleen Supové, with support from the Mary Flagler Clay Charitable Trust.
Lukas Ligeti, son of the famous Hungarian classical composer, György Ligeti, is an accomplished percussionist, composer, and world-music bridge-builder. With Mystery System, he has produced a disc of huge character and significance. Able to cross ethnic, musical, and cultural boundaries with absolute ease and aplomb, Ligeti fils, with his sophomore disc, arrives on the world music stage with a statement of gigantic presence.
Combining traditional musics with the latest techniques in computer and electronic soundscapes--he has, after all, spent two years at Stanford University's computer music lab, as well as collaborated with traditional musicians from places as diverse as Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Florida, Egypt, and the Ivory Coast--what emerges here is a kind of template for possible 21st Century musics. Some of it is so complex as to be nearly impossible to play ("Pattern Transformation")--though once played, it sounds entirely natural; other pieces, equally or even more complex ("Independence"), belie their rhythmic and timbral sophistication and come out sounding just gloriously worldly-jazzy.
But, as I say, the real action happens on "Delta Space." this number, ostensibly a solo piano piece, actually incorporates ultra-sophisticated computer-generated musical soundscapes that end up "competing" for playing-space with the pianist! Add in ethereal West-African kora and balafon samples that meld seamlessly with experimental composition and you have a brilliant amalgam of Nu music (of the Nu-est sort) with transcendent traditionalism: a combination hard to beat.
The future of music. Don't miss it.