Dreamtiger – East-West Encounters

Dreamtiger – East-West Encounters LP front cover
Dreamtiger – East-West Encounters LP back cover
Dreamtiger – East-West Encounters LP side 1

Dreamtiger was a British contemporary music ensemble led by composer Douglas Young and featuring pianist Peter Hill, flutist Kathryn Lukas and cellist Rohan de Saram, among others [see my Wikipedia article for details]. Despite the prestigious cast and the number of concerts and tours they performed between 1974 and 1984, Dreamtiger left surprisingly few traces on the web and in reference books. Published in 1982, East-West Encounters was the ensemble’s unique LP – a marvelous collection of Eastern-influenced works by 20th century composers, including masterpieces that found their way in the classical canon–, based on Dreamtiger’s 1980 U.K. tour repertoire.

The enchanting Balinese Ceremonial Music of US composer Colin MacPhee (1900-1964) is an adaptation of gamelan music for two pianos inspired by his intermittent stays on the island between 1932 and 1938 [on MacPhee, see previous post]. MacPhee’s intimate knowledge of Balinese vernacular music is palpable throughout this colorful microtonal reverie in three parts (Pemoengkah, Gambangan, Taboeh Teloe). Balinese Ceremonial Music was first recorded by the composer and Benjamin Britten at the piano on a Schirmer’s Library of Recorded Music 78rpm disc published in 1941 – see video below.

Douglas Young‘s Trajet/Inter/Lignes for solo flute and small percussion was premiered in 1981 by flutist Kathryn Lukas. The latter’s nuanced and sensible approach brings incredible presence and liveliness to these rarefied, aural ideograms. Undertaken in 1986, Peter Hill‘s complete recordings of Messiaen’s piano music for British label Unicorn-Kanchana are a reference for the warmth and humanity they brought – sounding more like André Jolivet and less Darmstadt, if you get the idea. This 1982 version of Cantéyodjayâ, is different, less authoritative and 2mns longer than the 1986 version. Finally, the Dreamtiger ensemble offers a fine rendition of the classic Vox Balaenae, George Crumb‘s poetic evocation of whale songs.

  1. Colin McPheeBalinese Ceremonial Music (10:30)
    Douglas Young, Peter Hill, pianos
  2. Douglas YoungTrajet/Inter/Lignes (13:49)
    Kathryn Lukas, flute
    Douglas Young, percussion
  3. Olivier MessiaenCantéyodjayâ (13:42)
    Peter Hill, piano
  4. George CrumbVox Balaenae (The Voice of the Whale) (19:30)
    Kathryn Lukas, flute
    Peter Hill, piano
    Rohan de Saram, cello

Total time 57:30
LP released by Cameo Classics, Manchester, UK, 1982


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4 Responses to “Dreamtiger – East-West Encounters”

  1. 1 ethnoscelsi May 4, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Thank you so much for Dreamtiger’s album. It’s beautiful music, and the accompanying notes provide a level of depth that is rare among album publications. Thanks also for the concert brochures.

  2. 2 continuo May 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

    My copy of the LP came with various concert programs, press releases, letters and manuscripts, and I felt like sharing this information on an under-documented ensemble. Thanks for your comment.

  3. 3 calisan2000 May 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Wonderful album! First track is the best! why nobody cares reissues?
    Thanks continuo! for great rip and good info inserts

  4. 4 continuo May 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    The LP is absolutely brilliant from start to finish, IMO. As for proper reissues, I suspect we’ll have to cope with the lack thereof in the future and bloggers will prove more and more indispensable to the curious listener.
    Thanks for your comment.

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