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strange imaginary animals
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strange imaginary animals
eighth blackbird
Cedille Records CDR 90000 094

2008 Grammy Award Winner!
Winner for Best Chamber Music Performance and album producer Judith Sherman received a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Classical.

Guitar picks strum a piano. Thimbles appear and strike strings. A clarinet wails wildly, a bass drum roars, ducks, seagulls, even delivery trucks are evoked. strange imaginary animals explores all of these sounds in pieces that stake their claim to their own unique sonic space. Featuring premiere recordings of Jennifer Higdon's Zaka, David M. Gordon's Friction Systems, and Gordon Fitzell's violence and evanescence, also Steve Mackey's Indigenous Instruments and a remix by composer/dj Dennis DeSantis.
Daily Herald (Chicago)
Eighth Blackbird's latest album, "Strange Imaginary Animals" (Cedille Records), collects eight compositions from five composers, uniting them with interpretations that create the aural imagery of animated creatures, either in full gallop or holding whimsical conversations in an imaginary language. The precision of the playing transforms the instruments' natural sounds, helping build unusual textures, switching up dynamics with restless energy - their efforts earned the group a Grammy nomination for best chamber music performance as well as a classical contemporary composition nomination for composer Jennifer Higdon and a producer of the year nomination for Judith Sherman.
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

Program (72:00)

Jennifer Higdon
1 Zaka (2003) (12:50)

Gordon Fitzell
2 violence (2001) (9:46)

Steven Mackey
Indigenous Instruments (1989) (17:34)
3 I (6:17)
4 II (5:39)
5 III (5:37)

David M. Gordon
6 Friction Systems (2002; rev. 2005) (14:37)

Gordon Fitzell
7 evanescence (2006) (11:18)

Dennis DeSantis
8 strange imaginary remix (2006) (5:33)