The Tavener Project
John Tavener’s ‘Palintropos’ – World Premiere Recording
John Tavener’s ‘Palintropos‘ for piano and orchestra was composed in 1978. This remarkable score has remained commercially unrecorded for over 41 years. Tavener himself described it as “the most impressionistic piece I have ever written”. We will record Palintropos with the senstational young Japanese pianist ARUHI and the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp. The album will also feature ‘All things in time and space‘ by Michael Stewart who studied with Tavener in the late 70s.
“The genesis of Palintropos was not entirely abstract. It was conceived on the island of Patmos in Greece and it came to me pretty much in one day when I was sitting on top of Patmos where St John received the Divine Revelation. If you watch changing colours on Patmos it’s one of the most extraordinary experiences you can have, watching them from morning to evening – it’s quite staggering! I consider it to be closest thing I’ve composed to a tone-poem and my only impressionistic serial piece”
Extract from a previously unpublished interview between John Tavener and Michael Stewart in 1983
Aruhi is a classically trained pianist and composer who has given recitals in Japan and Europe, both as soloist and accompanist, working with, among others, the oboist Katsuya Watanabe, the violinists Ami Ito and Michiko Kobayashi and the soprano Yoko Maria.
In 2015 she spent six months in London studying with Professor Christopher Elton of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2017 she played a programme of music by the 20th-century Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona in the 12th-century underground church of St Jean in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, France. She has composed an album of experimental electronic music, which was published on the website of the Electronic Music Library.
Her boundless musical curiosity extends, however, to all aspects of her craft and she has played in multiple genres, from the opera of Shuji Terayama’s Asian Clack Band troupe to piano and synths for Tokyo’s extraordinary Robot Restaurant show, from playing with the Franco-Cuban band El Son del Cauto to performing with the all-girl rock band Draw Never. She has sat in with Hugo Motta’s Salsa Illegal and regularly plays keyboards for Bozu Band, a rock ensemble comprised of Buddhist monks. She has imminent plans to direct and score a short film and has been commissioned to compose the soundtrack for another film project.
Michael J. Stewart is a composer, pianist and writer. He studied composition at Trinity College of Music, London with John Tavener and at the International Film School, London with Richard Arnell.
His music covers a diverse range of styles and genres and he has frequently worked in collaboration with film, dance, theatre and other mixed media projects. His music is often preoccupied with his interest in cosmology, time, memory, spirituality, zen philosophy, sacred geometry and quantum theory. He is currently working on a Piano Concerto for the pianist Aruhi.
As a writer Stewart has written for many leading music publications including, The Guardian, Gramophone Magazine, The Good CD Guide, Music & Musicians, The BBC as well as writing many CD liner notes for major classical labels.
He founded A Flock Ascending in 2017 in order he says, “to unite all the strands and pre-occupations that have informed my music and to expand them into an ongoing, communal project and independent record label“.
Chris Payne is a British orchestral composer for film & television. A classically trained musician who studied alongside Michael J. Stewart at Chichester Music College and Trinity College London. He has recorded for many production music companies such as Chappell, BMG, Zomba, Carlin, Bruton, Universal, Warners and PMOL and conducted the LSO and Prague Philharmonic Orchestras for his scores for film and TV.
His project ‘Celtic Legend‘ and Gothic Orchestra have been featured on Classic FM TV and featured artists like Arthur Brown, Peter Sarstedt, Gwenno Saunders and Emily Ovenden. Chris was also principle keyboard player for Gary Numan from 1979-1990 and recorded the seminal album ‘The Pleasure Principle‘ followed by Telekon, Dance, and played viola and violin on many more recordings plus tours. Chris co-wrote the 80’s Visage hit ‘Fade to Grey‘, sharing writing credits with Midge Ure and Billy Currie of Ultravox. He has recently been working on songs and commissions with producer and DJ Rusty Egan and has a solo piano album released on the Kassner music label.
In 2017 he co-founded A Flock Ascending with British composer Michael J. Stewart.