Press

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“Psst…Psst! is an amazing collection of music and performance…virtuosic yet effortlessly musical.”

Sequenza 21

“The title is a whisper, the music is a blast of fresh air … As the name suggests, the album is a high-energy affair, often with terse fragments of phrases and other sonic particles colliding in spare atmospheres. There’s not a weak track on the disc … Smart, sharp and sometimes delightfully shocking, “Psst…psst!” is first-rate in every way.”

James McQuillen, The Oregonian

“This will certainly be one of the most fascinating concerts of the year.”

Brett Campbell, Eugene Weekly

“Each of these players is exceptionally virtuosic, negotiating the demanding scores with apparent effortlessness. Beta Collide is an ensemble that fans of new music should watch out for.”

Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide

“Like an alien spacecraft which lands on Earth, the group Beta Collide enters the world of contemporary music”

Kathodik

“Trumpeter Brian McWhorter and flutist Molly Barth are not only the UO music school’s newest stars; they’re also two of the finest players on their instruments in the world, veterans of virtuoso new music groups Meridian Arts Ensemble and eighth blackbird, respectively. Abetted by pianist David Riley and percussionist Philip Patti on their debut recording, the Eugene-based duo’s technical prowess constantly amazes — not just in the far out stuff (e.g. Robert Erickson’s “Kryl,” featuring trumpet blasts and shrieks, and the major American composer Frederic Rzewski’s “Mollitude”) but also in the exquisitely nuanced control of tone and expressivity that glows in gentler pieces like UO prof Robert Kyr’s ethereally beautiful, Japanese-influenced “Memories of an Echo” and Stephen Vitiello’s “Yellow.” A brilliant remix of Radiohead’s “Nude” shows that the pair’s restless artistic vitality extends past the avant-garde in crowd.”

Brett Campbell, Eugene Weekly

“The selections … show an independent irreverence toward the orthodoxies of the new music recital.  A lot of the music is just plain fun.  Other pieces are simply lovely. Each of these players is exceptionally virtuosic, negotiating the demanding scores with apparent effortlessness.  Beta Collide is an ensemble that fans of new music should watch out for.”

Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide

“…the five players moved back and forth over the great divide in classical music between notated score and improvisation. They did so fluently and naturally, which, for most classical musicians, is as easy as reading Sanskrit”

David Stabler, The Oregonian

“Innova Recordings n’arrête pas de produire! Trois autres nouveautés! Beta Collide est un quatuor de musique de chambre: flûte, trompette, piano/celesta et percussions. Psst… psst! propose un répertoire qui brosse large: de György Ligeti (“Mysteriesd of the Macabre”, réarrangée à souhait) à Frederic Rzewski (trois courtes pièces) et Stephen Vitiello. Et un solo pour trompettiste vocalisant signée Robert Erickson (Brian McWorther y brille). Aussi une longue pièce orientalisante de Robert Kyr pour changer d’air, et, en guise de finale, un “remix” de “Nude” de Radiohead (à laquelle le groupe ajoute des insrtruments acoustiques). Parfois aride (le Ligeti), parfois étrangement mélodique. Somme toute un beau voyage.”

François Couture, Monsieur Délire

“Beta Collide’s arrangement of György Ligeti’s “Mysteries of the Macabre” … combines vocalizations (Sprechstimme) and just plain old grunts with squeals from the trumpet. There are moments in which a single note on the piano glides seamlessly to a note from the trumpet and when a tone from the trumpet slides to a note that is spoken and sung. It is jarring at times, but also engaging.

Two pieces by Frederic Rzewski, “Mollitude” and “Nanosonata No. 7,” have a sporadic mood with lots of stops and starts, intriguing slapping sounds from the flute, and melodramatic riffs on the piano. Stephen Vitiello’s “Waterline” has all sorts of blurry, fuzzy sounds as if the ensemble were playing underwater. A distortion of sound seems to give it a slightly psychedelic edge, as well.

Vitello’s “Yellow” combines distorted sounds with burps and gurgles that evoke a nightmare on a water bed. Another really edgy piece is “Kryl” by Robert Erickson, which has a fascinating interplay between vocalizations and the trumpet. Sometimes the two border on teretts syndrome.

Valentin Silvestrov’s “Trio” trumps the playfulness between the flute and trumpet with a myriad of music box-like overtones from the celesta. Robert Kyr’s “Memories of an Echo” has single tones that are held for a long time so that the flute and trumpet echo each other in a pleasing way.”

James Bash, Oregon Music News

“…spontaneous nuance and energy from all the players.”

Tom Manoff, Register Guard

“…Street energy was cooking on a night called The Arts Collide! in which Roger Hayes – a prominent local artist – painted evocative black on white murals in response to music. He remained unseen during this multi-media happening, painting from behind the screens, only the lines and shapes emerging from whiteness. Also on this program were Jeffrey Stolet, the provocative techno- multimedia composer and the sensational Beta Collide ensemble. The music was contemporary, some of it deliciously edgy…”

Tom Manoff, Hipfish Monthly


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