- En Masse is Alex Pozniak’s response to a commission by long-time supporter Charles Davidson, for a substantial piece for the sextet’s core line up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. The title refers to the idea of the ensemble working together in a unified mass and the musical ideas explore notions of mass and heaviness. It exists in a segue 3-movement form (fast slow fast) and is 30 minutes in length.
- bend/boogie/break by Western Sydney composer Holly Harrison describes the character of three recurring ideas across the work. ‘Bend’ refers to the use of glissandi and pitch bends (particularly strings); ‘Boogie’ refers to the underlying funk bass; and ‘Break’, as in, to break apart or a ‘breakdown’ section (perhaps a nod to metal rhythms).
- The title of Thomas Meadowcroft’s work for quartet and electronics, Medieval Rococo, is an oxymoron for our time: how is it possible to generate an abundance of wealth, ornamentation and redundancy on the back of an impoverished idea? The terms ‘medieval’ and ‘rococo’ are not used to reference periods of European art history, but in the populist sense of the words. ‘Medieval’ denotes music crude and backward, ‘rococo’ denotes music garish and arty.
“En Masse is a perfect expression of Offspring’s 25 year history of combining distinctive personalities into a cohesive unit. In the true spirit of something done En Masse, there is a group consensus, common purpose, and a rich depth of individual artistry.”
– Ross Karre (percussionist/director, International Contemporary Ensemble)
“The latest album from Ensemble Offspring immediately demands re-visits with its dynamic juxtaposition of works by Alex Pozniak (a powerfully dramatic assaying of weight in music), Holly Harrison (a witty, hip take on instrumental and other musical distortions) and Thomas Meadowcroft (a gently vibrating meditation that opens out to a pulsing expansive vision). As ever, these Australian works are superbly played and recorded by Ensemble Offspring.”
– Keith Gallasch (RealTime founder, Sydney)
“En Masse satisfied my long-held desire for an extended work by Australian composer Alex Pozniak, whose career I have followed for many years. And this disc doesn’t disappoint, brimming with Pozniak’s signature darkness and punctuating bold gestures. The long-form nature of En Masse allows space to revel in quieter textural moments throughout, a rare treat for my ears.”
– Lachlan Skipworth (composer, Perth)