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Ben Roidl-Ward

Axis Mundi:
New Works For Bassoon

SIDEBAND RECORDS 9

CD and Digital Download

CD and Digital Download

This is proof: new generations generate new qualities. Axis Mundi is the result of a search Liza Lim and I did ten years ago: how to find an intuitive notation for new playing techniques on the bassoon. Very exciting to see how well Roidl-Ward interprets the notation and brings the techniques as well as this piece to a new level – of simply joyful music making.

Alban Wesley, Bassoonist

 

Axis Mundi grabs you by the collar and never lets go. The sound is warm and present; one feels they are sitting at the feet of the storyteller and his presence is palpable. The performances are full of richly nuanced expression and vital rhythmic energy. Sure, there's plenty of instrumental virtuosity, but this record goes beyond that: as timbres transform, pitches shift into and out of our perception, and melodies arc gracefully, the interpretations reveal a wealth of powerfully embodied emotions and images. 

Austin Wulliman, Jack Quartet

 

With his album Axis Mundi, Ben Roidl-Ward solidifies his reputation as a fearless technical beast and bassoon innovator who has long nurtured deeply symbiotic relationships with some of today’s most inventive composers. In Luis Fernando Amaya’s Pregunta No. 4: Quimera, Roidl-Ward displays mind-blowing control of noise and tone, even deploying the buzz of spittle as a malleable musical object, which culminates in metallic wails like the trumpeting of a bionic elephant. From the ferocious yet precisely-sculpted compound melodies of Mathew Arrellin’s Still Alive, to the stunningly engulfing first sound of Tom Kelly’s Be Still Mobius, Roidl-Ward and his collaborators have produced a masterpiece that will stretch the imagination of generations of bassoonists and composers.

Sky Macklay, Composer and Oboist, Peabody Institute