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Fallen Sparrow

by Barry Schrader

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Download includes pdf files of CD Booklet, bonus track "Mystic Night Electronic Solo" (available only on Bandcamp), video excerpts of live performances of "Fallen Sparrow" (from https://youtu.be/J7rUQ2IP3vc) and "Ravel" (from https://youtu.be/yyXE8gk3d9g).
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  • Compact Disc
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a factory-wrapped clear jewel case with full color covers and booklet.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Fallen Sparrow via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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I-L’Oreille coupée L’Amour est dans ce linge ma mie dans ce linge sanglant qu’au lavoir vous portez dans ce linge où il dort linge humide et foetus que vous allez noyer Mon oreille est un miroir et j’ai trop sangloté et mes mains sont brulés et mes yeux sont crevés Vous predrez le battoir pour frapper dans l”eau cliare nos linges fatigués Mon Oreille coupée pése lourd in vos mains et let mots sont blessés à l’épreuve des jours Nous saignons tous les deux I-Severed Ear Our love is like old cloth like the bloody fabric that you take and wash like a newborn baby that you drown My ear is a mirror and I am too bloody and my hands are burning and my eyes are bursting You wash the worn fabric of our love beating it in the clear water My severed ear weighs heavy in your hands your painful words making the days more unbearable How we both bleed
II - Marmelade d’oranges Dire la chute des feuillies la cadence des cris les terreurs enfantines quelques gestes simples Il y avait buée sur les verrières Elle regardait des enluminures il fasiat dehors un temps de grenouilles Frog ou fog je ne sais Elle vers lui au British Museum “My name is Celia and I am ten years old” II - Orange Marmalade The sounds of autumn the rhythm of cries the childish fears such simple motions There is steam on the stained glass She watches the illuminations flicker at a frog’s tempo Frog or fog, I don’t know She moves toward him at the British Museum “My name is Celia and I am ten years old”
III - Une histoire de portrait Just a world rien qu’un mot Just a word rein qu’un monde Léonard brosse la Jaconde Le portrait pâlit le modèle se meurt rien qu’un chant rien qu’un chant une note pour tenir un visage dans la beauté du jour III - The Portrait’s Story Just a world rien qu’un mot Just a word rein qu’un monde Leonardo paints the Mona Lisa The image fades the model is dying just a song only a song, one note keeps her face from fading in the beauty of the daylight
Ravel 15:30


"Fallen Sparrow" illustrates Mr. Schrader’s mastery in combining live performance with pre- recorded electroacoustic music. On a large scale, the composer’s carefully designed track arrangement creates
a seamless, flowing sonic experience. Each composition fits within the disc’s time stream, progressing through a meta-world of sonic events. It’s clear that Mr. Schrader deliberately considers the many relationships that exist between acoustic instruments and electroacoustic sounds. He thoughtfully crafts sonic, rhythmic, motivic, harmonic, and formal materials, creating music that exhibits both freedom and reliance between instruments and electronics. …, the instrumentalist weaves seamlessly through the synthetic sound world, appearing free from time and technical constraints. The electroacoustic sounds envelop and enhance the acoustic instrument, sometimes providing a driving rhythmic accompaniment and at other times creating a lush textural background allowing the instrumentalist to float above or virtuosically traverse through. Mr. Schrader precisely ad- dresses each compositional element to accurately balance the instrumentalist and electroacoustics, designing every moment to create a natural amalgamation between the two. This is no easy task, yet the musical result is organic and seamless. - Elainie Lillios
– Computer Music Journal

Already on the previous release I had the pleasure to review (“EAM”), Barry Schrader discussed his interest in timbre as a factor of musical development. On “Fallen Sparrow”, it has very much attained that status. Sound as such has become both a driving force as well as a source of meaning in itself: It accompanies the lyrics with precise strokes on “Love, In Memoriam”, provides sharp contrasts with the lyrically organic lines of the clarinet on “Five Arabesques” and charges between complimentary emulation and direct opposition in “Ravel”. On “Fallen Sparrow” (the piece), meanwhile, the embodied, designative and timbral meaning come together in perfect unison, the violin melody moves from agitated death cries to warm acceptance as the work deals with the four final stages of the bird’s life and the sounds fill in the unspoken gaps, the metaphysical implications, the silence. Just as much as there are musical themes enveloping the entire record, the sound world Schrader has created is tightly defined and recognizable. It certainly had to be with regards to the symbiosis between organic and electronic instruments in all the tracks contained here. This last point opens up another angle from which to regard “Fallen Sparrow”, namely as a distillation of highly personal human relationships, of finding the right partner for a music which requires experience, expertise and a pronounced sensitivity for the nuances that lie in playing with an “invisible orchestra”. - Tobias Fischer
– Tokafi

"Fallen Sparrow" presents four of Barry Schrader's works composed between 1989 and 2005. The common thread: they are all mixed works for electronics and live performers. Up first is the triptych "Love, In Memoriam." A short song cycle, it features tenor Frank Royon Le Mée interpreting three poems by Michaël Glück (in French, with an English translation provided in the booklet). The first and last of the songs are simply wonderful, especially "L'Oreille coupée," in which the plaintive melody is accompanied by two rushed-up piano parts, creating a gripping sense of madness. Vicki Ray is at the piano for the concluding "Ravel," which features the highest level of electronics/instrumentalist integration of the set. In the course of its 15 minutes, the piece goes through several mood swings, from cyclical motives to brooding chords and quirky clusters, all closely intertwined with the computer part, which remains very tonal throughout. Past the first few minutes, the intensity hits a peak and stays there, stealing the listener's attention and not letting go. - François Couture
– All Music Guide


released May 23, 2006

Frank Royon Le Mée, voice
Mark Menzies, violin
William Powell, clarinet
Vicki Ray, piano
Miriam Kolar, recording engineer


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Barry Schrader Los Angeles, California

Schrader's compositions for electronics, dance, film, video, mixed media, live/electro-acoustic music combinations, and real- time computer performance have been presented throughout the world. In 2014, he was given the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the Composition Faculty of the CalArts School of Music from 1971 to 2016. His web site is <barryschrader.com>. ... more

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