Cedille Records (2016)
Enterprising chamber group Fifth House Ensemble, noted for its “conviction, authority, and finesse” (The New York Times), joins forces with swinging and virtuosic Mediterranean folk band Baladino and 2014 Rome Prize-winning composer Dan Visconti for an exhilarating, boundary-breaking collaboration.
Nedudim, Hebrew for “wanderings,” is a world-premiere album of eleven new vocal and instrumental works created from a palette of international influences, including accents of Indian raga, plus fresh arrangements of folk melodies from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. The album’s title evokes its geography-hopping global perspective. Modern orchestral instruments meet their exotic Asian and North African counterparts — oud, bansuri, ney, duduk, and ram’s horn — on works ranging from the rollicking opening track Si Veriash a la Rana, the minimalist ostinatos and pop influences of Kenneth Benshoof’s Traveling Music, and meditative drone strings and jazz-flute riffs of Raga Etude to the warm, sultry romantic landscape of Noches Noches and the heart-felt, captivating Ladino folk ballad Tres Ermanikas Eran, featuring Israeli singer Yael Badash.
The album producer is Steve Rodby of Pat Metheny Group fame, whose discography includes thirteen Grammy Awards. Recording engineer is Cedille Records’ own three-time Grammy nominee Bill Maylone. Nedudim is Fifth House Ensemble’s follow-up to Excelsior, its 2014 Cedille Records debut. The San Francisco Chronicle said, “The whole undertaking is marked by spirited music-making of the finest kind.” Classical Modern Music praised Fifth House as “a world-class chamber ensemble dedicated to new music . . . and an exceptional one at that.” Excelsior was featured as an “Album of the Week” on New York’s WQXR/Q2 Music.
Cedille Records (2014)
Visionary chamber-music group Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago aims for the stratosphere with Excelsior, its adventurous debut album on Cedille Records. The title refers to an experimental, extreme-altitude U.S. Air Force project of the Cold War era.
Excelsior presents world-premiere recordings of works by Caleb Burhans, recipient of commissions from Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress; prolific, award-winning composer Alex Shapiro; and Jesse Limbacher, winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The disc also includes a work by Chicago Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence, Mason Bates.