Born in 1960, the Japanese composer Mari Takano studied in Japan and then Germany, where György Ligeti became a mentor to her, providing liberating impulses. Ligeti is also a near-constant presence throughout this programme of works composed between 2003 and 2009.
The four duos and trios that share the title LigAlien are all in various ways the results of an idea which occurred to Takano in 2002 – what would it be like to implant ‘alien’ DNA (i.e. her own) into one of Ligeti’s works? Explaining the process in her own liner notes, Takano started in LigAlien I with elements from the second movement of Ligeti's Horn Trio, 'letting them evolve in all kinds of directions. In the course of the work, the interruptions become bolder and more prominent, until nothing is left of Ligeti’s idea. Instead an alien being has come into life, a being which seems to like jazz quite a lot.'
Interspersing the four 'LigaAliens' are two solo pieces, Jungibility for piano and Full Moon for violin and electronics, which also embrace a wealth of ideas both musical and otherwise – when discussing the works, Takano herself refers to Duke Ellington, Omar Sosa and Stockhausen (Jungibility) and Björk, Pina Bausch and Miles David (Full Moon).
Dedicated to the memory of Ligeti, the closing Flute Concerto is the largest work on the disc, both in terms of duration and the forces involved. The present recording also appears on a previous BIS disc (BIS-CD-1649), released in 2008, and the work was described by reviewers as 'a score which can move to a pop music beat without sinking into triviality or bombast' (in Gramophone) and 'a clever, rewarding work that will reward repeated hearings' (on the website Audiophile Audition).
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