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£4,826
pledged of £4,800pledged of £4,800 goal
74
backers
13days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, April 3 2019 5:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Ligeti QuartetBy Ligeti Quartet
First created
Ligeti QuartetBy Ligeti Quartet
First created
£4,826
pledged of £4,800pledged of £4,800 goal
74
backers
13days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, April 3 2019 5:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

The Music

Songbooks is a collection of pieces by British composer Christian Mason. This first volume has been paired with music composed by the Inuit singer Tanya Tagaq

This project has become a rather big deal for us as we have been together since 2010 and never released our own album, even though we feature on many albums by other musicians. We wanted to wait until we had something really special to offer, and we think this is it! 

Early in the life of Ligeti Quartet, we commissioned our friend, multi award-winning composer Christian Mason, to write us a piece for our first tour, in China. Sai ma, or Racing Horses, is based on a popular virtuosic show-piece for Chinese Erhu. It sparked a long-term collaboration with Christian, which started off being about horses and ended up being an exploration of throat-singing from different cultures around the world! The Songbooks project brings together our interests and values as a quartet - exploring classical contemporary music at its limits through extended techniques, other current musical genres, and the music of other cultures, and being a part of the preservation and evolution of older classical and folk traditions. The Songbooks are each based on a tradition of throat-singing and, in this first volume, specific songs from Tuva and Sardinia which were first transcribed and then recomposed for strings. Sivunittinni, by Inuit throat-singer Tanya Tagaq, is now a staple of our repertoire and works brilliantly as a partner to Christian's music.

We believe that this collection of pieces respects and celebrates the artists who perform the original songs and the traditions from which they hail - the Tenores di Bitti from central Sardinia and Ay-Kherel from Tuva. The music uses string techniques to bring out rich sonorities and celestial overtones (it is said that the high whistle tone created by the close harmonies of the Sardinian singers was the voice of the Virgin Mary!) combined with gritty, raw textures, occasional toe-tapping grooves, and strong, 'rosin and bow-hair' melodic delivery. The music sometimes sounds as if it has been electronically processed, mimicking the effect unit’s filters, chorus pedals and ring modulators. The Tuvan Songbook was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2017 and Ivan Hewett (The Telegraph) reviewed the Sardinian Songbook as:

A brilliant recreation of the impassioned close-harmony tradition of Sardinia, played with pungent intensity by the quartet”. 

The project so far couldn't have happened without the generous support of the Britten-Pears Foundation, City Music Foundation, RVW Trust, and St John's Smith Square, who funded the commissioning of both Songbooks, and have helped us get started on making the CD. We're also hugely grateful for the Kronos Quartet's mega awesome Fifty for the Future, which includes Sivunittinni. Working with them in NYC on some of the pieces in this project has been one of the most defining moments for us as a group and we hope our own project reflects what a legacy they're creating.

In Sardinia with the Tenores di Bitti after a show both groups were in
In Sardinia with the Tenores di Bitti after a show both groups were in

The Recording

When we spoke about our project to one of the top producers, Leo Abrahams, he got really excited and shared his vision for the album. We knew right then and there it had to be him! After a trial rehearsal at the Lightship studio in London, we also knew this was the right place for us.

The City Music Foundation provided funding for studio time, and the editing and producing for three tracks that we can now show labels, and hopefully we'll find the right match for us!

TRACKS

Christian Mason - Tuvan Songbook (2016 LQ commission)
    1. Dyngylday 3:43
    2. Eki Attar 2:52
    3. Kuda Yry 4:09
    4. Ezir-Kara 6:07

Christian Mason - Sardinian Songbook (2018 LQ commision)
    1. S’iscravamentu 6:04
    2. Ballate a Ballu Tundu 10:32
    3. Satiras 3:47
    4. Muttos 3:53

Tanya Tagaq - Sivunittinni (2015) 9:59

Huang Hai-Hai, arr. Christian Mason - Sai Ma/Racing Horses (2012 LQ commission) 5:34

    (Total album length 56:40...the timings are the producer’s educated guess before the remaining 7 tracks are edited.) 

RECORDING DETAILS

    Studio - Lightship95 (Soup Studios), London
    Recording dates - 25-28 August 2018
    Producer - Leo Abrahams
    Engineers - Giles Barrett and David Holmes
    Production assistant - Tom Green

The recording team at Soup Studios!
The recording team at Soup Studios!

Rewards

Understandably, most labels want to hear all of the finished tracks before they'll consider taking on the album for production and distribution. We desperately need your help to finish the other seven tracks and do the final mastering! We've got some exciting rewards for you, please get in touch with us if there's a reward you'd like us to add or if you want more information.  

Stretch goals 

Should we raise more money than our campaign goal, we'll put it towards the commissioning of the next Songbook. Everyone who donates over £25 will get either a ticket for the première or a link for a video of the first performance. 

Risks and challenges

There are relatively few risks in that we've already recorded the tracks, they now just need to be clipped, nipped, assembled, stacked, mixed, balanced, tickled and cared for. And Leo is our man. All we need is time, from us and from him, and time is money! The more uncertain thing is finding a label. We're 100% dedicated to releasing this disc, so the worse case scenario is that, should we not find any (or the right) label, we'll release it ourselves. Delays happen, the unexpected happens, but we're all in this together and we'll keep you updated as we go along. Making a CD takes longer than...growing a baby (no joke, Val did that)...but in the end it'll be worth it!

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    Single track

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    Tote bag

    Fair-trade product, and we guarantee it'll be a good design!

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    Songbooks CD

    Get a copy of the CD, signed by the Ligeti Quartet

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    Launch concert

    A ticket for our launch concert.

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    Bring (and impress) a friend

    We'll let you know the date and venue with as much notice as possible; if you can't make it, we'll offer you ticket(s) to any other LQ concert, or a video of the CD launch.

    Includes:
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
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    Thank you!

    Get your name listed in the CD booklet as a contributor.

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    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
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    • Ligeti Quartet tote bag
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    More tickets & backstage

    Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert - your choice, valid from the end of this campaign until the last day of 2021. We'll take you backstage if you like!

    Includes:
    • Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert & backstage tour
    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
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    Sai Ma (Racing Horses)

    Autographed score of "Sai Ma" - this piece isn't published, so it's a rare chance to own it.

    Includes:
    • Autographed score of "Sai ma"
    • Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert & backstage tour
    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
    • Signed copy of Songbooks CD
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    Open rehearsal

    Attend an open rehearsal, get the chance to ask the us questions about our working process.

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    • Autographed score of "Sai ma"
    • Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert & backstage tour
    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
    • Signed copy of Songbooks CD
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    Private concert or recording session

    A 1-hour private ’house concert’, including introductions to each piece, at a London venue, or venue tbd with LQ, OR a 3-hour recording session with LQ if you are a composer, songwriter or arranger who needs us OR an LQ arrangement & recording of a song of your choice.

    Includes:
    • Private concert OR recording session
    • Autographed score of "Sai ma"
    • Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert & backstage tour
    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
    • Ligeti Quartet tote bag
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    Dedicatee

    You will be the dedicatee of the Inuit or Xhosa Songbook and be invited to attend the recording sessions and premiers of these works which will comprise Songbooks Volume 2.

    Includes:
    • You will be the dedicatee of the Inuit or Xhosa songbook
    • Attend an open rehearsal
    • Autographed score of "Sai ma"
    • Two tickets to any other Ligeti Quartet concert & backstage tour
    • Listed in the CD booklet as a contributor
    • Two tickets to the CD launch, with reserved seating
    • Signed copy of Songbooks CD
    • Ligeti Quartet tote bag
    • Listed on our website as a contributor (optionally)
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