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Anna Meredith: Nuc

Ligeti Quartet (Mercury KX)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Anna Meredith
Nuc – String Quartets
Ligeti Quartet
Mercury KX 4847520   42:08 mins


‘Nuc’ is the beekeeping term for a small nuclear colony of urgent activity within a beehive. In other words, this album –a collaboration between Anna Meredith and the Ligeti Quartet – is meant to conjure up energy, heat, light and life.

The spectrum of sounds drawn upon is wide, as exemplified by the first track ‘Tuggemo’ where ’80s pop electronica evolves into ’90s dance club music. Meredith unashamedly draws on her pop influences as well as inspiration from nature, most apparent in ‘Chorale,’ ‘Haze’ and ‘Honeyed Words’ where the natural world is evoked with sounds of water, birds and rural life.

Inspiration also came from the quartet themselves, their long association with the composer and the soundworld with which they grew up. The execution of their musicianship is perhaps most impressively demonstrated by the quartet’s internal pulse and ability to hold down a groove – interesting and funky rhythms being a huge part of Meredith’s compositional character. International musical references stretching from Arabia, to (’80s pop producer) Trevor Horn, Copland and European shores, produce an album which continually surprises and enlightens.


Anne Templer