Release Date: 18 September 2015
When Martland died unexpectedly two years ago the outpouring of love and respect from composers, pupils and industry colleagues was immense. He was frequently labelled an anti-establishment maverick (something those close to him would dispute) but there was no doubt he was an individual and an iconoclastic composer, performer and teacher. His refusal to conform to the composer stereotype led him down a pioneering path; he was one of the first to embrace the importance of music education in schools and he surrounded himself with like-minded musicians, set up his own band and toured his music widely.
Martland's music is rooted in the minimalist style and often amplified with propulsive, infectious rhythms more common in jazz and rock. Instrumentation including saxophones, electric guitars, bass, marimba and drum kits give his music a distinctive, edgy timbre, as in Beat the Retreat and Horses of Instruction, but this anthology demonstrates his music could also be distinctly contrasting and poignantly beautiful. Patrol, written for traditional string quartet, is influenced by Scottish folk fiddling, medieval music and the work of Henry Purcell. He explores music from the past again in orchestral piece Crossing the Border, his response to Bach's Chaconne in D minor.
This album shows Martland to be an important voice of his generation of composers and should encourage many new fans to his work.
The Steve Martland Band / Steve Martland
The Smith Quartet
GRAMOPHONE CRITICS' CHOICE 2015
SUNDAY TIMES 'BEST 100 ALBUMS OF 2015'
HERALD SCOTLAND 'TOP 20 CLASSICAL ALBUMS OF 2015'
"Martland's music has the muscularity of rock with the instrumentation and arrangement of classical music ... Horses of Instruction is a masterpiece" Stuart Maconie BBC 6Music Freak Zone
'Music at once of political and of stylistic protest, Martland’s has an intensity to defy datedness' Sunday Times
"A perfect introduction to Steve Martland's inventive and irreverent music" BBC Radio 3 Record Review
“Steve Martland was one of the good guys of British contemporary music, fizzing with with, always his own person, able to summon chunky, chugging amplified minimalism that really dances. He died too young in 2013 and this double CD is a proper tribute, including an unbeatable performance of might Patrol by the Smith Quartet.” Kate Molleson, The Herald
“How piff is it? – This is sick. Martland was the bizzle, and a retrospective of his work has overdue for a long time. Go buy this. 4/5.” New music is piff
"The late Steve Martland's heavy brand of minimalist music is fused with progressive jazz motifs, sprinklings of folk and more than a dash of beat-crazy time signatures" Peter Lindley, The Morning Star
"Anyone interested in the variety of British music of the 20th century should explore this outstanding release.” Ivan Moody, Gramophone Magazine
“This is an outstanding memorial to Steve Martland’s unique talent, including such significant works as Shoulder to Shoulder and American Invention, and lesser-known pieces such as the lovely lyrical Mr Anderson’s Pavane. Martland’s compositional voice is brought vividly to life by a stellar cast of performers, beautifully recorded by NMC” Ivan Moody, Gramophone Magazine
Horses of Instruction, Beat the Retreat, Mr Anderson’s Pavane, Eternal Delight were recorded at Angel Studios, London on 21-23
CHRIS CRAKER Recording Producer
STEVE PRICE Recording Engineer
SIMON HARAM Post Production
NEIL WILLIAMS & STEVE MARTLAND Mixed & Edited
Crossing the Border, American Invention, Shoulder to Shoulder were
recorded at Church Studios, London 13 February and 6 May 1991.
JOHN H WEST Recording Producer & Editor
SIMON RHODES & RUPERT PFAFF Recording Engineers
Patrol was recorded at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh on 26 & 27 March 1993.
STEVE MARTLAND & CALUM MALCOLM Recording Producers
CALUM MALCOLM Recording Engineer
DAVID LEFEBER Mastering
COLIN MATTHEWS Executive Producer for NMC
(P) 1985 American Invention, (P) 1986 Shoulder to Shoulder,
(P) 1994 Patrol, (P) 1991 Crossing the Border
Sony Music Entertainment. Under license from Sony Music
Commercial Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
(P) 2001 Horses of Instruction, Mr Anderson’s Pavane, Beat the
Retreat, Eternal Delight Licensed courtesy of Universal International
© 2015 NMC Recordings Ltd
Catalogue number: NMC D210
Release Date: 18 September 2015