Virgil Thomson touched upon the essence of American music when he stated "the way to write American music is simple. All you have to do is to be an American and then write any kind of music you wish."
The compositions featured in this album corroborate the accuracy of Thomson's perceptive observation. These works are both diverse and captivating. Their composers hail from different geographical locations; they approach their craft from divergent perspectives; they employ unusual instrumental groupings and fashion their musical language in unique ways. Each work resourcefully meets the compositional challenges posed by its chosen medium. Most importantly, all the featured artists are writing first-rate American music.
We faced enormous challenges while completing this recording. The events of September 11, 2001 disrupted the scheduled rehearsal sessions in New York City and jeopardized this entire project. Not only did we encounter seemingly insurmountable communication and transportation problems, but the concert hall reserved for the recording sessions was also ordered closed indefinitely. Auspiciously (as it was the case with the album's companion Carnaval/Carnival – N/S R 1028), the resilient and enthusiastic spirit of the unswerving North/South Consonance Ensemble musicians, together with a most cooperative Purchase College Performing Arts Center staff overcame all hurdles. Astoundingly, the album was recorded four days after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Celebrating the diversity and quality of American music might be the most appropriate response to such tragic events.
Great care was taken to preserve the integrity of the concert hall ambiance when this album was recorded and mastered. Indeed, the listener will find that the natural resonance of the concert hall and the wide dynamic range of the music were captured successfully. Please use a moderate volume setting when playing this disc.