AKOKA: Reframing Olivier Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time


David Krakauer, clarinet
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Jonathan Crow, violin
Geoffrey Burleson, piano
Socalled, electronics


1. David Krakauer:  AKOKA

2. I. Liturgie de cristal
3. II. Vocalise, pour l'Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
4. III. Abîme des oiseaux
5. IV. Imtermède
6. V. Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus
7. VI. Damse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
8. VII. Fouillis d'arcs-en-ciel, pour l"Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
9. VIII. Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus

10. Socalled: MEANWHILE...

About AKOKA: Reframing Olivier Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time

Nominated for a 2015 JUNO Award:  Classical Album Of The Year - Solo Or Chamber

"This brilliantly inventive recording pays tribute to Henri Akoka, the Algerian-born clarinetist who egged on Messiaen to compose when both were prisoners of war in a German camp during World War II. Framing a vivid rendition of the Quartet for the End of Time are two musical flights of fancy, an improvisation by the extraordinary clarinetist David Krakauer, and an electronic remix of the quartet by Socalled."
-Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times

In a rare live recording, AKOKA bookmarks the complete Messiaen masterwork Quartet for the End of Time between David Krakauer's own composition/improvisation for the quartet, entitled "Akoka", and Meanwhile... by sound artist Socalled.  The album lifts Messiaen's original work out of the polite context of a chamber music performance and places it in a dramatic setting that drives home its gravity and impact, while bringing it into the 21st century. As the forces of fundamentalism, intolerance and violence intensify in today's world, this particular mounting of the great work seems all the more timely.  AKOKA was inspired by the wartime experience of clarinetist Henri Akoka, who premiered the Quartet for the End of Time with Olivier Messiaen in Stalag VIII A, the German prisoner-of-war camp in which they were both interred.  Henri Akoka's vibrant personality and the story of his survival, with all its twists and turns, is the inspiration for this recording.  The album positions the Quartet between two original compositions inspired by Messiaen's famous work: the opening track, Akoka, conceived by the Klezmer and classical clarinetist David Krakauer, is almost entirely improvised by the ensemble; and the closing track, Meanwhile..., by the beat architect (pianist, composer, arranger, singer, rapper, and more) Socalled (a.k.a. Josh Dolgin), merges live samples of the musicians with old radio broadcasts, hiphop, cantorial singing, and markers of time...