Sitting at a pivotal point in the Contemporary Music section of this year's EIF programme, this was also a perfect introduction to the work of the group set up by NYC composer's collective Bang On A Can - Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe - over two decades ago. An hour-and-a-half's music of 12 new pieces with the addition of a rock-out encore by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore - included two UK premieres and a world premiere in a new arrangement for the group of the music from the conclusion of Steve Reich's opera The Cave.
The linking technique was the use of found or sampled sound as as a key element of these Field Recordings, sometimes with the addition of video. The founding composers were represented by Wolfe's appropriate opener Reeling, which built on the mouth music of French Canadian Benoit Benoit, a close cousin of our own Gaelic tradition, Michael Gordon's soundtrack to a cat's perambulation round a garden, gene takes a drink, and David Lang's unused swan, which teamed legato low strings with Dave Cossin's deployment of chains and tubes on a miked-up brass table-top. Like Wolfe, others took their cue from vocal recordings, notably Anna Clyne's use of a Chicago street musician on A Wonderful Day, and a recording of John Cage speaking on An Open Cage by Florent Ghys. Mira Calix joined the group on laptop and mixing for her own airport excursion, meeting you seemed easy, and Christian Marclay's Fade To Slide wittily edited clips from Hollywood and other movies and asked the band to respond to the soundtrack.