About the Album
Bowlin’s “The Bird as Prophet” is a rich collection of contemporary approaches to violin writing. With an emphasis on the lyrical strengths of the instrument as well as a contextualization with the virtuoso violin tradition, the works on this recording cover territory from modernism to extended minimalism as well as drawing on music from traditions outside the Western art music canon. Bowlin’s extraordinary command over his instrument, and his characteristic expressive power, are the main voice throughout, a clarion call for narrative driven, intricately interpreted performance.
About “Under a Tree, an Udātta”
Du Yun’s Under a Tree, an Udātta has as its backing track a recording of Vedic Sanskrit chanting. Bowlin’s violin then performs an extended cadenza over the incantation, covering a wide swath of expressive territory, from wild glissandi and feverish scalar passages to rich melodic lines over a drone string. “Udātta” is a term for an inflected raised tone in Vedic chant, and one can hear similar microtonal shadings in the violin part, evoking the violin’s bowed cousins in Southern Asia.
— Daniel Lippel, New Focus Recordings