Cover image for African sunrise/Manhattan rave
African sunrise/Manhattan rave
Heath, David, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[England] : Black Box Music, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Percussion music with saxophone or piano; orchestral acc.

Compact disc.

Program notes inserted in container.
Introduction (2:13) -- Darkness to light (Light section) (4:35) -- African sunrise (15:15) -- Manhattan rave (8:37) -- Dawn of a new age. 1st movement (7:51) ; 2nd movement (4:15) -- Darkness to light (Complete version) (11:21).
Added Corporate Author:
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PERCUSS .H437 GLE Compact Disc Central Library

On Order



Famed Brit composer Dave Heath decided to compose this work for Evelyn Glennie after seeing her perform in 1993. In the middle of her marimba and vibes performance, she announced she was "wild at heart" and took to playing a trap kit at a hundred miles an hour, forcing rhythms to overlap and collide against one another before resuming her set. This impressed Heath mightily, and he went out to create a work where she could utilize that aspect of her talent. This work, African Sunrise/Manhattan Rave, which incorporates numerous new places for the orchestra, is the result. The disc opens with Darkness to Light (Light Section), a beautiful duet between Glennie on marimba and Philip Smith's piano. It's lyrically gorgeous, full of a rhapsodic quality that ill-prepares the listener for the thunderclap that opens African Sunrise. The thunderstorm and rain that appear in the shape of the orchestral timbres focusing on Glennie's vibes and marimbas are spare, and so are her lines in response. They intertwine as if in the predawn, when the sounds of the forest are still static, just beginning to rustle and speak to one another. Just before the midpoint in this work, Glennie's vibes come into full speaking mode and the orchestra colors them slowly, deliberately, and purposefully. Heath invokes Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring for two measures before moving into full harmonic counterpoint with Glennie's instruments. Before the work ends, we encounter a fully awakened forest, full of language, color, and sound. In Manhattan Rave, the simulated sounds of a nightclub are placed in the wake of both Glennie and the orchestra. There is a drummer playing a trap kit, but it's not her. She makes the piece happen, quite literally, on trash. Her instruments: two sticks, some oilcans, and an assortment of bottles and pans. The orchestra acts as the sampled riff that the rhythm is layered on top of. It plays maybe three lines throughout in various cadences, and Glennie does her best percussion freakout. It truly is an amazing work, capable of raising the dead while remaining somehow "accessible." Dawn of a New Age features John Harle playing soprano in tandem with Glennie's percussive stylings. It has a kind of "mystical" beginning that is sparse and somber. It gives way to a Celtic-sounding melody that is resounded by the vibes. In the second movement, Smith enters with the piano and moves into a funkier, dirtier groove that is, at least in his stilted manner, reminiscent of house music. Thank God for Glennie's ability to take on both Smith and Harle and fill the repeated phrases with groove on her trashy percussion set. The end of the CD is the night section of Darkness to Light. This is ambience via percussion, and it works. Both Glennie and Smith cover territory that allows for the spaces to speak for themselves. This is reminiscent of early ECM material but with more drama. The entire disc shines, which is a surprise since Heath has been known to compose horrible schmaltz for James Galway and Julian Lloyd-Webber. To his credit, and considering his choice of musicians to compose for and recruit as players, this set of world premieres may mean that Heath is not ready for the boring world of musical theater yet. And Glennie...well, even with all the work she's done, she hasn't yet begun to show what she's capable of. It's there in the gleam of her eye, and her work is almost always exquisite, but you know there's so much more she has yet to give the listener. ~ Thom Jurek