Jože Kotar & Luca Ferrini

Raske Dregne

Jože Kotar & Luca Ferrini

Slovenian clarinettist Jože Kotar and Italian pianist Luca Ferrini (who in the past two decades have presented the world premieres of over a hundred new works) conceived the ‘Music from the Islands’ project with the main intention of extensively diffusing an aesthetically eclectic collection of new music for clarinet and piano “written by composers who live, work or originate from islands.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines an island as “a piece of land surrounded by water” but that characterization is generally reserved for a land mass smaller than a continent. The three main types of islands are oceanic, offshore and land-bridge, but other significant denominations include archipelagos, atolls, keys and lagoons. Utilizing vectorized Global Shoreline Vector (GSV) data, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has mapped 318,868 islands under and 21,818 islands over one square kilometre in the world respectively as part of the Esri project. Greenland, in the North Atlantic Ocean with an area of 2,175,597 square kilometres, represents the largest island on earth, while Bishop Rock, located on the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain and encompassing a mere 730 square meters, the world’s smallest. It is estimated that there are around 11,000 inhabited islands in the world, with a total population of 730 million, which is approximately 11% of the world’s total population. In his seminal publication of On the Origin of Species: by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) English naturalist, geologist and biologist Charles Darwin proposed a theory of evolution through natural selection expounding the concept of islands as ‘laboratories’ that effectively frame the notion that a state of isolation will endow an island species with an independent evolutionary process in comparison to their mainland counterparts. Today, it is widely acknowledged that both insularity and isolation affect biocultural diversity, and studies linking islands, culture, landscape and seascape reveal that with respect to both abiotic and biotic mechanisms (the architects of the ecosystem), islanders are enriched societies. It may therefore be assumed that islanders collectively possess a distinctly nuanced artistic and cultural individualism. The represented composers in this latest ‘Music from the Islands’ release by Faroese record label TUTL include Kristian Blak (Faroe), Bent Sørensen (Zealand), Gemma McGregor (Orkney), Antonino Scorsone (Sicily), Adrian Vernon Fish (England/ Greenland), Richard Covey (Prince Edward), Clifford Crawley (Newfoundland), Charles Camilleri (Malta) and Laura Vega (Gran Canarias).
Dr. Andrián Pertout, June 2021

Clarinettist Jože Kotar and pianist Luca Ferrini have been playing together for almost twenty years. They played in several concerts in Slovenia, Croatia, Rep. of North Macedonia, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Australia, Argentina and Chile, for festivals like “ICMC – International Computer Music Conference” (Ljubljana), “International Contemporary Music Festival Iš Arti” (Kaunas, Lithuania), “Clifden Arts Festival” (Clifden, Ireland), “Arts in Action Concert Series” (Galway, Ireland), “Sunday at noon” (Dublin), “Clarinetfest” (Madrid), “Victoria International Arts Festival” (Malta), “Tasmanian composers festival” (Hobart, Tasmania), “Summartónar Festival” (Faroe Islands), “Frutillar Musical Weeks” (Chile). As a duo, as well in other mainly Slovenian chamber ensembles (MD7 contemporary music ensemble, of which they are both co-founders, the KOS DSS – Soloists Chamber Orchestra of the Slovenian Society of Composers and others) they have premiered more than one hundred new works. Their concert programmes are quite varied and suitable for every kind of audience. In their concerts they always try to mix different genres and, when possible, to commission and perform new works. Over these twenty years many composers have written pieces for them, while others have been commissioned. Their repertoire ranges from the Classical period to the Modern era, but they prefer to perform contemporary music, whether written in “traditional” style, jazz or with live electronics, while their repertoire “from the Islands” includes works from Iceland, Faroe, Ireland, Gotland, Great Britain (Scotland, England), Orkney, Zealand, Sicily, Malta, Taiwan, Japan, Tasmania, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Hong Kong Island. Other works currently in progress are being written in Malta, Crete, Cyprus, the Faroe Islands, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Chiloé Island. A selection of these works have been released in the first and second volumes of the series, which is produced by the Faroese label Tutl.

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