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30 November 2020 Comments Off on Ebonit Quartet CD with Music by Richard Whalley & Kevin Malone Views: 246 CE News

Ebonit Quartet CD with Music by Richard Whalley & Kevin Malone

We’re delighted with the news that the international Ebonit Quartet are releasing an album of works by two Composers Edition composers.

The album is the result of our long collaboration with two composers working at the University of Manchester in England: one American (Kevin Malone) and one British (Richard Whalley). All works reflect the instability of our current world and political systems, expressing concern about climate change, gun control (and the lack of), the neglect of the oppressed and the wilful deafness of ‘leaders’ to the real needs of the planet and its people. 

Ebonit Saxophone Quartet

The first works that make up this composers-quartet collaboration are Kevin Malone’s The Housatonic at Sandy Hook and Richard Whalley’s Iapetus Suture, which they composed for a visit of the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet to the University of Manchester in 2016, where both Richard and Kevin work.

From that moment, the idea to put together an album was born! Richard Whalley then wrote Refugees Welcome ♥’ which was premiered in 2017, and Kevin wrote The Water Protectorspremiered in 2019

Ebonit Quartet
Ebonit Quartet

The shared interested in themes of social justice and protection of the environment became the link between the works of the album:

Once we planned the CD, there was room for more music. I came up with the idea of connecting Richard’s music with mine through each of us writing a short set of variations on the same folk tune: When the World’s on Fire, originally called Oh, My Loving Brother composed in the 19th Century.  

In 1940, Woody Guthrie slightly reshaped the melody for his iconic folk song This Land is Your Land. No matter which title comes to mind, the same sentiment prevails: the Earth and its natural resources are precious. My variations conjure up images of country & western bands, flowing rivers, fracking drills, solidarity singing, a funeral march and a giddily ecstatic revivalist choir, while Richard’s variations treat the folk song as a cantus firmus around which flow phrases suggestive of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi and the Yardbirds’ Shapes of Things are threaded.

Kevin Malone

Both versions of When the World’s on Fire were premiered by the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet in an impromptu concert on 29 November 2019 in the disused, unheated meeting room of the Former Bridge St Church in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. The concert was given to thank the local Youth4Climate strike action group for their activism.


Kevin Malone:

  1. When the World’s on Fire
  2. The Water Protectors
  3. The Housatonic near Sandy Hook

Richard Whalley:

  1. When the World’s on Fire
  2. Iapetus Suture
  3. Refugees Welcome

Composers Edition is very proud to publish all works of Troubled Waters, which are available for perusal and purchase through our webiste.

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