- Nutida Musik – Scandinavia’s New Music Periodical
“Richard Craig, the Scottish flute virtuoso impressed the Swedish music scene with his performances not only around the group CCP, but also in working with Samtida Music. In 2011, after six years preparation, he released inward. The disc was nominated as one of the Scottish Album’s of the Year and also highly celebrated in several reviews since its release. To go directly to the matter in hand: the playing on this disc is sensational, as are the interpretations of the works. The recording, made with the assistance of John Croft (who also has a work on the disc with a classic ‘extended instrument’ work …ne l’aura che trema) is also fantastic. Croft’s work observes every nuance in the cascades of different flute techniques that the work contains and the piece continues for some time in this way before Craig produces a ‘normal’ flute tone.
Richard Craig’s focus is upon music that has the ambition to move the boundaries of the instrument, and as a result, Craig extends the limits of what is in principle unplayable. In turn he has a musical allegiance with the ‘complexity’ composers such as James Dillon, Helmut Lachenmann and in the case of this disc Unity Capsule by Brian Ferneyhough. The latter is an impressive display of crystal clear gestures which have been chiseled from Ferneyhough’s heavily notated score.
Another composer in a similar creative circle is Salvatore Sciarrino and his scores appear impressive from an initial encounter. In turn there are numerous students that have studied his beautiful scores and intricate textures, although the music can also be a little disappointing after some time in a very limited dynamic range. In this track I am drawn to reflect upon how long must have Richard Craig worked to make the key clicks as clear as they are!
The Swedish musicians Karin Hellqvist and Pontus Langendorf feature in a work each on the disc. L’art de toucher le clavecin II for piccolo with violin is a beautiful timbral celebration of Couperin’s treatise of ornamentation. Inward, the track that gives the album its name, is accompanied by percussionist Pontus Langendorf who prepares layers of sound, moving through wood, metal and leather, over which the flute weaves an improvisational line in its lower octave. This work has a ritualistic character, but due to the perpetual changes of colour the music is far from static.”
July 2013 (translated by Richard Craig)
“In Aberdeen Art Gallery on Saturday, Close to Shore, by Oliver Searle featured virtuoso flautist Richard Craig on giant contrabass flute backed by NYOS strings – its wide ranging instrumental imaginings were as thrilling to see as to hear.”
Alan Cooper, 11/11/12
- The Times
(Malédictions d’une furie) ” In a compelling 45 minutes, Lore Lixenberg recreated virtuoso gasps, arching melismas and vocalisations in the company of the haunting whispering and wailing of Richard Craig’s bass and contrabass flutes (….) all against the backdrop of grainy film by Craig, resembling water movement, lava flows and flickering flames”
Hilary Finch, 15/05/2012
- The Herald
“Richard Craig, Inward (Metier): Mercurial flautist Richard Craig is a leading interpreter of contemporary and avant-garde music, and Inward is the fascinating product of six years’ work. It showcases Craig’s extraordinary – and exploratory – technique”
Nicola Meighan, 12/04/2012