"This enjoyable anthology of recent music by the American composer Augusta Read Thomas comes right up to date with Of Being Is A Bird, recorded at its premiere in London last July. It's a setting for soprano and ensemble of two Emily Dickinson poems about birds: it begins with airy, luminous sonorities, but an instrumental interlude gives it an infusion of energy that lasts to the end. The same sense of purposful motion runs through the DNA-inspired string quartet Helix Spirals, which progresses gradually from scattered pizzicatos to bowed unanimity, and Selene, for percussion and string quartets, which depicts the moon goddess's journey across the skies with irresistible forward drive, pausing only for moments of radiant beauty.
Claire Booth and Aurora capture the poetry and liveliness of the Dickinson settings, the Parker Quartet are impressively assured in Helix Spirals, and Third Coast Percussion and the Spektral Quartet interlick with exhilarating precision in Selene." ***** BBC Music Magazine Chamber Choice July 2016
“Augusta Read Thomas was fifty last year (2014), and in the wake of her birthday this CD, plus three others, have emerged on Nimbus Alliance. They enable us to take a grand overall view of her style and language… this latest one has a variety of young performers. How lucky she has been to have a company who is so much on her side and performers who are more than willing to bring her work, so brilliantly, to a wider, European public. Although this new disc is marked as ‘Music for Strings’ it is more a miscellaneous disc — a mopping up exercise you might say — of pieces that did not quite fit on previous discs. For me this is the best so far… an exciting CD.” Gary Higginson, musicweb-interational.com