The conch shell exemplifies the versatility, sublimity, and transcendence of nature - a natural dwelling, a biological work of art, and, as shown by the City of Tomorrow, an instrument. NATURE, the debut Ravello Records release by the City of Tomorrow wind quintet - consisting of Elise Blatchford, flute; Stuart Breczinski, oboe; Camila Barrientos Ossio, clarinet; Laura Miller, bassoon; and Leander Star, horn - showcases works by four contemporary composers that explore the evolution of humanity's relationship with nature.
David Lang's breathless illustrates the tireless flow of time - the constant and steady movement of events - each instrument playing the same phrase throughout which overlap and create a continuously evolving unity. The innate balance between order and chaos is portrayed in Luciano Berio's ricorrenze, a piece in which interweaving virtuosic lines are grown from a single unison note, like sprouting from a seed. Inspired by a fantastical encyclopedia of real and imagined animals, "...a certain chinese cyclopaedia..." by Denys Bouliane creates a musical taxonomy of the sounds of bebop à la Charlie Parker, making Darwinian observations about the infinite and complex variations in human-made arts. Nat Evan's Music for Breathing is a foil to the occidental concept that nature is nothing but "beautiful" or "peaceful," emphasizing that nature does not discriminate, all biological events occur without favor. Through their virtuosic interpretations, the City of Tomorrow explores human emotional responses to the ever-changing biosphere and how we find new ways to participate in an awe-inspiring, often turbulent, and always indiscriminate environment.