Noctuary Duos

Gerardo Dirié composer

Johanna Rose viola da gamba
Diego Montes bass clarinet

Release Date: July 12, 2024
Catalog #: RR8104
Format: Digital
21st Century
Viola da gamba

NOCTUARY DUOS from composer Gerardo Dirié explores sonic worlds of shifting hues, puzzling lyricism, and dramatic trajectories. Inspired by the enigmatic beauty of the night sky and the rich astronomical knowledge of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, NOCTUARY DUOS is a collection of contemporary chamber music featuring Diego Montes on bass clarinet and Johanna Rose on viola da gamba. The compositions borrow from Gregorian chant, heavy metal, and even include a quote from Stephen Hawking and a nod to particle physics. At once playful and deeply reflective, NOCTUARY DUOS invites listeners to consider their place in the cosmos.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Noctuary Duos (2017): I. Prelude Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 1:49
02 Noctuary Duos (2017): II. Initiate with headdress, cuddling with his lover (in Scorpio’s tail) - Stars in the constellation of Scorpio Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:21
03 Noctuary Duos (2017): III. Shaula, Lesath, Open Cluster Messier 7 Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 3:02
04 Noctuary Duos (2017): IV. Interlude for bass clarinet –Glimmers of Hoagy’s “Stardust” Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:23
05 Noctuary Duos (2017): V. Alakitja - Stars in the constellation of Crux Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:46
06 Noctuary Duos (2017): VI. Coalsack Nebula Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:56
07 Noctuary Duos (2017): VII. Interlude for viola da gamba Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba 3:32
08 Noctuary Duos (2017): VIIb. Elapsing Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 4:48
09 Noctuary Duos (2017): VIII. The Djulpan Brothers - Stars in the constellation of Orion Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:38
10 Noctuary Duos (2017): IX. Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:29
11 Noctuary Duos (2017): X. Postlude Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; Diego Montes, bass clarinet 2:20
12 La Alameda de Ida –del sur, calle Trajano, hacia el Café Central al norte (2022) Gerardo Dirié Diego Montes, bass clarinet; fixed media soundwalk 8:17
13 Bronze into the water (2021) Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba 8:20
14 Hand-wound Fermions (2022) Gerardo Dirié Diego Montes, bass clarinet 7:15
15 La Alameda de Vuelta –desde Calle Peral hacia Calle Trajano (2023) Gerardo Dirié Johanna Rose, viola da gamba; fixed-media soundwalk 6:48

Recorded October 11, 2021, June 4-6 & 17, 2022, June 1 & October 17, 2023 at Sputnik Recording Studio in Seville, Spain
Recording Session Producers Diego Montes, Johanna Rose (Tracks 1-11, 13 & 15)
Recording Session Engineer Andrés Torres
Final Editing & Mastering Jordi Gil del Valle, Sputnik Recording Studio

Noctuary Duos
Editing & Mixing Andrés Torres, Diego Montes, Johanna Rose

La Alameda de Ida
Soundwalk recorded March 30, 2019 in La Alameda, Seville, Spain by Gerardo Dirié
Assisting Sound Engineer for soundwalk Reilly Smethurst
Editing Andrés Torres, Diego Montes

Bronze into the water
Funding for the recording of this work was provided in part by a contribution from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

La Alameda de Vuelta
Soundwalk recorded on March 30, 2019 in La Alameda, Seville, Spain by Gerardo Dirié
Editing & Mixing Andrés Torres, Diego Montes, Johanna Rose

The recording of the soundwalk was made possible in part through the support from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Chelsea Kornago
Digital Marketing Manager Brett Iannucci

Artist Information

Gerardo Dirié

Gerardo Dirié


Gerardo Dirié was born in Cordoba, Argentina. In his youth, he played bass in instrumental rock bands and studied classical guitar, clarinet, and cornetto. He became immersed in electronic music as well as choral, folk, and early music ensembles. He graduated from the National University of Cordoba with a degree in Composition. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to study Composition at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. From 1994 to 2003, he worked as a faculty member at the Jacobs School. In 2003, he moved to Australia to take a teaching and research position in Music Theory and Composition at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.

Johanna Rose

viola da gamba

After having performed on stages of established prestige like the Konzerthaus Vienna, the Laeiszhalle, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Teatros del Canal and the Auditorio Nacional Madrid, the Gran Teatro de Bogotá, the Quirinale in Rome, the Teatro Ponchielli of Cremona, the Zaryadye Hall of Moscow, and the Topkapi Palace of Istanbul, Johanna Rose has aroused the interest of international press, who coincide in describing her as a performer of great virtuosity and sensitivity. Her concerts have been broadcast live from important radio stations such as Radio Nacional de España, Rai 3, WDR 3, and Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Rose has collaborated with groups like Il Pomo d’Oro, Constantinople (Kiya Tabassian), Tiento Nuovo (Ignacio Prego), La Venexiana, More Hispano, la Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, la Grande Chapelle (Albert Recasens), Concerto 1700 (Daniel Pinteño), Música Prima, and La Bellemont o Forma Antiqua. She has worked under the direction of Rinaldo Alessandrini, Monica Hugget, Maxim Emelyanychev, and Carlos Núñez among others. Rose has been invited by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra to play the Solo Arias of the St Matthew Passion under the direction of Jaap van Zweden. She shares a long career with Accademia del Piacere (Fahmi Alqhai), with whom she has developed an intense activity all over the world: Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Panama, South America, United States, and Japan.

Rose has participated in several recordings for the labels Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (Accademia del Piacere), Glossa (La Venexiana and Accademia del Piacere), Carpe Diem (More Hispano), Lindoro (Música Prima), Itinerant (La Bellemont) y Alqhai & Alqhai (Accademia del Piacere). Her first album as a soloist (Rubicon Classics 2017), which includes the three sonatas for viola da gamba by Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, was very favorably received by the press:

“These are beautifully sensitive, expressive and musically shaped performances,” said Gramophone Magazine “All in all, a really strong solo debut.”

With her second work on the same record label, Histoires d’un Ange (Rubicon Classics 2019), dedicated mostly to Marin Marais, she has received three nominations for the prestigious German award Opus Klassik.

In Seville, the town where she finished her studies with Ventura Rico, after having studied in Basel (Paolo Pandolfo), Lugano (Vittorio Ghielmi), and Milán (Rodney Prada and Lorenzo Ghielmi), she engaged in a wide range of musical activity that includes experiences such as the founding of her group Sarao de Musas together with the soprano Mariví Blasco — a project based on the intention to combine the research and popularizing of the Spanish Baroque — and the bond with the clarinetist Diego Montes, with whom she forms a unique duo that has attracted the attention of composers such as Hilda Paredes, Gerardo Dirié, and Ramón Gorigoitía (premiere in 2019 in the Teatro Central of Seville).

Diego Montes

bass clarinet

Diego Aníbal Montes was born in 1958 in Córdoba, Argentina. In 1984, he graduated at the Conservatorio de Música in Córdoba where he was awarded the diploma as a clarinet teacher. Afterwards, he settled down in Cologne (Germany) in order to complete his career at the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen (Germany), eventually obtaining his diploma as soloist in his instrument.

Montes studied composition with César Franchisena in Córdoba (Argentina), conducting with Guy van Waas in Brussels and singing with Dirk Schärfeld in Germany.

This Argentinian musician is considered as an outstanding clarinetist, distributing his time between both the practice of the so-called original instruments and new music. In fact, he was the first clarinetist soloist of the Symphonic Band in the Province of Córdoba until 1984. In his time in Cologne, Montes was a member and main clarinetist of Concerto Köln from 1988 to 2007.

As a result of his professional activity during that period and up to present enjoying over 70 recorded CDs, he engaged as lead clarinet and soloist in renowned orchestras such as Les Arts Florissants, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Concert des Nations, Akamus Berlin, Cappella Coloniensis, and Musica Antiqua Köln. He has also played under the baton of remarkable masters such as Reinhard Goebel, Andreas Spering, Bruno Weil, Jordi Savall, and Philippe Herreweghe, among others.

As far as the new music field is concerned, Montes is a founding member of the WNC ensemble. In 1998, he founded the Ensemble Artaria Consort, in which he combines both ancient and modern music, traditional music with original instruments, and new music with modern instruments. From 1992 to present, he has been a member of the Thürmchen Ensemble für Moderne Musik. Along with these ensembles, Montes has performed numerous concert performances and has reached more than 20 recorded CDs. In 1997, he was regarded as an outstanding interpreter of musical activities in the encyclopedia “Art and Culture in Cologne (Germany) since 1945.”

From 2002 to 2007 he has been a teacher of historical clarinet and bass clarinet at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt (Main) and modern clarinet at the Rheinische Musikschule Köln. His personal project as a teacher is based on leading his students towards not only composition but also improvisation. He has therefore worked from 2007 to 2014 at the Internationale Friedensschule in Cologne, and in 2011 he founded his own music school, Kölner Musikschule, which he has run as a director. As of 2014, Montes is living between Spain and Germany where he continues his international career.


The project for this album originated in 2017 after an invitation from Rose and Montes to feature new music for the launch of their duo in Seville. On that occasion we explored together a sonic world of shifting hues, puzzling lyricism, and dramatic trajectories. The musicians’ amazing range of power and delicateness inspired me to create a full album.

I love to imagine novel combinations of instruments, performers and listeners. It is like gazing deep into the night sky. It requires immense attention, openness and a playful disposition. The music for this duo is born of wonder, awe, and a profound feeling of being part of everything transiting the universe.

— Gerardo Dirié

Gazing at the night sky is a source of bewilderment and inspiration. It is an invitation to discern patterns and seek meanings. The music here reflects the shifting moods associated with the chosen stars and imagined meanings. Allusions vary, from Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ knowledge to Western astronomy. The selected stars’ formations relate to the constellations of Crux, Scorpio, and Orion. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ astronomical knowledge is profoundly significant to their lives and to their broader relations with the cosmos. Through this composition, I pay homage to this knowledge. The title pays tribute to a major source of inspiration, Night Skies of Aboriginal Australia: A Noctuary (1998), by the anthropologist Dianne Johnson (1947–1912).

I. “Prelude” opens with gauzy variations on the Gregorian chant “Conditor alme siderum” (Creator of the starry skies).

II. “Initiate with headdress, cuddling with his lover [in Scorpio’s tail]” mulls over the story of the eloping young lovers, hiding in the curve at the end of the Scorpio constellation’s tail. (Johnson cited this story from Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.)

III. “Shaula, Lesatha, Open Cluster Messier 7.”

IV. “Interlude for Bass Clarinet – Glimmers of Hoagy’s ‘Stardust’” articulates the textural flow through whimsical transformations of specs and dust from the jazz standard Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael. I remember, long ago, quiet study sessions in the Carmichael Room at Indiana University.

V. “Alakitja.” If you gaze down-and-left of the Southern Cross, you may fancy that large dark fish, and muse on a story of it being harpooned by two brothers. The two brothers are the nearby stars.

VI. “Coalsack Nebula,” or Macula Magellani are names identifying that dark spot. The movement combines variations on the Gregorian chant O Crux fidelis and the raga Darbarikananda. The latter is typically associated with the darkest hour of the night.

VII. “Interlude for Viola da Gamba” emerges and rearticulates the textural flow. An epigram in the score also tells the performer, “If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out” (Stephen Hawking).

VI-b. “Elapsing” – an optional movement, it reanimates our feeling of tonal gravitations, while traversing dramatic and enigmatic gestures.

VIII. “The Djulpan Brothers” refers to a story, from the Yolngu tribe, about three brothers that hunt a forbidden fish.

IX. “Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka” — in Western astronomy, these are the names of the three stars that form Orion’s Belt.

X.” Postlude” – the music strays, and like a satellite leaving the region, it moves beyond grasp.

— Gerardo Dirié

La Alameda, the famous paved promenade in Seville, Spain, is lined with poplar trees and benches. My roving recording captures some of the “noise” around my path, with occasional walkers and workers traversing it. I deemed all the sounds as contributors to the character of the soundwalks. The part for Diego Montes was composed afterwards: as he joins in a fictitious scene, his artistic individuality gradually emerges. Dazzlingly, Montes provided some of his own improvisations on prepared clarinet towards the end. This soundwalk represents my first, northbound walk through La Alameda.

— Gerardo Dirié

This is a frantic and daring solo for Johanna Rose. It celebrates her new custom-made, seven-string viola with an experience that is something like Rock or Heavy Metal. At the time, I was inspired by a daring social movement that threw a bronze statue of the slave-trader named Edward Colston into the water at Bristol Bay. With similar defiance and audacity, the solo goes through several variations on a chordal sequence and a riff. While this unfolds like in chaconnes and passacaglias and reaches various moments of clamor, there are also some tidal shifts of momentum that summon the more balanced and dignified character of the allemande.

— Gerardo Dirié

I conceived this solo as a playful and startling ambit for Montes. Looking at particle physics, we can be amused, really wondering, what strange behaviors these little things exhibit! Spinning at a “half odd-integer” duration… How can anything hold together if all these bits that make up the whole are having such a crazy party? While mulling over these fascinations, I sought to shape an expressive and mesmerizing plaything, both gracious and clunky, like Da Vinci’s mechanical dove or the later clockwork canard. So many things could go wrong, yet the performer triumphs through masterful grasp and intention.

— Gerardo Dirié

The viola traces counterpoints during the return part of my Alameda soundwalk. The music for Rose is incited by emphatic sounds in the scene and by meddling evocations of music that she has committed to memory — as in 2023, when she prepared her 7 Movements project. Minute gestures from courantes and chaconnes breeze in and take on new dimensions, driven by the virtuoso dynamism of the soloist.

— Gerardo Dirié