Rhythm Spike

Rhythm Spike

John Psathas

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New Zealand String Quartet
Michael Houstoun (piano)
Deidre Irons (piano)
Dan Poynton (piano)
David Downes (guitar)
Neil Becker (guitar)
Brian Resnick (drums)
Murray Hickman (percussion)
Stephen Gosling (piano)
David Arend (bass)

Best Classical Album - 2000 NZ Music Awards

John Psathas' personal artistic vision was realised with full intensity and integrity in his award winning debut, Rhythm Spike.

John is New Zealand's most internationally performed composer. His music draws equally on classical, jazz and rock traditions and is performed by artists from a variety of disciplines, from jazz (Michael Brecker) to contemporary classical (Evelyn Glennie). John's most prestigious achievement to date was to compose the music for the opening the 2004 Olympic Games.

Rhythm Spike is an album of rhythmic intensity and poetic introspection, performed by a stellar lineup of NZ and US musicians.

  "Acknowledging the influence of rock, jazz, and his Greek ancestry, his music conveys an almost palpable passion - every work has an urgent sense of having to have been written. At times I'm swept onto a frantic roller-coaster ride taken to a height of exhilaration close to terror. But John Psathas is also capable of intense poetic introspection. He speaks with a voice that is his and his alone."
- Jack Body


"While this record bears little resemblance to a typical "mainstream" classical release (both in content and presentation), I have no doubt that we shall be hearing a lot more from the composer it so effectively showcases."
- Neil Horner, Classical Web Review

"There is a warmth and attractiveness about the whole project, and this extends right throughout every detail... The music is fascinating and varied hectic and yet beautiful, exciting yet always with a sense of innate taut structure, noisy and yet also involving a world of contemplation."
- Gillian Bibby, MUSIC IN NZ

"There is no excuse for not treating yourself ... Get spiked!"
- William Dart, THE LISTENER

"...exceptional album..."
- Graham Reid, NZ HERALD

"Abisheka has the New Zealand String Quartet performing at its virtuosic best… The freshness of the challenging ideas in John Psathas' music, coupled with superb musicianship and excellent engineering, make this a recording no enthusiast for contemporary music can afford to miss.


RAT-D008 (November, 1999)

Production: Steve Garden, John Psathas
Recording: Steve Garden
Mixed at: The Garden Shed
Executive Production: Keith Hill
Graphic Design: Tim Gummer Design
Cover Art: Dylan Raethel
Photography: Keith Hill, Tim Gummer


Spike  (8.18)
   Part One:  
   Part Two:  (1.12)
   Part Three:  (1.52)
   Part Four:  (2.27)
Motet  (14.47)
Drum Dances:
   Part One:  
   Part Two:  (2.35)
   Part Three:  (2.53)
   Part Four:  (2.36)
Waiting for the Aeroplane  (7.27)
Abhisheka  (8.40)
Stream 3.3  (13.27)

John Psathas' scores are available from Promethean-Editions

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