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    Barbara Kolb – Millefoglie and Other Works‏

    Born in 1939, Barbara Kolb is an American composer of challenging classical music. Case in point: The title track of this ancient 1992 CD serves up a nearly 20-minute helping of dissonant avant garde classical chamber orchestra music layered with quiet electronic drones via computer generated tape. Here and there, the listener encounters starts and stops; and abrupt, urgent, repetitive rhythms with a playful xylophone that frolicks around the sound field without a care in the world. Can you say, “Sustained dreamworld?” The second track, “Extremes,” ironically simplifies the proceedings with a sprightly flute and droning cello. Not too far along, both get all melodic on your ass, then seque out onto a dead end street full of odd, cantankerous riffs.

    Moving on to track three, we find “Chromatic Fantasy,” in which a narrator reads a surreal poem by Howard Stern, who is obsessed with a beautiful woman wearing a vibrant purple dress. Brandishing an amplified alto flute, oboe, soprano sax, electric guitar and vibes, this track takes an extended detour into The Twilight Zone. Looks like Barb saved the best for last. The final track, “Solitaire,” conjures up an expansive, mysterious space with deceptively simple ingredients: a lone, melodic piano and spooky vibes. Llike a chopped-up Chopin concerto from the 19th century, it floats effortlessly through the inky blackness of outer space deep inside your head. The dreamy soundworld of “Solitaire” is nothing short of an avant garde classical classic.

    Label: New World Records Catalog Number: 80422-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 4 Total Time: 53:03 Country: United States Released: 1992 More: Amazon, Amazings, Boosey and Hawkes, Discogs, Wikipedia

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

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