January 21st, 2013
Michael Mizrahi is Assistant Professor of Piano at Lawrence University and a founding member of chamber music outfit The NOW Ensemble. His first CD, The Bright Motion, released in 2012, consists solely of solo piano music that takes a nod to the repertoire of past centuries, yet embraces new works written by young composers in the present. It’s a variety pack that packs quite a punch with its many approaches, settings and moods. Patrick Burke’s “Unravel” takes a simple, contemplative, three-note riff on a journey into a pristine sonic space and unravels it into all sortsa complex permutations that are at once lyrically flighty and dissonantly grounded. William Britelle’s “Computer Wave” adds and subtracts a short catchy rhythm while brandishing an upbeat complexity that, true to its name, sounds like it was composed with the help of a 1960s computer punchcard. Mark Danciger’s “The Bright Motion” is an imaginary ballet made up of gentle trills shot through with deep rumbles.
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January 13th, 2013
Slip Jherek Bischoff’s Composed CD into your player and you’ll be convinced you’re listening to some lush, orchestral pop epic. Take one glance at the liner notes, though, and that illusion will come crashing down as you learn it was all recorded one instrument at a time by the composer with a microphone and a laptop. Originally, Jherek channeled his Tiny Tim and wrote the songs on ukelele, then embarked on an epic three-year recording session, in which he layered up the myriad instruments of the classical orchestra and fronted them with numerous luminous guests, like David Byrne (The Talking Heads), who sings on the lilting “Eyes,” Nels Cline (Wilco), who brandishes his usual frenetic guitar noodling in a dissonant outburst at the end of the decidedly more subdued setting of “Blossom,” the Tropicalia legend, Caetano Veloso, who joins in the stage musical-like “The Secret of the Machines,” the buoyant rock-like insistence of “Young and Lovely” (with nary a guitar in sight), plus several more. Taken as a whole, Composed reminds me of a soundtrack to an off-kilter off-Broadway musical lightly sprinkled with sections of cut-up editing and electronic flourishes for the perfect amount of pleasant disorientation. And after the dramatic and epic crescendo of “Insomnia, Death and the Sea” spills out of your speakers, you realize it’s time to compose yourself and press Replay.
Label: Brassland Catalog Number: HWY-027 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel Case Tracks: 9 Total Time: 36:27 Country: United States Released: 2012 More: Amazon, Bandcamp, Brassland, Official, YouTube
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