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    Keeril Makan – Afterglow

    January 19th, 2014

    Keeril Makan - Afterglow

    Following up his excellent Target CD from 2011, the young avant-garde classical composer Keeril Makan (born 1972) returns with a smorgasbord of works spanning the years 2006-2010 that were at least partially derived from his dealings with depression. The meal begins with a Caesar’s salad known as “Mercury Songbirds,” a subtly wheezing, minimal / maximal time-stopper chock-full of droning alto flutes, cellos and violins peppered with occasional piping flutes and piano outbursts with lyrical Bacon Bits sprinkled on top courtesy of clarinet, plus some cool piano knocks. It’s quite strange the way this track combines dissonance and consonance in such an odd, unsettling way. The title was inspired by the increasing level of mercury found in Hudson Valley songbirds. You know that startled feeling you get when someone wearing a fright wig unexpectedly jumps out from behind a corner and screams at you? That’s what the beginning of “Husk” sounds like. And to think it was produced by a simple, dissonant harp strum and flute cry. Then, suddenly, amid a sustained web of tense oboe drones, the piece gets all Psycho shower scene on you as it continues to occasionally stab your ears with fabulous bursts of atonality.

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    Keeril Makan – Target

    December 26th, 2011

    Keeril Makan - Target

    Although you’ve probably never heard of Keeril Makan, and his CD Target may not be available at Target, that shouldn’t stop you from seeking it out, buying a copy and letting it float straight into your head like a vivid sonic onslaught straight outta the Large Hadron Collider. Spanning a decade, from 1998 through 2007, these four fairly wide-ranging avant-garde classical works somehow form a cohesive whole. Kicking off the proceedings is, of course, track 1, which is actually called “2.” Since when did 2 become 1? And is 2 the numeral the same as two the word? I thought Grease was the word. What about three? Is it the same as seven? Does 2+2=5? The world may never know. Read the rest of this entry »