October 6th, 2009
Four slices of chamber music from composers John Luther Adams, Rick Cox, Michael Jon Fink and Jim Fox gets compiled on this CD, punctuated by two short, quiet clarinet interludes by Marty Walker. Adams’ “Dark Wind” lives up to its title with gorgeous acoustic instrument atmospherics that flow and darkly brood with the best of ’em–very minimal, pleasurable and impressive. In Fink’s “Thread of Summer,” a forlorn melody is bandied about between Marty and the rest of the ensemble. Cox’s “When April May” “floats a lyric line over a repeating harmonics structure,” while Fox’s “Between the Wheels” boasts a “series of quiet bass clarinet statements, accompanied by violin harmonics, heard against a cycling tapestry of string tremolos.” All in all, this CD gives the impression of being one long, flowing work of a single composer, rather than four, and stands as a fine presentation of austere understatement. Featuring Amy Knoles on vibraphone and marimba, Bryan Pezzone on piano, Maria Newman and Peter Kent on violins, Valerie Dimond on viola, Greg Gottlieb on cello and Dan Smith on cello.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0009 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 41:00 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM, Official
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy
September 18th, 2009
Michael Jon Fink is a composer of orchestral, chamber, keyboard, instrumental, electronic and vocal / dramatic music who has been working since the early 1970s. He has also been teaching composition, orchestration and analysis at Cal Arts since the late ’80s. His first full-length CD for Cold Blue, I Hear it in the Rain, kicks off with “Five Pieces For Piano,” which, as its name might hint, is chock-full of super sparse, forlorn solo piano and celesta music of the highest order. “For Celesta” stands out from the gloom with its simple, sprightly melody that recalls a child’s musical box.
The centerpiece of the disk, “Living to be Hunted by the Moon,” is a 20-minute-long fog bank full of of dim, sublime drones emitted from a clarinet, bass clarinet and samples. Boasting an electric guitar, glass guitar, sponge guitar, electric bass, electronic keyboard and percussion, the title track closes out the disk with a slowly pulsing, gentle waft of incredibly nice ambient chamber “rock” that is about a million different kinds of pleasant. No matter how you slice it, all of the music on this CD forms the perfect backdrop for you to lounge around on a rained-in Sunday afternoon.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0004 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 10 Total Time: 50:12 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Discogs, Cal Arts, Last FM, Official
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy