Genres: chamber pieces, contemporary classical,
Feb 17 - 23 2003
basis for Messages is simple - the tracks seek to convey the
world of the answering machine - for which there is an entire life of
hang-ups and telephone clicks surrounding the few actual
messages. This theme is expressed through four chamber pieces,
three of them over ten minutes long and the fourth at eight and a
half. The atmosphere shared by the compositions is very
mysterious and eerie, yet intensely compelling.
"No Message" is a dark, haunting composition that makes
use of minimal piano keys and dense, strong walls of strings.
The sound is a beautiful one, with a sense of sorrow and loneliness prevalent
in the deep music. Hidden in the mix are the occasional beeps and
tones of a telephone - a sound of a hang- up here, a brooding
dialtone there; it's a very moody mix. The piece ends with a
slow, dark, bass clarinet signaling the finish.
"Canada ham," then, is still dark, but a bit more
lively. The ambience of the sounds of a background to a message
are heard in some parts of the piece; the effect is fantastically
joint melodies of the bass clarinet and violin are beautiful - clearly
this was composed with thought and care. As time progressed,
things become more and more chaotic, with a climactic mess of
instruments exploding wildly, only to be brought back into context
with a stark contrast by a calm piano part.
"Unbehannt" seems even more experimental than the other
pieces. With sporadic outbursts of bass clarinet - sometimes
strident - in the foreground, the piece is mysterious and a bit
"Rückruf," which closes the album off, is a bit
faster. Though it still has a mysterious sound, it's also got a
strong rhythm and a sense of velocity that carries it along.
This rhythm is eventually replaced by the bass clarinet, which takes
over and drones along for awhile, only to be then replaced by the
return of the rhythm section and some fantastic violin-playing
courtesy of Joanna Lewis. The album finally ends
on a swift, sudden note. Fantastic.
Fans of experimental music and contemporary chamber pieces will
find a lot to enjoy in Messages. Recommended.
4 songs, distributed by the
label, released 1999]