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|Crash Ensemble||Primary Artist, Ensemble, String Bass|
|David Adams||Harpsichord, Keyboards|
|Michael Gordon||Executive Producer|
|Kenny Savelson||Executive Producer|
|David Lang||Executive Producer|
|Julia Wolfe||Executive Producer|
|Jörg Hiller||Engineer, Mastering|
Posted July 15, 2011
Wow! Get out the fresh, less jaded, ears to absorb what's going on here. My first impressions of Arnold Dreyblatt's new CD, Resonant Relations, brings to mind a kind of Neo-primitive moonshine, or Steve Reich/Philip Glass write for under two years old daycare or the Henri Rouseau of minimalism, or the musical equivalence of stick figure cartoons-the list goes on. Even though one hears the influences-La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier, or the earlier Cage and Feldman nothing really prepares you for this music. What initially sound childish or amateurish quickly becomes child-like and deeply personal and intuitive. There are way too many clever synchronicities to make it amateurish, and after a few minutes it's like a kinder-gentler Varese is caressing one's ears. The closest visceral sensation I could describe is, it feels like a blind person trying to find his way over a very bumpy surface. The bumpy surface is all the 'just' intonation, the repeated Morse code 'melodies', and the curious, seemingly random, overlapping textures and grooves, while the blind man is represented by the very slow 'harmonic rhythm'-somewhere between eternity and forever. Some progressions, and vertical tuttis are vaguely Reich-like, but quickly get absorbed into Dreyblatt's outer-worldly style Here's a composer who definitely is starting with a serious pre-map of the structure-the structure being a non-linear resolving of tuning, rhythmic and textural problems/issues. There a lot of chutzpa that goes into such a narrowing of musical language to such primitive elements-but his 'courage' is just a natural outcome of his confidence in his innate, very personal musicality. There's also a Feldmanesque stillness here, in that the music is not going anywhere in terms of phrasing or emotion. But in its stillness, it keeps barring down on you, like a freight train coming at you in extremely slow motion. The closer it gets the slower it gets, so an inch from contact will take an eternity. The Crash Ensemble performs this music like its second nature-and with lots of love and affection. Great job!
2. Twenty five chords in twenty-five in ninety four variations
Here again, Dreyblatt seems to be unfolding a preplanned structure, only this time, the structure unfolds as vertical sonorities (chords) with a hefty fermata between each. Again the work feels like a relentless unfolding of predestiny. -one cranky dispensation after another . Again, there is the sensation of an ever-approaching train that slows to eternity the closer it gets. Also, a lot of the verticality's are amazingly beautiful and heartfelt. 'Downtown' music lovers get this CD-everyone else, beware to be challenged about yours and mine narrow and pathetic concept of music.