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|Florent Ghys||Primary Artist, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Upright Bass, Pianette|
|Michael Gordon||Executive Producer|
|Kenny Savelson||Executive Producer|
|David Lang||Executive Producer|
|Julia Wolfe||Executive Producer|
|Florent Ghys||Composer, Producer, Engineering|
Posted June 24, 2011
Here's another intimate, little jewel of a recording from Cantaloupe. If this music ever got to a wider audience, they would have some full-fledged, crossover hit record on their hands. The pieces are short, sweet, unpretentious, yet amazingly exhilarating. A good lesson for all those long-winded, pretentious,' here is my magnum opus, screw you' composers.
The first piece, 'Soli 'opens like Reich's 'Clapping 'only with double bass. Very cool detuning in the plucked and bowed instruments are added, that quickly starts to sound like a form of Arabic-pre-baroque, post-minimalism. Tons of fresh harmonies are globed on at the end of phrases or inserted very quickly (some very jazzy), as the structure evolves into something reminiscent of the very metered chord progressions of David Lang. This leads to a full tutti that's very, very infectious and beautiful.-too, too short.
The next piece, 'Simplement 'uses a conversation as the rhythmic cantus firmus, similar to Reich's 'Different Trains'. Again the music becomes almost a Langish approach to Arab music. The conversation rhythm emerges as the main melody that the entire ensemble builds around. At some point it's all gets very Arab-North African -a complete mystery transition, but still very musical.
The third track, 'Coma Carus' opens with big phased/overdubbed/delayed pianino solo ---very ecstatic and extremely enchanting. No New Agers allowed-this is too good-and please don't buy this record because this guy is a real musician and not some pot smoking pan-Gnostic, pseudo-philosopher twit--I hope not anyway.
My favorite track, 'cignotants' starts with canonic vocal writing followed by a full band entrance. There's great hocketting going on-it's the real, wrong-note, renaissance music. Besides being beautifully recorded, there are great sonic relations between plucked and bowed string and on top of that, great phased overdubbing. This is like Reich took a time machine to the Medici court ---and brought an amazing producer/engineer. Why aren't kids buying this music rather than that Death-Metal stuff???-there is so much seductive charm in the detuning and the raw rudiments of percussion (clapping, and bodies of the instruments).---this is truly what is hip and now!!! What really transpires, is a real elemental, primitive quality in the orchestration while the music is anything but primitive. It's a stereo hocketting extravaganza that could easily enhance a French/Spanish / Moorish medieval, period film-and I mean that in the best possible sense.
The last piece 'Bechamel' is a kind of farewell, consisting of arco basses overdubbed, with great tuning sense-it's full of pathos and delicacy.
To summarize, this is a great record-I pray this guy does well. The music is so original and fresh it's like eating an amazing salad of unknown fruit and vegetables, just plucked (no pun there) from an enchanted garden. I hope Cantaloupe makes lots of copies because I guarantee there's going to be a run.