AMN Reviews: Nimrod Borenstein – Suspended Opus 69 (Solaire Records)

SOL1001-1500x1500px-500x500String orchestra score for the troupe Gandini Juggling’s ballet “4×4 Ephemeral Architectures”, this is the world premiere recording of Nimrod Borenstein´s Suspended Opus 69, by das freie orchester Berlin (founded by Solaire label chief Dirk Fischer) under the baton of Laércio Diniz. Borenstein (b. 1969), who began his musical training at the tender age of three, originates from Tel Aviv, grew up in Paris and eventually moved to London. He is currently an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and has dozens of works to his name.

Clad in green-shifting-red tattersall (designed by brother Alec), the disc in its sturdy slip case is accompanied by an Alice Munrovian compilation of texts, all of which this reviewer chooses to enjoy with a glass of wine after having absorbed this new voice (to him at least) with fresh ears and a mind untainted by insight or preconceived notions gleaned from the booklet.

The nine movements (plus a mood-setting violin prelude, moving from on high down to the bass) of this forty-minute work comprise a picnic celebration of post-sacred music, excited strings a paean to enlightenment, to the light (and a little dark) entertainment – tango, waltz – of a world of harmony still within reach, as easy to pluck as the long-stemmed roses of the violas. Borenstein clutches eighteenth-century fulsomeness and various modernists and contemporaries (Grieg, Stravinsky, Pärt) in the same warm embrace. Shapely and sophisticated, kinetically optimistic (though briefly “Annoyed” – ants at the picnic?) and ambiently contemplative, Suspended Opus 69 is swirling, epicurean, delightful. In its well-structured accessibility, it would also serve perfectly as any young person´s introduction to the orchestra.

Stephen Fruitman

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Wadada Leo Smith

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

Resonance Ensemble – Double Arc (Not Two, 2015) *****
Made to Break – Before the Code (Trost, 2015) ****½
Giovanni Di Domenico, Jim O’Rourke and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto: Delivery Health (Silent Water, 2015) ****
The Engines – Green Knights (Aerophonic, 2015) ****
Nate Wooley Quintet – (Dance To) the Early Music (Clean Feed,2015) ****½
Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg – Celestial Weather (TUM, 2015) *****
Henry Kaiser & Damon Smith – Relations (Balance Point Acoustics, 2015) ****
Sandy Ewen & Henry Kaiser – Lake Monsters (Balance Point Acoustics, 2015) ***

John Cale Interview

Fear (John Cale album)

Source: Rolling Stone.

When John Cale looks back at his experimental solo album Music for a New Society, all he remembers is personal chaos and turmoil. Since exiting the Velvet Underground in 1968, he had explored different hues of art rock, minimalist classical music and straight-ahead rock on since-celebrated albums like 1973’s Paris 1919 and the following year’s Fear. He also produced records by the Stooges, Nico, Patti Smith, the Modern Lovers and others. But in 1982, when he made Music, he felt lost, like he was at an existential impasse, and it tortured him.

Zappa Documentary Reviewed 

Frank Zappa, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway

Source: Variety.

“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words” pulls together interview, concert and behind-the-scenes footage to commemorate one of the rock era’s most idiosyncratic star musicians. Thorsten Schutte’s entirely archival assemblage is most likely to be appreciated by the previously converted, as its stimulating if somewhat patchy overview of a multi-various career skims over or omits too many aspects to comprise a definitive introduction. Sony Classics picked up worldwide rights (excluding France and Germany) at Sundance.

New Music Gathering 2016 Reviewed

Source: I Care If You Listen.

The venerable Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University on stately Mt. Vernon Square in Baltimore, MD was abuzz with excitement January 7 through 9, 2016 as more than 500 enthusiasts assembled for the second annual New Music Gathering. The NMG braintrust— original organizers, composers Lainie Fefferman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Matt Marks, augmented this year by composer/electronics wizard Jascha Narveson– chose “Communities” as the central theme of the event, and a palpable sense of collective joy resonated throughout the weekend.