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Classical Music Review

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Hipster Zombies from Mars
Piano Music for a Post-Ironic Age


Composer: Nicholas Vines
Performed by: Ryan MacEvoy McCullough (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 July 2018

Ryan MacEvoy McCullough performs three of Nicholas Vines piano works, released under the bizarre title Hipster Zombies from Mars...

This 17 track (1 hr, 35 min, 17 sec) album includes the four-movement 'Terraformation' for pianoforte, inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson’s science-fiction novel Red Mars; 'Indie Ditties: Twelve Scapes for Piano' is a social commentary on the modern hipster movement... apparently. To be honest it all jumbles into one.

The PR blurb that came with this release included a lot of descriptions of the music that actually didn't really describe anything you could usefully say summed up what to expect. The album could have been improvised (although it's obviously not) as melody and structure are put aside for a series of seemingly random notes. Some of the track titles are tongue in cheek, showcasing Vines's keen sense of humour... So is the whole album a humorous Mickey take? The random and rather disjointed tunes... are they the sound of hipster zombies from Mars attempting to enlighten us Earthlings with their music, which is dry and baron like their homeworld?

Who knows? This is a collection of piano based modern classical music pieces. If you hate form and structure, melody and beginning, middle and end, then you'll probably get a lot of satisfaction out of this.


Darren Rea

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