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Classical Music Review

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Mind & Machine
Organic and Electronic Works
Volume Two


Composers: Various
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 September 2018

The second Mind & Machine electro-acoustic compilation to be released on Ravello Records, Mind & Machine: Volume Two, showcases the work of seven composers, each of whom offer their own striking exploration into the means by which technology can be used to alter time and form to create entirely new musical experiences. This diverse assortment of composers have all taken different paths to reach that goal...

For those that enjoyed Volume One in this series, you may be disappointed to learn that Volume Two is a totally different beast. While still engaging, these seven pieces (49 min, 43 sec) are more ambient background cues than they are pieces with a thematic approach. WIth this being the case it may alienate a lot of classical music fans who were fans of the first album in the series.

The sounds of nature are manipulated or integrated into pieces such as Tom Prescott’s 'The Singing Forest' and Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz’s 'Les Crapauds de la Fontaine', while Joshua Tomlinson’s 'Convergences' uses the natural elements of metal and wood. Julius Bucsis takes as his source material the work of renowned composer Igor Stravinksy for 'Some Writings of Spring', using Schenkerian analysis and various audio processing techniques to reinvent 'The Rite of Spring'.

Cory Fant deliberately worked outside of the studio to create the sounds in his 'Vox Ballet' without using synthesizers, while Lou Bunk’s 'Cut' and Joshua Harris’s 'A Tiny Fleck of Blue Crying Light into the void' both employ the services of pianos – albeit very dissimilar ones – in their individual manipulations of time and space.

While it's a strong album, it's not one I'd personally want to dig out all that often to listen to. I have to single out 'The Rite of Spring', which has the most heart and is certainly the most memorable piece here.

Track listing:

Tom Prescott
1 - The Singing Forest

Corey Fant
2 - Vox Ballet

Joshua Tomlinson
3 - Convergences

Lou Bunk
4 - Cut

Julius Bucsis
5 - Some Writings of Spring

Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz
6 - Les Crapauds de la Fontaine

Joshua Harris
7 - A Tiny Fleck of Blue Crying Light into the Void


Darren Rea

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