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Classical Music Review

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Glacier Music
Ecoacoustics of Glaciers


Composer: Matthew Burtner
Performed by: Rivanna Quartet and Albemarle Ensemble
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 25 January 2019

Matthew Burtner returns to Ravello Records with Glacier Music, an electroacoustic collection featuring the Alaskan landscape as the central instrument. Most of the natural sounds were recorded on Alaskan glaciers, featuring the sounds of snow, trickling streams, and the cracks, pops, and thundering as glaciers break apart and fall...

The Earth's glacial landscape is constantly changing. Matthew Burtner's Glacier Music explores various aspects of this natural phenomenon. The end result is a rich and varied collection of themes.

It took me a few listens to get my head around this album. I'm not normally a fan of meditation or avant-garde classical music, and first impressions were that Glacier Music was a mix of the two. But I'm glad I stuck with it as the rewards are well worth the time spent getting to know these incredibly intricate pieces.

Personally 'Muir Glacier, 1889-2009' was the track which really sucked me in. The constant drips of water, cracking ice and glacial movement plays as a backdrop to the chillingly eerie electronic humming tune that glides effortlessly through the piece's 26 min, 04 sec duration.

A rich, refreshing album of relaxing music.


Darren Rea

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