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Classical Music Review

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Lines & Spaces
The Music of Thad Anderson


Composer: Thad Anderson
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 May 2019

The 15 tracks on Thad Anderson’s Lines & Spaces are from his Lines series, based on his compositional technique called “duration lines” that create both structure and polyrhythmic interest. Anderson integrates traditional instruments with fixed media, live processing, and tuned metals to create pieces that are infinitely malleable. For these compositions, Anderson draws inspiration from poetry, paintings, and some early writings that predict many of the technologies now integrated into daily life...

Thad Anderson's musical style is wide and varied and this album showcases just how diverse that can be. This means that there's something here for most musical tastes, but whether you'll enjoy the entire album is up for debate.

The album kicks off on a not very promising note. 'Witheld' sees a cacophony of bells clashing. But then this is followed by the album's most intricate and interesting piece. 'Route' is a jazz based piece with the saxophone taking centre stage

The five-part 'Five Messages' is another promising collection of pieces for two pianists and two percussionists.

'Re-Cite' was inspired by painter Ellsworth Kelly’s 1951 piece 'Cite', which used chance practices to create a random arrangement of black and white squares. The quintet for flutes and fixed media, Through-line, refers to a central theme or idea — an invisible thread that runs from the beginning to the end of work.

Overall, this is an album that will appeal to lovers of avant-garde music, as well as those who are looking for something that explores modern compositional styles.


Darren Rea

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