Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I Hear the Mermaids Singing
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
A little out of my comfort zone . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 02/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . but I thought I'd give it a shot because of how taken I am by it, and because I know one of the performers personally.One thing I really like about this music is how emotionally transparent it is. The composer freely discloses where she's at personally in the liner notes. Here's a sample: "My music is about self-discovery. I can't imagine that this will ever change. In the past ten years, I've been looking for a kind of peace that comes only after the fire--a cleanness of space, an openness to the world around me. In my works there is a sense of this journey--a movement through continually changing scenery to a new place I can only catch a glimpse of in dreams, and yet know is my birthright. I express it in energy, which is long and deep. My sense is that each ending is a new beginning, and so my music spins on, unfolding. Rhythmic and harmonic impulses continually press to another level, until it seems there is no further to go. It is at this moment that the piece bursts open and is transformed, ending in a sea of iridescent harmonies."I'm sorry to go on so with such a lengthy quote from the liner notes, but three things strike me about her remarks: 1) how apposite to the music they are; 2) how articulate she is in describing both the emotional genesis of her art and the process whereby it comes into being; and 3) I don't know what the third thing is, but I was hoping it would come to me as I wrote the other two, triads always being kinda significant in the explication of not only music but the world in general.Anyhow, I know the multi-sax player, Marshall Taylor, for whom two of these pieces "Transparent Victims" and "Lulaby" were written, from childhood. We both attended the same church, the Long Beach Gospel Chapel. His dad and my dad were mucky-mucks in an obscure protestant sect, the Plymouth Brethern. I assume he is no longer a member of that group--as I am not--their aesthetic orientation probably not allowing for the type of New Music he has gone on to be involved with. What does it sound like? There are affinities with lots of New Music: gloriously intricate fugal elements, lush harmonies, extended instrumental techniques, a Barberesque melodic beauty and gravitas, spare, starkly beautiful minimalism, and a certain postmodern playfulness. It is also unabashedly virtuoso (especially "Transparent Victims"), but in an entirely engaging, even glorious, way. Though rhythmically complex, it doesn't generally swing, but that's OK: I don't think it was meant to.Anyone with big ears and a generous heart will want to give a listen."