One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Grant CUTLER
Self Portrait
Georgia [4:40]
The Dream I Float Away [6:05]
Self Portrait [3:56]
Falling Asleep In The Streets [7:19]
Part Two [3:58]
Stairwell [2:47]
Paroxysm [4:10]
Drowning [5:37]
Grant Cutler (piano, synthesizers), Jef Sundquist, Chris Campbell (organs),
Michelle Kinney, Jacqueline Ultan (cello), Sara Pajunen (violin),
Michael Lewis (saxophone), Aby Wolf (vocals)
rec. Hideaway Studios, Minneapolis MN and Brooklyn, NY, dates not given.
INNOVA 961 [38:33]

If I was still working in a record shop and asked for something on the lines of Brian Eno’s ambient recordings then this might be the sort of album I would suggest. This of course does a certain disservice to Grant Cutler’s creative originality, but sometimes you just have to start with a point of reference and move on from there.

These are all slow and atmospheric tracks, though by no means lacking in eventfulness and surprise. Instruments rarely if ever appear as themselves, often sounding through veils of some kind of electronic transformation, at times in counterpoint with themselves as is the violin in Stairwell and the cellos of Drowning, or manipulated beyond recognition to create something entirely new. There is an intimate, chamber-music feel to the album as a whole, though the most dramatic musical gestures have symphonic weight. Where the sonic undertow of Georgia ultimately rises to create something ecstatic is an example of this.

While there is no information with the actual CD the Innova website describes how Cutler “recorded artists improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, a kind of sonic déja vu where memory and experience blend together in an evolving present. Slowly evolving colors wash over the listener; as though placing a mic in front of a fresh Rothko.”

Cutler is not afraid of using ‘bad’ overload distortion to dirty his sound and prevent it becoming too sweet and sentimental: indeed, this is an effective way of heightening tension. Aside from the detail and effort put into creating remarkable swathes of intriguing and often inspiring sound, the listener is drawn in by clear arcs of structure and design. Even where there is an extended development in longer of tracks such as Falling Asleep In The Streets, we’re kept on our toes by constant change and shifting, indeed singing sands. Part Two is by contrast one of the most eventful tracks here, with a drifting organ sent into the distance, only to return with shock and disruption.

This is a fine album and one to have to hand when seeking to open up your own poetic inner spaces.

Dominy Clements

 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger