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Album Review

Since it began in 1984, Cirque du Soleil's unique fusion of theatrical arts elements has enraptured more than 33 million spectators on four continents, with the show Varekai representing the 14th live production. Composed by Violaine Corradi and produced by Nitin Sawhney, this trippy, operatic, classical-new age-flavored recording is the soundtrack to that show, and invites the listener into the visual experience by way of musical diversity and wide emotional landscapes. "Rain One" is a bit on the avant garde side, mixing vocal samples, exotic female whispers, and rain soundscapes with Eastern music textures. "Le Reveur" blends soaring foreign voices with an ominous wall of electronic sounds and groove. "Vocea" mixes this same type of percussive foundation with a melancholy string section and a violin solo. Overall, it's a fascinating mélange of world music and electronica that takes more than one listen to fully appreciate. [The album was re-released in 2004 with a different cover and a slightly re-indexed track listing.]

Biography

Formed: Quebec, Canada

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the circus arts, transcending the traditional big-top approach of the past to spotlight elaborate sets, lavish costume, and original music. Founded in Quebec in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier, the original group comprised local street performers; shunning animal acts to focus exclusively on human spectacles — stilt-walkers, jugglers, fire-eaters, and the like — the troupe quickly earned a following throughout Canada, eventually spreading across...
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Varekai, Cirque du Soleil
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