Glenn Kotche, Eighth Blackbird & Kronos Quartet
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I have long been a fan of Glen Kotche and Wilco and this new record is new exception. Kotche collaborates with the Kronos Quartet as well as Eighth Blackbird to create sound palette with an incredible depth of expression. Clearly an outgrowth of his work and compositions as a percussion, Kotche broadens his chamber music orchestration with this album to include timbres for strings, piano and percussion. The result is a joyous groove based approach to classical music. Treat yourself to this engaging musical journey!
Inventive and adventurous
This album is jam-packed with humor and excitement - delightful and whimsical tracks like “The Traveling Turtle” as well as powerful, introspective tracks like “Anomaly mvt. 4”. Kotche immerses himself in classical idioms like the string quartet without getting bogged down by them, creating something fresh and animated. Fantastic album!
Glenn Kotche's latest effort is indeed an audio adventure. The major work -- Anomaly -- was written for the Kronos Quartet, who perform in this recording.
The concept is intriguing -- treat acoustic instruments (a string quartet) as an extension of a drum kit, shading the drums' indefinite pitches with specific notes played by the paired stringed instrument.
Each of Anomaly's seven movements examines this interface from a different perspective, using the building blocks of minimalism to create tension and motion -- with just a touch of rock n' roll.
Interspersed throughout Anomaly are short solo works by Kotche. These are mostly electronic, with so much packed into each piece that they actually seem much larger than they are.
I recommend listening to this album two ways -- first, as the composer intended with all the tracks in order. The moving back and forth from Anomoly to the other pieces creates an organic and compelling meta-composition. The second way is to just listen to the Anomaly movements. The interconnections between the movements become much clearer, and almost assumes a different character when heard as an integrated whole.
Years Active: '90s, '00s