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Dark Wood

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Album Review

It's hard to know just what to call this music. Is it classical? Pop? Some extremely pleasant strain of the avant-garde? David Darling is a cellist, and on Dark Wood he plays all the parts, multitracking himself playing in various registers and alternating between bowing and pizzicato techniques. The program consists of four suites, titled "Darkwood IV" through "Darkwood VII." (One would like to think that somewhere there exist "Darkwood I-III" and perhaps "VIII-X," but it's hard to give Darling the benefit of the doubt when, in place of any explanatory notes, the insert pamphlet contains a Gerry Lopez short story. This is not a man afraid of seeming pretentious.) However mannered the presentation may be, though, this music is really stunning. All of it moves slowly, like a dark cloud formation, as spare lines pile up on one other and pizzicato sections nudge up against long, sustained tones. "Dawn" and "New Morning," which are virtually identical compositions, bracket the program, and they are the loveliest tracks of all; where pieces like "Returning" and "Searching" hover in a sort of harmonic stasis, "Dawn" and "New Morning" move deliberately and gently through a definite chord progression, and the effect is almost cathartic. Highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Quiet and contemplative

I listened to this when driving in the mountains and the music matched the overwhelming scenery perfectly. The music is as stark and creative as the cover art. The pizzicato work on Earth is really impressive, but all the pieces tell a story and are well sequenced. This album does live up to its namesake, it is dark, melancholic, and powerful.

Biography

Born: March 4, 1941 in Elkhart, IN

Genre: Jazz

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

Eclectic composer/cellist David Darling incorporates jazz, classical, country, pop, and new age music into his playing and compositions. Starting as a child, Darling displayed facility with many different instruments and styles of music; he began with piano at age four, moved to cello six years later, and played string bass in his high school band (while also serving as bandleader). After finishing his studies in classical cello at Indiana State College in 1965, Darling stayed on as an instructor...
Full Bio
Dark Wood, David Darling
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Classical, Avant-Garde, New Age
  • Released: Jul 1993

Customer Ratings

Contemporaries