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Album Review

Maya Beiser is the star of avant-garde cello, insofar as such a field may have a star. Her work has exerted an appeal beyond traditional classical audiences, which is all to the good. The title TranceClassical namechecks a contemporary trend, but tends to give the wrong idea about the music, which is not particularly trancelike. The opening and final pieces by Bach and Hildegard of Bingen come from the classical canon; Beiser has said that the version of Bach's "Air on the G string," backed by an electronic evocation of a scratched-up LP record, was inspired by her memories of hearing the piece in just such a way as a child. But most of the music takes rock or contemporary classical music as a point of departure, and you'd have a hard time working up a trance to any of it. Beiser plays her cello, sings, and adds electronic layers, accomplishing various kinds of dialogue among the three realms her music inhabits. Only in David T. Little's Hellhound (track eight), inspired rather than based on Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail," does she give the music a heavily rhythmic shape. Instead, sample her take on Lou Reed's "Heroin" (track five), where the cello suggests some of the psychological currents contained in the lyrics of the song. Recommended even for those beyond Beiser's fan base as a piece of work that crosses genres intelligently.

Customer Reviews

Mystical & Stunning

Maya is not just a virtuoso cellist-amongst the best I’ve heard, and I’ve worked with some Amazing players…she has a gorgeous voice as well!!!! I have also never heard such brilliant variations of music-from Classical, Very Holy, Modern Eclectic, Prog, etc. I will be listening to this to be inspired, to chill, to bring my Awareness to Profound Spiritual & Godlike states of Meditation!, and to enjoy Real Music-rare these days! That said-I would Love an alt version with less Reverb (LOVE Reverb-I am a Composer/Recording Engineer) on some pieces for intimacy, and I can add vinyl sounds to music-not hard! Now I must use iZotope RX4 to Decrackle!!! Sorry-just being honest!
Still a 5* recording, since Maya is so blessed by The Muse, Creator, and Life!!!
I am a HUUUUUUUUUUGE fan now!!! Wow...


While the scratchy vinyl was definitely a risk, I think it was more than worth it! It reminds me of sitting at home next to fireplace listening to the soft crackling wood. Beautiful work, can’t wait to hear more!

Absoutley Amazing 10/10

This rendition of Lou Reed's Herion is not only beautiful but indescribably haunting. Cannot stop listening to it.
On "Air", the vinyl static adds a beautiful layer to an already beatufiul performance of Bach.


Genre: Classical

Maya Beiser has etched a bold career path that marries classical to rock, starched collars to casual dress, and tradition to unorthodoxy. With an eclectic repertory of works by John Tavener, Tan Dun, Osvaldo Golijov, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Led Zeppelin, and many others from all over the musical map, she plays what many call indie-classical or alternative classical. However one defines her, Beiser clearly enters the world of contemporary music with a willingness to take risks. Her freewheeling...
Full Bio
TranceClassical, Maya Beiser
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Customer Ratings