Things You Already Know
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This is a CD you will enjoy listening to many times...and each time be rewarded with a new emotional stirring. Campbell has a depth of understanding expressed in this album.
I really enjoyed listening to this album. If I were to compare this album to other recognizable artists, I’d say there are some strong resemblances to Son Lux’s music or the instrumental/electronic music of Nico Muhly. Throughout there is careful, thoughtful combination of electronic and acoustic textures- that in theory (and practice on this album!) ends up being something more than the two could be on their own.
From the first track being titled “Form-Emptiness” and the last being “Emptiness-Form”, you can tell a lot of thought went into this album’s structure. There are strategically-placed little islands of meditative space, like the last minute of “Torso of a Bodhisattva” or all of “Water Mirror”, that are counteracted by dynamic and weird places, like “Water Variations” and the beginning and end of “Lord Byron”. In general, I wish the weirder, jerkier textures would have jerked me around even MORE, but that’s probably just me.
Sometimes in the songs there are these very clear recapitulations of earlier material, while in others, the track ends in an entirely different place from where it starts. I like how this changes up throughout the album.
Every once in a while there is a glint of a human voice. Though Campbell states pretty clearly why he didn’t want to make vocal music in this album, I think I would have enjoyed the voices popping out a little bit more here and there.
I am going to keep listening after this review is done. Like Campbell says on his website, this album is a demanding, but not challenging listen. It’s very interesting and I hope you’ll give it a shot.
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