Category: Classical / Progressive
Album: Todmorden 513 – Concerto for Orchestra
Blurb: A fine example of the translatability of music from one genre or form to another, Markus Reuter’s latest concerto takes the listener on a long but fulfilling journey.
Since becoming a professional musician in the mid ‘90s, Markus Reuter has been a model of proficiency and artistry, moving well beyond the confines normally associated with the term “progressive” into a more encompassing and creative realm. Adopting an education by experimentation approach, he’s worked in every genre from rock to industrial to jazz and world music, has collaborated with various members of King Crimson, Ian Boddy, and Robert Rich among others, has developed and markets his own Touch Guitar instruments, and has even composed for classic orchestras and chamber ensembles, which brings us to Todmorden 513. Originally written for an electro/acoustic ensemble in 2010, Reuter worked with conductor/composer Thomas A. Blomster to refine the entire concerto for a full orchestra with this album being taken from the April 20, 2013 performance by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.
Without hearing the concerto in its original electro/acoustic form, one can only imagine from the ambient textures of slithering strings and sustained, swelling horns what Todmorden 513 may have sounded like in its conception. However, if one is familiar with the ambient and tonal styling of Reuter’s own work, owing much to his experiments with textural loop music (similar in nature to Robert Fripp’s earlier “Frippertronics”), one can listen to this orchestral arrangement and detect the connective threads. When listened to from beginning to end, each movement travels at a languid and leisurely pace, expressing divergent moods through strongly minimalist progressions. Not devoid of melody, but not reliant on it, each movement plays out more like a tone poem that eventually reconciles to an avant-garde nebula of colorful ambience. There is nothing dissonant through the eight movements of Todmorden 513; even in its less developed and slightly atonal moments, there is a fluidity of sound and motion upon which the listener can trace a path to a thematic core that eventually concludes with a buildup of crashing cymbals.
With two additional mixes present from Scott Christensen and Robert Rich, the differences between each mix only the attentive and astute listener will be able to discern across the nearly hour long runtime of Todmorden 513’s eight movements, the album offers a fine example of the translatability of music from one form to another. Whether performed by a chamber orchestra or by a single musician on one instrument, Todmorden 513 sends the listener across a lush and fertile sonic landscape, and while no small amount of patience is required, the experience is ultimately rewarding.
Markus Reuter Website http://www.markusreuter.com
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Markus Reuter Bandcamp http://markusreuter.bandcamp.com
Colorado Chamber Orchestra Website http://www.cochamberorchestra.org
Iapetus Media Website http://www.iapetus-media.com
Iapetus Media Store Website http://www.iapetus-store.com
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7d Media Website http://www.7dmedia.com
7d Media Bandcamp http://7dmedia.bandcamp.com
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)