Tristan Perich: Drift Multiply (Nonesuch/digital outlets)

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Tristan Perich: Drift Multiply (Nonesuch/digital outlets)

Although hailed in the New York Classical Review as “establishing a new language and a new future path for music”, many who have heard a fair swag of early Philip Glass (North Star and 1000 Airplanes on the Roof come to mind), Steve Reich's Variations for Winds, Strings & Keyboards ('79) or even the Fripp/Eno collaborations in the mid Seventies, may feel that is something of an overstatement about Drift Multiply.

This path of glistening minimalism and repetition – albeit sometimes delivered by electronics but here also with 50 violins – is one which has been much traveled.

What New York composer Perich brings to this 70 minute continuous composition in 10 parts is a kind of ascending tension from the shimmering, hypnotic opening sections to subtle dissonance and electrostatic sounds which have an oddly organic feel (is that waves, wind or cleverly processed surface noise in Section Five?).

There are passages of subtle beauty (the more restful and romantic atmospherics of Section Six) and other places where it seems the ghosts have hijacked the machines (Section Eight, before the violins enter).

Whatever you make of it, Drift Multiply is a sometimes musically austere but always interesting trip into inner spaces.

And if some of it doesn't quite live up to the claims made for it, it's a journey worth taking for those prepared to loosen their expectations, and lie back . . .

.

You can hear this album on Spotify here


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