Review

Jeff Filla, N D - Magazine, no. 20, June 1, 1997

One of my favorites, if only because of the Veils piece. Most of the music on these two disks is a stylistically heterogenous jumble of orchestral, jazz, and choral arrangements—all meticulously assembled from thousands of pre-recorded tracks. Such a grandiose production of acoustic instrument track layering has surely never come before this. Sometimes the instruments are so densely layered they become a storm of harmonics that approaches white noise. The whole compositional temperament—impatient, violent, and spastically bursting and whirling relentlessly—makes me wonder who has the mental energy to listen attentively to the whole length of it, much less labor to compose it. Possibly, it’s brilliant (I should mention that a composer friend of mine thinks these tracks are the most original new music he’s heard in years), but I found it oppressively cluttery. At the tail end of the second CD is the piece titled Veils; another study in multi-tracking which is stylistically the flipside of the coin. Veils is an ambient masterpiece where, atypical of ambient music, genuine compositional events are as important as the arrangement at any given time. No electronic effects were used, but extensive multitracking between 180 to 280 tracks of acoustic instruments is responsible for a consistency and flow of this phenomenal work. Very artfully done.

Very artfully done.

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