Sunday, November 09, 2008

Max Richter "24 Postcards In Full Colour"

Artist: Max Richter
Album: 24 Postcards In Full Colour
Label: 130701
Release date: 25 August 2008
Genre: Electronic
Style: Modern Classical/Ambient
RIYL: Sylvain Chauveau, Library Tapes, Jóhann Jóhannsson

01. The Road Is A Grey Tape
02. H In New England
03. This Picture Of Us. P.
04. Lullaby From The Westcoast Sleepers
05. When The Northern Lights / Jasper And Louise
06. Circles From The Rue Simon – Crubellier
07. Cascade NW By W
08. A Sudden Manhattan Of The Mind
09. In Louisville At 7
10. Cathodes
11. I Was Just Thinking
12. A Song For H / Far Away
13. Return To Prague
14. Broken Symmetries For Y
15. Berlin By Overnight
16. Cradle Song For A (Interstate B3)
17. Kierling / Doubt
18. From 553 W Elm Street, Logan Illinois (Snow)
19. Tokyo Riddle Song
20. The Tartu Piano
21. Cold Fusion For G
22. 32 Via San Nicolo
23. Found Song For P.
24. H Thinks A Journey
Total running time: 33' 43"

[Max Richter - Open MySpace page]

[Max Richter - Circles From The Rue Simon – Crubellier - Video Clip]

[Max Richter - Song - Video Clip]

"Following eighteen months after Edinburgh-based pianist / composer Max Richter’s last album comes the release of the gorgeous, intriguingly framed ’24 Postcards In Full Colour’. Richter’s fourth album is a dazzling conceptual exercise of great beauty and emotional resonance. Certainly his most concise, ’24 Postcards…’may also be Max’s most coherent and compelling work to date. Beautifully played, richly textured and detailed, the album foregrounds Max’s sheer class as a composer and producer.

An attempt an exploration of the ringtone as a vehicle for music performance , ‘24 Postcards…’ is an experimental work made up of 24 classically-composed ringtones, set to be premièred in various gallery spaces. The première is intended to be in the form of a series of installations where pre-registered audience members switch on their phones to receive SMS messages, each message alert playing back one or more of the tracks, so making up the performance. In tandem with this release, will be a micro-website hosting 24 photographic images, one accompanying each track. As Max explains: “Thinking about how we listen to music today, I wondered why it is that ringtones have so far been treated as unfit for creative music… Who says ringtones have to be bad?.. It’s like saying LPs or CDs are bad – its just a medium….”

“Because the piece is a collection of tones, where I have no control of the order, I made a structure that holds together by use of shared material – like a cloud of pieces, or a handful of confetti, or a constellation of fragments – to be navigated as you like…” Max views the writing process in similar terms - shuffling basic elements into new constellations. The palette Max limited himself to consists of string quintet; solo piano; 16 track 2 inch tape; transistors; found shortwave radio; vinyl clicks, dust, scratches and rumble; and acoustic guitars. The players on the album are Louisa Fuller (violin),Robert Mc Fall (violin), Natalia Bonner (violin), John Metcalfe (Viola), Ian Burdge (Cello), Chris Worsey (Cello), Sua Lee (Cello), Preston Reed (Guitar), and Richter himself on piano.

Fragmentary and partial by nature, these 24 brief tracks work as a varied collection of evocative miniatures - each offering a glimpse into potentially much larger pieces. The longest track here is just under three minutes, whilst the majority clock in at around just sixty seconds. Each bearing its own particular weight and measure, these haunting vignettes come across as a series of sketches on the (fugitive) nature of time and memory, stitched together to form a series of jump-cuts and foldbacks in time (the album continually reprising itself and filling the listener with a sense of deja-vu).

As though extracting the absolute essence, simple, plaintive piano and string melodies - no excess, no waste, pure concentrate - butt up against passages of rich, borderzone ambience - radio static / voices leaking through dense, shifting drones. At points recalling the likes of Boards Of Canada, Bibio, and Gas (in terms of depth / grain rather than sound or style), at others Minimalism or the Elizabethan instrumental music of Henry Purcell, there’s also something about its nature that brings to mind authors like WG Sebald, Marcel Proust and filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky." [FatCat]


1 comment:

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