Friday, November 20, 2009

Jeff Greinke - "Virga" CD

Over the course of some 25 years and 18 albums, composer Jeff Greinke has proven his mastery of fourth-world ambient sound. This new release combines his trademark spacious, exotic, and earthly atmospheres with more traditional instruments to form classically-structured chamber music, accented with cello, piano, and trumpet. During "Slow Rise", Christiana Morgan's cello plays a major role, grounding the sounds in an earthy, harmonic fashion. "Night Flyers" weds what sounds like field recordings of nocturnal frogs with treated piano and choral voices. "Abandoned Place" is a shadowy, almost sad classical/ambient piece, with mournful strings and piano. "Before The Storm" is beautifully self-explanatory, with an air of impending darkness. It's the calm before a potentially serious weather pattern, where the initial winds pick up to herald the oncoming storm. "Partial Light" also manages to convey a peaceful solitude, but not without some darker force underneath the fragile hull. It's this dichotomy that makes "Virga" so successful. Greinke balances the tender, fragile beauty of strings and shifting melodic strokes with undercurrents of regret, tension, sorrow, and uncertainty, without being cold or calculated in his approach or execution. To put in succinctly, this is ambient music with soul and feeling, and that makes "Virga" a real winner. (Lotuspike)


Greinke's site

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