The Freelance Mentalists.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
 
Richard Barrett and the 'modernists':

Can't believe I missed this concert but viewing that review over morning coffee, I do not understand this new work as a reconfiguration of the orchestra along a 'marxist' line - instead I see those string shapes coming from his background as an improvisor (something that the reviewer does not seen to care for - it isn't mentioned in his first para, unlike his work in electronics), and that music's insistence on non-hierarchical movement; but to even quote Stalin with respect to this work, one of the few from that corner of the musical landscape that even tries to say anything with respect to the war (doesn't sound like it goes beyond the title but still it seems to wash over the work in a way in which its politics cannot be merely brushed aside) as well as his characterization of Barrett as hard modernist living a fantasy in a postmodernist time just leaves a vile taste.

But its all here: 'amplified harps', 'microtonal', theatre in those 'bones...if its anything as good as his classic 'opening of the mouth' disc then this record will be REWARDED with a pazz and jop top 10, whatever the year a record of this happens to be released in.
 
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