We get two suites, "Wrong Ocean", for string quartet, and "Blind Huber", a song cycle for voices and chamber ensemble. Then we hear "Seven Testimonies", a half-sung, half-recited monologue with electro-acoustic collage sound as accompaniment. Finally there is "Proteus", a peculiar story-monologue with voice alteration via digital signal processing.
All of it has a sound, different for each work, but none the less original and subject to the musically inventive mind of Guy Barash. This is not for a lover of smooth jazz! At least not genetically, for the music can be harsh. But there is artistry there, always.
I find the combination of various worlds of outness compelling. Texts are as abstracted or extra-ordinary as the music, yet there is often narrative, Kafkaesque, Beckettian. The music comes at you like a tornado or, perhaps more appropriately since this album has water as a thematic element, like a waterspout dead-ahead.
Those devotees of uncompromising new music will find this an absorbing listen. I surely did. If you are looking for mellow music to play innocuously at a cocktail party (do people still do this?) you would do well to look elsewhere.
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