I've happily had the occasion to review some of Chris Campbell's music over the years (type his name in the search box for those articles). Now there is a new one and I am very glad to hear it. Orison (Innova 008 CD or LP) is an ambitious, seven-part work for a 14-member chamber ensemble.
Like the other works I have heard of his there is a kind of natural flow to the music, with everything coming into sequences that sound unforced, evocatively flourishing and easily engaging.
The composer tells us in the liners that Orison comes out of the practice of sitting, meditation, prayer. The composer has worked on it for several years, responding to events locally and also globally, a processing of world and eventua-tive happenings rising up and falling away as expressed in a gorgeous spatio-temporal flow where all that comes after relates to the before yet supersedes it in the additive sense, be it "shifting sonic image" or "textural idea" as the composer expresses it.
It is music that very effectively gives off an ambient vibe yet has both a cosmic sound envelope AND a more directly engaging melodic thrust than some other such works out there. So as you relisten you get both components coming together in ways that work wonderfully well and give you the pleasure of recall one gets from a detailed and inspired game plan.
As I listen again I feel I am in the presence of a latter-day Berg--expressively feelingful yet decidedly forward moving into the present day. In the end I come away from this music wanting to hear it yet again. It is orchestrationally ravishing and beautifully absorbing. Big kudos!