1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Recorded live at the famed Cinema Theatro Manzoni, Bologna, Italy, May 9 and 12, 2000.
Diehard Mike Patton fanboys: not to dissuade you from a fantastic album, but this may not be what you're looking for. You might want to read up on this album before you attempt and unravel it (which may be what brought you here!). Admittedly, I found this record through Mike Patton's selected discography, on his Wikipedia entry, but what made me keep it was Eyvind Kang. This isn't a Mike Patton album. Turn around now if you wish.
I am not familiar with any other works by Eyvind Kang, so my perception of the man and his body of work may be skewed. However, that doesn't prevent me from claiming this album's gorgeous presentation. Eyvind Kang has managed to combine the beauty of cinematic music with the formality of classical music. I don't know what his intentions were, but the execution of the music is breathtaking.
You would be surprised to find out that even though Eyvind Kang is a violinist, the music isn't concentrated on himself most of the time. An elegant backing orchestra supports him, and is the focal point of most of the music here. When you think orchestra, don't assume it will sound noisy and chaotic to peaceful and serene, with intervals of 30 seconds between them. Eyvind Kang utilizes the minimalist ethic and keeps things blunt, but also tells a story through his music. He just cuts the frills. Yes it's a 72 minute album, but it's a long story, k?
Some of the longer tracks on the album, "Doorway to the Sun" and "Innocent Eyes, Crystal See" are reminiscent of the stylings of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Unklike GY!BE which begins small and slow, picking up speed slowly, and ending with a fiery crescendo, these songs build on trance-like rhythms, with pieces popping in and out to build upon tension, and end in summation rather than destruction. Mike Patton is featured on the latter, and sings what could be his greatest performance ever. Critics who complain about reliance on yelping and his tendency to emulate genres instead of expanding upon them should take note here. If you could give vocals to classical music, this would be it. Bold claim, but I'll defend it.
I would advise anyone who is looking for some modern classical to experimental music to pick this album up. It can transcend the classical connotations, but also holds its roots well and knows what it is. If the Mike Patton fanboys are still reading this, you're the right people for this album. Enjoy!