(Tzadik)

Noah Creshevsky (1945) studied with Nadia Boulanger and Luciano Berio before becoming himself an important teacher specialized in computer music. Still, should one thing be told about his art, is that it certainly doesn’t sound as serious as it could be expected given the above mentioned background. Yet it is serious; Creshevsky is a master of the audio-collage, but he does it without the aid of treatments. Most of this stuff is born from human elements – voices, regular instruments – edited in myriads of different combinations and successions, the only perceptible modifications being accelerations and slowdowns, maybe some pitch transposing. The outcome is, for lack of a better word, natural and rather unpretentious despite the many intersections between the parts, a strange cross of irony and unpredictability that might challenge reflex-lacking listeners, sometimes abruptly. This particular collection presents a peculiar alternance of sacred and profane: one moment we find ourselves surrounded by whirling amalgamations of orchestral sounds, Japanese rituals (i.e. the title track) and microscopic instrumental tornadoes, the next we’re welcomed by Latin-sung reformulations with names such as “Psalmus XXIII” and “Jubilate”, the former interspersed with utterances by Beth Griffith that, at times, appear of sexual-related nature, the latter characterized by Thomas Buckner’s unmistakable baritone. Other guests include Zach Kurth-Nelson, Martha Cluver, Monique Buzzarté, Chris Mann, Al Margolis, the last three being featured in the great closure “Free speech”, probably the perfect calling card to better understand the complex yet accessible world of this unsung composer.

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