Music Reviews

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Artist: MICHAEL JON FINK
Title: A Temperament for Angels
Format: CD EP
Label: Cold Blue (@)
Distributor: Allegro (USA), RSK (UK), Silenzio (Italy)
Rated: *****
Third cd-ep in the recent Cold Blue series, Fink's "A Temperament for Angels" comes with a really perfect quotation from Rilke's "Duino Elegies": "For beauty is nothing / but the beginning of terror, which we can just barely endure, / and we stand in awe of it as it coolly disdains / to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying". Played by Fink himself (at cymbals and sampler keyboards) with Robin Lorentz (violins), Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cellos) and Jonathan Marmor (cymbals), the 29-minute composition is a slowly but ever evolving dirge, written with an astounding control on what the droning string patterns can accomplish. It's very minimalist (actually the most minimalist in the series), but also moody and layered throughout, its atmospheres passing from gloomy to meditative and solemn to almost serene. Yes, there are short glimpses of peace in its awe-inspiring strength. A very powerful and evocative work, "A Temperament for Angels" sounds to me as an ideal bridge between Feldman's quiet ensembles and harsher, louder forms of string-based minimalism (Maranha, Organum, early O'Rourke...).



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