Music Reviews

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Artist: MIYA MASAOKA
Title: While I was walking
Format: CD
Label: Solitary B (@)
Rated: *****
Four works written by Miya Masaoka and performed by three choirs and nine soloists, it all vividly reminds me of an old work composed ages ago by Ennio Morricone, it was a work for chorus based on a poetry written by Pier Paolo Pasolini and titled "Sciopero" (On strike), I’m quite sure he also reused some excerpts of it in a part of a soundtrack of who knows which movie by Dario Argento. The texture is really different, in someway in the modus componendi of Masaoka reminds really well (even if her name and her favourite instruments are Japanese) she’s culturally grown in the U.S. and as far as I concern I wish nobody will blame me if I say some parts of this piece are really "american". It doesn’t necessarily imply she’s a minimalist, or she’s been influenced by this or that contemporary composer but you can bet beside being filed under contemporary classic music she’s using those long notes, those quasi-frozen dissonance games that are quite a trademark for many american composers. This one has been recorded in a reverbed church or some similar place and if you add she’s been probably influenced by her Japanese origin, it gives all some gentle but also dramatic "siren singing" atmosphere (I’m sure Ulysses will fall in the trap this time!). The four parts of this work are quite varied thought giving an homogeneous shape to "While I was walking", she’s been really able to alternate circular parts and long segments. Despite its contemporary classic essence the whole composition is really really filmic and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it as a soundtrack for this or that tragedy. We’re all in debt with Greeks for our sense of drama, and this composition is nothing but one of the many proof of it.



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