Music Reviews

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Artist: THOLLEM MCDONAS (@)
Title: Piano works
Format: CD
Label: Pax recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Somewhere I've read Mcdonas mixes many different styles and influences but at the same time he doesn't remind any composer in particular and that's undeniably true. The american performer is definitely talented when sitting in front of his piano and that's something you hear immediately even if your not trained in the listening of classic or contemporary music, some fast passages as well as some complicated structures emphasize the skill of this composer/musician. The more time goes by, the more I lose my interest in many soloist performer, but apart from the obvious fact I'm getting a boring lazy fart, Macdonas work is really interesting. After several listenings the quality tends to emerge by itself, it doesn't take so much, it's just there're so many classical and "un-classical" (to quote one of the most interesting series on Subrosa) styles that at the beginning you're partially disoriented by the big aura of colours expressed by this performer. God, if I had to say it all I've heard fragments of Satie, Feldman, Cage ("piano works" in particular...obviously), Bartok, Weill but also Ellington, jazz piano, funny sketches fused with some fragments of serialism. This is a snapshot of Mcdonas' ideas during the last five years and this diary is full of contrasting pages written with irruence (some moments of "Ancient futures"), quietness ("faithful skepticism"), somewhere he looks for a communication ("Through confusion comes understanding"), somewhere else just for isolation ("Min's found an opening). As I've said Mcdonas succeed where many other fail.



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