Between the title and the stabbing intensity of the piano progressions which mellifluously hammer home the tragedy in silent suffering, you can’t help but engage with the evocative potential within Munich’s Michael Livschitz’s latest score ‘When Broken Hearts Are Silent’.
Of all the things that have been lost and have been changed since the pandemic started, I consistently find myself mourning the fact we seem to be slipping into hesitancy to speak, hesitancy to be loud, artful and incredible, hesitancy to be who we were before in the wake of catastrophe and ennui.
When Broken Hearts Are Silent is not a sombre composition, by any means. It is explorative and poignantly reflective through the way it tugs on tender heartstrings, allowing the keys to say what words won’t let us express.
Any fans of Hans Zimmer, John Williams and Ennio Morricone will undoubtedly want to get acquainted with the cinematic presence which resides in Michael Livschitz’s sound.
When Broken Hearts Are Silent is now available to stream via Spotify.
Canadian Neo-classic artist and composer, Marcus Moon, released their highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Letters from the Moon’, as 2020 drew to a close. His “classical music for modern times” is an all too welcome distraction from the same modernity it reflects.
The refined decadence in the lead single ‘Wedding Waltz’ is the aural equivalent to slipping into a Jane Austen novel; it’s grandiose without becoming theatrical. Instead, through his command of vivid melodies, Marcus Moon is able to paint a neo-classic portrait which evokes emotion instead of forcing emotion upon you; allowing the timeless tones to resonate as much in your own world as they would in an imagined archaic fantasy (we all have those, right?).
Marcus Moon’s debut album is now available to stream via Spotify.
Self-described as ‘Genre-Fluid Performers’, childhood friends Jonathan Chan and Jan Bislin – better known as Momento – are multi-instrumentalists, performers, and composers, specialising in a mixture of original and reworked pop and classical compositions. Here presenting their new single ‘Through The Horizon’, a mixture of Sigur Ros’ ‘Hoppipolla’ and ‘How It Ends’ by Devotchka, the classically trained duo mix electric and acoustic violin performances with sequenced electronic drums and synthesiser parts to create a beautiful, entrancing soundscape that is at once familiar and wholly new.
Already well-established as support for acts as diverse as Tim Minchin, James Blunt, and Gary Barlow, and with over half-a-million YouTube views under their belts – as well as regular headline shows on the streaming platform Sofar Sounds – Jonathan and Jan have here created a beguiling instrumental piece which allows both performers to shine, never overly flashy yet clearly demonstrating their supreme musicianship and arrangement expertise. Based on ‘Through The Horizon’, 2021 should be pretty memorable for Memento.
With a cinematic Jazz ensemble quiescently quivering beneath a poetically enticing spoken-word monologue, The Spice Cabinet’s latest release, “Bittersweet”, is captivating from the intro.
From there on out, the Neo-Classic soundscape demonstrates its efficaciousness in arresting your rhythmic pulses with the subtle yet striking fluctuations in zeal and style, leaving you eager, but assured, you’re in masterfully safe aural hands.
With the nuance exhibited in Bittersweet, it comes as no surprise that Beijing’s 11-piece award-winning Jazz fusion collective have amassed plenty of acclaim. Frontman, arranger, pianist and trombonist Terry Hsieh is able to bring modernism to a genre consistently perceived as archaic. Perhaps more pertinently, he is able to make a plaything of your psyche through his ingenuity.
Commencing with a beautiful, arpeggiated piano motif before being joined by the deep, sonorous swell of cello, ‘Crazy In Love’ is a beautiful, haunting piece, an instrumental duet of resonant, musical artistry and elegance that showcases the talents of two incredible musicians.
Pianist Deborah Robb and cellist Xue Yang Liu met while students at the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York City. While attending Mannes they performed chamber music together and were members of the Mannes American Composers Ensemble (MACE) under the direction of composer Lowell Liebermann. Their Sonophonix duo merges their composing, arranging and improvisation skills, and ‘Crazy In Love’ is a perfect example of their art, allowing each performer the personal space to breathe whilst intertwining their individual contributions into something altogether greater, a delicate, mellow, composition of refinement and elegance that transcends the classical genre and becomes something altogether of its own.
Ambedo is just one of the celestially graceful compositions which feature on The Ideal Setback’s latest album Nodus Tollens which is due for release on September 25th. It’s safe to say that ambience has never been quite so evocative.
As neo-classic roots entwine with modernistic transcendental tones under the deft composition of Todd Chappell, you’ll be able to feel every fluctuation in momentum and passion. The intricately light soundscape was inspired by and titled after the melancholic trances we enter when vivid sensory details capture us and allow us to drift into a dimension besides the anxiety-riddled hellscape we call 2020. For your own sanity, hit play.
You can check out Ambedo for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.
Ukrainian composer, producer and pianist Olexandr Ignatov has countless accolades to their name. After the release of their Neo-Classic album “Messages”, they can also be proud to have their name behind one of the most stunning albums of 2020.
Each composition invites you to explore a different emotion, Patience, Empathy, Temperance, Loyalty, Trust, the track which hit the evocative spot the hardest for us was undoubtedly “Struggle”.
The precision in timing between the notes is almost otherworldly in the way it sets trepidation, torment and a spiralling sense of despair. Yet, it can’t be said that the piece was without any sense of beauty and resilience. It’s the perfect reminder that if you’re struggling, you’re still fighting and not all hope is lost. And with that revelation, I might have a little cry.
Struggle is available to stream via Spotify with the rest of their ground-breaking album.
Ryuho Okawa’s ‘The Thunder” is an epic, rolling, soundscape – 8’15” of soaring composition in three parts, a gorgeous, haunting female vocal cutting in over the orchestral melodrama. It sounds, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, like the end credit music to a Michael Bay movie or, even more, a Hideo Kojima game, Metal Gear Solid or Death Stranding cut scenes rolling as the strings swell and the tympani crash. It’s that expansive and evocative.
It is a beautiful, well-crafted piece; a slow build of melancholy orchestration, deep long-drawn out ‘cello notes underlying pizzicato violin, and then three minutes in there’s a drop, the calm before the musical storm. That stunning vocal cuts in before a huge peal of orchestral thunder, a lift, and the drums rise to a militaristic tattoo, all snare rolls and marching beat, then the resolve at 5’30”, crescendo to key shift and then peace, the slow play out, the fierceness of the storm abating, tranquillity returning as the volume fades.
‘The Thunder’ is stunning; an absolute tempest of a track. You can hear it here, but be warned – you may need to take a moment after to catch your breath.
With an intro which wouldn’t be out of place in a Nils Frahm composition, Ian Chamberlain kicks off his latest single “Disruption” with a teasing Neo-Classic start before throwing an unexpected aural curveball your way and throwing you headfirst into an experimentally electrifying soundscape.
The Adelaide, Australia-based artist and producer poured his passion for both Classical music and mechanical sounds into Disruption. Which may give you an indication of just how distinct and alchemic their sound is. Yet, to truly appreciate their talent, you’ll have to immerse yourself in the cinematically avant-garde single yourself.
Listening to Disruption is practically a full-body experience for the way the visceral notes seem to make every cell in your body stand to attention. For your sake instead of theirs, hit play. It’s not every day you’ll get to encounter such a mind-blowing feat of ingenuity.
You can check out Ian Chamberlain’s single Disruption for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Many contemporary music fans view classical music as anachronistic or inaccessible. Reid Wegrecki is on a mission to smash those misconceptions and accordantly welcome more people to the world of orchestrally-crafted ambience.
By finding the perfect balance between live orchestral instruments and lo-fi ambient electronic effect, Reid Wegrecki offers the striking nature of neo-classic strings, brass and keys while allowing her soundscapes to be commercially immersive.
For every composition, Reid Wegrecki collaborates with a rotating line up of exceptionally skilled artists. The end result is more than mesmeric. Quite honestly, it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. While I’m no stranger to Classical or Neo-Classic scores, their sound resonates as captivating and cathartic simultaneously. The ambience will soothe you while the nuancedly crafted melodies will leave you in awe of the talent behind the soundscape.
The perfect introduction to the artist and composer’s style is the instrumental single “Curiosity” which can be found on their tenderly absolving 4-track EP “Daydreams”.
You can listen to Reid Wegrecki’s transfixing single curiosity for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or YouTube now.
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