Browsing Tag


Bear witness to the Avant-Garde finesse in Sairen’s Branca-esque post-rock instrumental score, Délivrance

The post-rock artist and composer, Sairen, created the embodiment of cinematic tension in his seminal instrumental score, Délivrance. This seven-minute piece flourishes distinctive avant-garde flair, marking it as a standout creation in the realm of modern instrumental music.

The track’s progression is a journey through the artist’s intricate vision, characterised by eloquently moody tones and a sophisticated use of musical elements. Sairen’s expertise in blending diverse musical influences is evident here. From the harbingering guitars that siren through the track to the tenaciously placed cymbal crashes, each element is carefully crafted to contribute to the overall narrative of the piece.

One of the most striking features of “Délivrance” is the introduction of chamber strings, which seamlessly complement the sonic spectacle of the crescendos. This inclusion not only enhances the track’s emotional depth but also showcases Sairen’s ability to fuse classical sensibilities with modern post-rock aesthetics.

The middle-eight of the track is particularly noteworthy. Centred around the motif of a ticking clock, it builds a palpable sense of drama, leading to a break into an arcanely all-consuming sequence that can only be described as filmic ingenuity. This segment demonstrates a touch of Glenn Branca in its composition, highlighting Sairen’s skill in creating complex, layered soundscapes.

Sairen’s background, with his early introduction to music and his affinity for baroque, romantic, dark metal, and post-rock, shines through in this creation. He bridges these seemingly opposite genres, crafting a unique sound that is both haunting and enchanting.

Délivrance was officially released on November 7th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jessamine Barham exhumed a ‘Shallow Grave’ to speak on the violent oppression of women in her latest single.

Jessamine Barham released her most striking single to date when she read the harrowing tale in her latest single, Shallow Grave. The haunting vocal harmonies atop the staccato acoustic guitar strings and as the centrefold within the quiescent orchestral swells of chamber pop strings brought the solemnity within Shallow Grave to spectral life in a way that assures us that even though Jessamine Barham’s dark pop stylings are niche, her talents of a sonic narrator of feminine tragedy should never be underestimated.

The days of the Salem witch trials and being sectioned with hysteria may be behind us, but the violent oppression of women will always be a tale as old as time. It was no feat of hyperbole to lyrically infer that feminine acts of rebellion can incur the death penalty. Some may say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but life hath no tyranny like the men determined to keep us chastised.

Shallow Grave was officially released on September 24; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chamber strings go pop in Philadelphia String Quartet’s latest score, Oh My God

Living by their motto, ‘Think Outside the Bach’s’, the classically trained artists of which the Philadelphia String Quartet comprises know no bounds when scoring their pieces and comply to even fewer.

Their recently released piece, Oh My God, is a baroque folk fantasyscape, which wouldn’t be out of place in the prelude in a progressive folk metal track, in the OST of lore lore-filled series akin to The Witcher, or any other setting that calls for the romanticism of chamber strings pulling together in complete coalescent quintessence.

Since forming in 2009, the quartet has been immensely in demand as a wedding band; the performers even go as far as to curate custom playlists for couples. If Oh My God is anything to go by, the airwaves should be equally as inclined to champion the quartet’s quasi-classic spin on pop.

Stream Oh My God on Spotify, and follow the four-piece to ensure you’re the first to know when their live-recorded upcoming album drops!

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Michael Carson emulated the emotional connection of artistic expression with ‘Blades on Ice’

The classical music composer, Michael Carson takes inspiration from everything from the vastness of the universe to the majesty in the contortions of the human form; for one of his most captivatingly seminal scores, Blades on Ice, he took his fans on an audio-visual journey inspired by the grace of Olympian figure skaters.

To the accompaniment of his orchestral arrangement, the artistry and expression of the figure skaters are heightened to the nth degree. By soundtracking their defiance of physics, Carson amplified the tension within the dramatic routines, added to the melancholy of their sombre performances, and made melodic their spirited sequences. While some soundscapes cradle what it means to be human, others demonstrate the definition of extraordinary, Blades on Ice superlatively lies in the latter camp.

The official music video for Blades on Ice is available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Peter Xifaras paid an impassioned ode to an icon with ‘While My Guitar Weeps for Mehdi Rajabian’

While My Guitar Weeps for Mehdi Rajabian, performed by Peter Xifaras and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, pays homage to the bravery and tenacity of an Iranian artist imprisoned for working with female dancers and musicians, something which has been banned since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

After a three-minute trial, he was convicted and tortured during his sentence, but that wasn’t enough to break his indomitable spirit that inspired this jazzy composition, which orchestrally berates the indignity and senseless oppression; it carries the quintessence of the Iranian protesters throwing away their headscarves in a bid to retaliate against regimented oppression.

While Les Pauls don’t often take the lead in orchestral arrangements, on this wild and jazzy contemporary ride, the sonorous sustain lends itself effortlessly to the instrumental piece as Peter Xifaras demonstrates his prowess as a guitarist, composer, and producer.

Stream the official music video for While My Guitar Weeps for Mehdi Rajabian via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Michael Carson emanated ephemeral grace in his classical score, The Elusive Ballerina`

For his latest orchestral score and music video, the fan-revered and critically acclaimed composer Michael Carson captured the ephemeral grace of The Elusive Ballerina.

The evocative beauty of the masterpiece wouldn’t leave the score out of place in a performance of Swan Lake. With the pirouetting orchestral melodies which ebb and flow in mellifluous rhythm, your rhythmic pulses will be efficaciously awoken to the tune of Carson’s contemporary classical narrative that will capture your attention and flood catharsis into your senses.

On the basis of The Elusive Ballerina, and all of the pieces that have preceded it, it is only a matter of time before Carson’s name is one of the biggest in the classical realm.

Stream the music video for The Elusive Ballerina which premiered on August 12th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Michael Carson sang the sun’s sonnet in his orchestral score, Solaris

The revered classical composer Michael Carson frequently looks to interstellar phenomena for inspiration for his compositions. His seminal score, Solaris, which would be more than fitting as a sonic pairing to a Brian Cox documentary, is no exception.

After day breaks via the orchestral melodies in the intro, sinister sci-fi elements start to weave their way into the grandeur of the piece to allude to the insurmountable nature of the sun, which is often forgotten about as we see it synonymous with temperateness.

His score efficaciously captures the explosively ravening nature of the hot ball of hydrogen before the orchestral strings bring you back to earth by sonically visualising the beauty of a sunset. Solaris may leave you feeling small once you contemplate the vast nature of the universe, but that is far from the only emotion evoked by his masterful maestro touch.

Stream the official music video for Solaris on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Michael Carson sonically visualised ‘A Starry Night’ in his classical composition.

If you have ever wondered what Van Gogh’s A Starry Night would sound like reimagined in a classical composition, wonder no more by going interstellar with the immersively seminal score from the world-class composer, Michael Carson.

With its evocative depth, hitting play is akin to an astronautical adventure; the gentle melodic flurrying keys and gracefully poised orchestral strings effortlessly glide to the arrestive crescendos and fleeting sinister motifs that allow A Starry Night to unravel as a progressively compelling soundscape that soundtracks the vastness of the universe.

Clearly, Carson’s Bachelors & Masters in Music Composition and doctorate in Musical Arts have served him well, as has his inclination to stay committed to perpetuating the timeless appeal of classical music in his invigorating work.

Explore the cosmos with the official music video for A Starry Night on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Amsterdam composer, Knupperpouf, set a tear-tempting score in her lates piece, Marnixstraat

El Pueblo (Amsterdam Album) by Knupperpouf

For her latest release, the Amsterdam-hailing songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Knupperpouf (AKA Nicolette Lie) arranged the tear-tempting neo-classic instrumental piece, Marnixstraat.

The chamber strings cut melancholy across the score, while the poise of the piano keys melodically instil a sense of reflective repose, which you will effortlessly fall into while absorbing the baroque beguile of this wordless exemplification of what it means to be human.

Towards the outro of the short and striking single, Marnixstraat introduces nuanced rock elements that pay an ode to the artist’s sonic origins in the 90s Dutch indie scene. if anyone deserves to be lauded as a virtuoso of ethereal pensiveness, it is Knupperpouf.

Marnixstraat is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lydia Li set an otherworldly score in her orchestral composition, Enchanted Forest

From the first note, you’re down the fantastical rabbit hole in Lydia Li’s composition, Enchanted Forest. The LA-based Chinese composer and orchestrator has crafted scores for just about every form of media. But standing alone, the sense of wonder and emotional celebration of imagined celestial ephemera contained in Enchanted Forest is enough to capture your imagination and aid escapism.

Before composing her instrumental orchestral piece, Enchanted Forest, Lydia Li performed and recorded music across the globe. She provided the soundtrack to the Chinese show Bafan Shenyu, which has garnered over 40 million views. Appropriately matched levels of success and talent are rare to find, but notably, Lydia Li’s heartbreakingly astute melodies could never be over-revered. She’s raised the bar right off this stratosphere.

Visit the Enchanted Forest by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast