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Julia Wolfe: Dark Full Ride

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Audio CD, November 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Julia Wolfe's Dark Full Ride consists of four new compositions, each written for multiples of individual instruments -- nine bagpipes, four drum sets, six pianos and eight double basses. Wolfe says, 'Like staring for a long time at a Rothko painting, I imagined each of these pieces as an exploration of one color. But in truth an instrument isn't really a single timbre. There are a myriad of worlds within each sound.' Working closely with the performers during the composing process, Wolfe uncovers a never-before-heard music. For example, while writing LAD, she uses the initial drone produced while filling the bagpipe with air as the piece's introduction. Says Wolfe, 'With each piece I tried to dive into a psychedelic landscape, at once multilayered, fractured, ecstatic, silent, driving, cacophonous and direct.'


1. LAD, for 9 bagpipes: [Part 1]
2. LAD, for 9 bagpipes: [Part 2]
3. Dark Full Ride, for 4 drum sets: [Part 1]
4. Dark Full Ride, for 4 drum sets: [Part 2]
5. My lips from speaking, for 6 pianos: [Part 1]
6. My lips from speaking, for 6 pianos: [Part 2]
7. My lips from speaking, for 6 pianos: [Part 3]
8. Stronghold, for 8 double basses: [Part 1]
9. Stronghold, for 8 double basses: [Part 2]

Product Details

  • Composer: Julia Wolfe
  • Audio CD (November 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cantaloupe
  • ASIN: B002S2KO3Q
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,462 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
***1/2 Julia Wolfe composes experimental music that encompasses classical, prog rock, folk, free jazz, and at least the spirit of New Age if not the form. Her recent album Steel Hammer was so remarkable that I ventured into her earlier discography and obtained Dark Full Ride, a four-composition album that involves multiples of single instruments. LAD, for instance is for 9 bagpipes (actually, one bagpipe, performed by Mathew Welch, but electronically layered and mixed). The drones and beginning long, slow, simple melody is much like a traditional dirge or lament, but the track moves into a dance of several melodies and harmonies, which at the end clashes into a jumbled din. Next, the title composition is composed for four drum sets, each played by a member of the Talujon Percussion Quartet. The work, of course, is about rhythm, but the complex patterns of cymbal clashes, light and heavy drum beats produce a another quality. The first section proceeds at a gallop with an underlying fast drum roll. The second section brings in the bass drums and a seemingly a more ambitious rock or jazz cadenza or improvisation before a fixed cymbal roll, a syncopation of drums, and an accelerating crescendo. It is a noisy affair that goes on far too long. Six pianos are required in "my lips from speaking," all performed by Lisa Moore and mixed as before. The spacing between percussive notes and chords figure strongly in the first of 3 parts. Towards the end of this section, a battle of competing pianos and chord salvos and sniper notes brings cacophony.Read more ›
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