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Outerborough

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Audio CD, March 29, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Todd Reynolds is one of the founding fathers of the hybrid musician movement. Creating acoustic-electronica in real-time with only his 17th-century violin and a 21st-century laptop onstage, his sound mixes borrowed and home-brewed, avant and pop, jazz and classical. 'A daredevil musician' (The New Yorker) his evolution is marked by long-time associations with Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Bang on a Can, and ETHEL, the string quartet he co-founded in 1999.
Now, comes his first solo album, 'Outerborough', a 2CD set that reveals him as both a composer and as one of the most sought-after interpreters of contemporary music.
'The first reaction to these CDs - a full-bodied representation of Todd's musical world is that of breadth, of porousness, the genre-crossing dream realized. Raga, jazz and blues, electronica, minimalism, fiddling traditions, Kreisler, rock and roll intermingling and dialoguing in all the ways we had always hoped for.' composer, Evan Ziporyn
One disc the InSide features seven of Reynolds' own works, many of which use looping and layering techniques over which his violin lines soar effortlessly or create deliciously expanding densities. The pieces range from electronica to Renaissance stylings (a minimalist version of 'Greensleeves') and the title track, 'Outerborough', inspired by train travel, written for a film by Bill Morrison. 'Transamerica', features West Coast beatboxer and singer Kid Beyond; and 'Centrifuge' was created for the super-human abilities of the GuitarBot (one of the LEMUR instruments recently featured on Pat Metheny's Orchestrion Tour).
The 'OutSide' disc contains premieres of music by a host of New York notables, some connected with Bang on a Can, some with the über-popular the Books, and all with personality to spare. The electronic tones of Michael Gordon's and Paul de Jong's pieces belie their acoustic origins; mash-up master Michael Lowenstern pays tribute to blues legend Robert Johnson; David T. Little's 'and the sky was still there' incorporates the story of a soldier caught up in the de-humanizing policy of (recently-repealed) Don't Ask, Don't Tell; Nick Zammuto (also of the Books) fast-forwards a field recording for some time-compressed pastoralism.
In his 'Storm Drain', Ken Thomson joins Reynolds on bass clarinet for a tight virtuosic romp that rises to fever pitch; Paula Matthusen explores language and memory in 'The End of an Orange', and Pulitzer prize-winner David Lang brings everything to a close with 'Killer', featuring thrashing and relentless violin lines which live alongside a just-as-relentless rhythmic track in what might seem like it was written for a punk band of one, all at once rebellious and incisive.

Review

Though Outerborough is just his first solo album, violinist/composer Todd Reynolds holds an impressive résumé, including memberships in Bang on a Can, Steve Reich and Musicians, and his own avant-garde string quartet, ETHEL. But his compositional skills and cross-century aesthetics leave a longer-lasting impression, offering dynamic melodies and structures alongside amplification, loop effects, and laptop electronics.

Outerborough, meanwhile, is no ordinary debut. As a double album, it presents two sides to Reynolds: one as adventurous neoclassical composer and one as interpretive performer. The first disc contains seven personal compositions that achieve a wide range despite fairly limited timbres (although one unique track is performed by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots' Guitarbot). The second disc holds nine previously unreleased pieces by other acclaimed musicians, including David Lang, Phil Kline, andNick Zammuto and Paul de Jong of The Books. --Alarm Magazine, Chris Force & Scott Morrow, March 2011

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Transamerica
  2. The Solution
  3. End of Day
  4. Taskforce: Farmlab
  5. Centrifuge
  6. Outerborough
  7. Icy Sleeves of Green

Disc: 2

  1. A Needle Pulling Fred
  2. Tree-Oh
  3. Inward Bound
  4. Crossroads
  5. and the sky was still there
  6. Fast Pasture
  7. Storm Drain
  8. The End of an Orange
  9. Killer
  10. Killer, for violin & electronics


Product details

  • Composer: Todd Reynolds, Ken Thomson, Phil Kline, Michael Gordon, Michael Lowenstern, et al.
  • Audio CD (March 29, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Innova
  • ASIN: B004KDO2X4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,086 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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December 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD

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