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CD Feature/ Ad Ombra: "Smaragdine"

img  Tobias

Does the musical world really need categories and genres? While artists loath them (because they argue, quite correctly,  that it disrespects their uniqueness), critics love them (because they make life easier, when you’re sitting in front of this huge pile of CDs that need to be reviewed until tomorrow). The general public simply needs them to communicate quicker and easier – and in this respect, it would seem okay to generalise occasionaly to get the message across. On the other hand, it is making life terribly hard for all those composers out there who don’t fit the grid.

And it all but seals Ad Ombra’s fate. As a wanderer between worlds, he is bound to find himself in places he didn’t really want to go. Up to now, this has meant a lot of review in Gothic magazines who called this album “Classical” and probably a lot of rejections from Classical publications, who refused to see the seriousness in it. But already the fact that this twenty-minute long piece, which comes devided into seven “tabulas”, uses samples from a Greenaway film, should make it abundantly clear that it feels closer to Michael Nyman than to, say, Sibelius. It would actually be hard describing “Samaragdine” merely by the styles it runs through, without ending up with a seemingly random one page long list. Instead, it is marked by an ingenious interplay between delicately dissonant piano passages, full-blown, dramatic orchestral movements and floating atmospheric sequences. There are recurring motives and themes, which appear in different moods and arrangements. But the overall feeling is one of diversity and of ideas searching for their own way of expression.

The only thing that we should warn potential listeners about is the use of electronic orchestration, which really is an issue of taste. Other than that, this is a great debut that shows a multi-facetted instrmentalist with a fine sense of reconciling the extremes. If you would like us to give you a quick category to get the message across, you could think of it as orchestral electronic free-form. And if you have the time, you should surf over to Ad Ombra’s homepage and listen to it.

Homepage: Ad Ombra

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