I love many different types of music—there’s very little I won’t listen to, or at least try. But I am a life-long lover of classical music. I started my own investigation when I was 15, just picking up what I could find at the library, and later what I could afford to buy. I worked my way through various compilation albums. Bach, Beethoven, and Aaron Copland were my first set.
While I love many of the well-known classic works and composers—and have a special place in my heart for all vocal music (more about that in another post)—I am a believer in the fact that if we don’t want classical repertoire to end up in the museums, we need to support the composers of our own time. These include such luminous names as John Adams, Phillip Glass, Andre Previn, Kirke Mechem, John Corigliano, and many others.
But they also importantly include new and upcoming composers and one of these is Adam Roberts. Let me say up-front that I know someone who knows him, but he and I have never met and I had never heard his compositions until I heard his name and decided to see if his works were on SoundCloud. I’m not a musicologist, so I’m not going to attempt to classify or categorize him. I would instead reference you to this excellent review and in-depth article on Roberts’s album Leaf Metal.
What I hear when I listen is a complex play of textures, especially in the strings, that creates a thick weave of sound around the listener. It is bold and invigorating to listen to, surprising this listener into paying closer attention. We are so often surrounded by music that lulls or matches our heartbeat (after all, rock, hip-hop, EMD, pop–it’s mostly 4/4). We need music that wakes us up and holds our attention until we arrive at the silence.
As always, please support the artist when you can. Here’s a link to buy the CD on ArchivMusic.com.
Pasiphae Verses, for ten wind instruments
Shift Differential, for violin and viola
Strange Loops, for chamber orchestra and electronics