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Ross Bolleter: Night Kitchen (2010)

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Ross Bolleter: Night Kitchen How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Ross Bolleter delivers on a promise he never made but has always suggested, throughout his long and distinguished musical career. On Night Kitchen—a reference to a crepuscular event with the ruined pianos in question—he succeeds in producing what should go down in the history of music as an amazing document that furthers the cause of improvised music. The music of Bolleter's ruined pianos possess an element of surprise; even if their sound is a fixed feature—as characterized by the finality of the sound they produce—by striking notes in consonance with the vast array of permutations and combinations at his disposal, Bolleter has composed a series of pieces that are studies in the sound of surprise.

Naming the studies somewhat dampens their pioneering spirit. Nevertheless, on songs like "Gong Heaven" and "Asmodea," the wisdom of Bolleter's nomenclature is borne out. The sonic journeys of both studies, and their given names, are apt and inspired. The endless joy of the musical journey continues unabated throughout the album, no matter that the names of songs may be intrusive. The fascinating sound and the effect of each note are hypnotic and memorable, with "Torque," "Nocturnal" and "Her Long Night's Festival" all cases in point. s> A question that this recording raises is: What happens to the impromptu nature of these fourteen compositions, now that they have been preserved in time, as a recording? Bolleter, who is known for his deconstruction of all rational norms of composition, would likely answer this by performing these very songs in completely new ways the next time around. However, the spontaneity of this recording will forever be remembered, as will the spirited nature of its sound. These pieces are superb and entertaining, full of the splendid verve and excitement that the most memorable modern music has to offer.

Track Listing: The Red Way; Goya's Dog; Salt; Ravine; Gong Heaven; Cohabitation; Kiss Kiss; Asmodea; Torque; Five; Nocturnal; Rear View; Her Long Night's Festival; Night Sky at Tjunta.

Personnel: Ross Bolleter: Five ruined pianos played simultaneously.

Record Label: Emanem


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