Erik Lindgren: Erik Lindgren Scores!
When Listening to The CD, Erik Lingren Scores! , One can't help but think about the 1973 Charlton Heston movie, Soylent Green. Now, wait a minute, give me a chance to explain. You see, Soylent Green is set in 21 century New York City, which boasts a bloated population of 40 million people. Everything is in short supply, including food and apartments (some things never change!). All public access areas are packed to the hilt with wall-to-wall people. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, nowhere to be alone. Out of sheer frustration, people opt voluntarily to have themselves put to death by lethal injection, in return for twenty minutes of solitude, as does Edward G. Robinson. For twenty minutes, Robinson awaits his demise in a large room all to himself, its circular walls lined with panoramic movie screens depicting pictures of nature and wildlife; while peaceful, pleasant, and soothing classical music play in the background.
Which brings us to the music of Massachusetts based rock/classical keyboardist and composer, Erik Lindgren. For Lindgren also gives us peaceful and soothing music, as put forth on his latest recording of all original chamber works. When I say peaceful and soothing, I am by no means inferring that it is bland, or unchallenging; quite the contrary. Lindgren is a thoroughly modern composer that utilizes modern concepts such as chromaticism, distantly related keys, and twelve-tone rowism to achieve a high level of dissonance. However this dissonance is always counter-balanced by the way he arranges the various instruments of the ensemble; using economy and subtlety to create a feeling of space. The end result is music that quiet and warm, not manic and extroverted.. Every voice in the various ensembles throughout this CD ( which range from a trios to septets, and mainly consists of strings, keyboards, and woodwinds) shine in their own right, not being overshadowed by cumbersome or over-indulgent arrangements. Another facet of Lindgren's music is that he offers an alternative perspective on the classical art form, as his lineage no doubt consists of the Beatles as well as Bartok. And like Bartok, who assimilated the various forms of folk music of his generation, so has Lindgen absorbed the popular music of his generation, as evidenced on the third movements of Psychedelic Music For String Quartet and Visions of Seattle ; the former given an almost funk treatment, while the latter contains a section reminiscent of The Police's Don't stand so close to me.
It's refreshing to hear music who's creation is inspired by the world of now, as opposed to the world of then; for Lindgren realizes that if there is no today, there will be no tomorrow. And as if this wonderful music weren't enough, Lindgren has gone the extra mile by providing the listener with an ocular experience as well. As a bonus, this CD comes with a companion CD-Rom, that lets you see images of nature and wildlife as you take in the music, not unlike good old Edward G. did in the movie Soylent Green. I can honestly say that one day, as I lay upon a gurney approaching my final hour, my last request will be to exit this world while listening to the music of Erik Lindgren. My only wish is that my demise does not come by way of lethal injection.
Track Listing: Scenes From The Nemasket River; Psychedelic Music For String Quartet; Visions Of Seattle; Uriel I-IV; Seasons; Changes; Tides
Personnel: Erik Lindgren(composer,arranger,conductor);Ken Field(flute);Glen Dickson(clarinet);Dave Santucci(violin);Jennifer Lucht(cello);Greg Pagel(piano);Anna Pacanoska(violin);Liza Scriggins(viola);Andrea Mason(flute);Charlyn Bethell(oboe);Jennifer Gilman(clarinet);Kathy O'Connor(bassoon);Richard Cornell(piano);David Biery(string synthesizer);Mark Worgaftik(vibraphone)