Nashville Electric: Orson's Folly

Glenn Astarita By

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This is not an ambient-electronic, celestial voyage or new age type gala. In fact, it's a scoring of actor, director Orson Welles' "Four Men on a Raft" sequence from his 1942 documentary It's All True. This was a film that the US Government expected to be sugarcoated as part of a cultural exchange program with Brazil. In turn, expectations were not met and the film's budget was severely hacked leaving Welles with black & white footage without sound. Therefore, Nashville Electric provides a backdrop of sorts, complete with synths, effects mechanisms, violin and guitar that comprises the band's instrumental makeup.

Not having seen the film, I'm guessing the quartet tried to instill a musical portraiture paralleled by some of Welles' innovative camera techniques and lighting processes within the scope of their somewhat angular soundtrack developments and insinuated imagery. The band executes layers with intersecting effects amid a polytonal array of powerfully rendered sound-sculpting maneuvers on these three extended works. With streaming synths via a few vivid dreamscapes and burgeoning bass lines, guitarist Ed Pettersen and violinist Tracy Silverman add a zesty electro-acoustic element throughout. Various activities project a sense of time travel as the artists fuse wavy and reverberating passages rather seamlessly.

Silverman's cyclical staccato notes on "Orson's Folly Part I" helps establish a shadowy vista among the eerie electronics permutations, where a primary theme seems to evolve out of nowhere. But the final bonus track was recorded in concert/film screening at The Stone Fox venue in Nashville, TN. Overall, this is electronic music that is a tad more experimental than the norm, complete with multidimensional excursions and a horde of persuasive schematics.

Track Listing: Orson's Folly Part 1; Orson's Folly Part 2; Orson's Folly Part 3 (Closing credits-live at the Stone Fox, Nashville TN)

Personnel: Tracy Silverman: electric 6-string violin and effects; Ryan Norris: keyboards and effects; Dylan Simon: EMI, 101 synthesizer and Echoplex; Ed Pettersen: guitars and effects.

Title: Orson's Folly | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Edgetone Records


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