Stavros Gasparatos - Seven [Ad Noiseam - 2013]Seven was originally composed as music for a dance performance revolving around the concept of the seven cardinal sins, in this new CD release of the work it has been re-written and re-recorded for contexts outside of the theatre. The composer, Stavros Gasparatos from Athens Greece creates music mainly for film, dance and theatre works as well as solo recordings, his work has been performed in many countries around the world and a live premier of this album will take place on December 22nd at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens.
This album features a perfect and difficult to achieve blend of classical instrumentation and modern sound textures, giving the album a timeless feel while remaining fresh and unpredictable. Strings, vibraphone, electronics and metronome are the key features throughout this work and all are used with a slow and lush subtlety providing every instrument with its own space and room to breathe. Beats are introduced sporadically and thanks to their sparse appearance never become trite or overdone, and while the beats are reminiscent of Bjork for fleeting moments their brevity allows the listener to flow through the song's more intangible parts. While not jazz the album feels jazzy in many sections and does a wonderful job of avoiding genres and pigeon-holeing in general.
As mentioned previously the album takes a path through the emotions of the seven sins but generally there is an thread of melancholy that that weaves its way through all of the eleven tracks on this disc. I had originally intended to give a track by track break down of this album but because it is truly an album and not just a random selection of "songs" I feel that this disc should be taken in as a whole, that one should follow the entire story and become immersed in its linear travel through subject matter.
For those who are interested in music as an experience and not just for passive listening this album is for you! It is apparent that Gasparatos is a real composer with an understanding of both music from the past and the potentials of the music of the future. This well constructed and beautiful album is highly recommended for fans of classical, jazz, experimental and downtempo. My assumption is that the live show may be even more of an experience and I regret not being closer to Greece for the premier. Jean-Paul Garnier