Personnel: Dan Trueman (electric violin); Anna Lim (violin); Misha Amory, Jessica Thompson (viola); Raman Ramakrishnan, Nina Lee (cello); Danny Tunick (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Dan Trueman.
Dan Trueman is a violinist and composer who writes chamber music of a more or less experimental nature using a six-string electric violin and laptop computer. On this fascinating and enjoyable album, he leads performances of four of his recent compositions, "Machine Language," "Traps," "Counterfeit Curio" and the lovely "Still"; two others, "Spring Rhythm" and "A Cappella," are performed by the Brentano String Quartet and the Tarab Cello Ensemble, respectively. Although the systems by which these pieces were composed are sometimes downright whimsical -- the harmonic direction of "Traps" is determined by a computer program that remembers and automatically transposes played pitches, and "Machine Language" is an allegory of the process of evolution, using musical algorithms -- the music itself is actually quite elegant, and sometimes very lovely in a surprisingly conventional sort of way. Trueman seems to be less interested in "challenging" listeners than in inviting them to hear new sounds in new ways -- an important distinction, and one that is too often missing in modern composers and their works. The playing itself is exceptionally fine throughout, as is the recorded sound quality. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson