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Janet Robbins - Carrying the Bag of Hearts, Interpreting the Birth, Vol. III

Carrying the Bag of Hearts,
Interpreting the Birth, Vol. III

Janet Robbins

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A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

As electronica ages into its subsidance period, an epoch inevitable to all musics, a chance to grow after the din and furor of birth and childhood, it's gaining an unusually assimilative tone, as shown here. Janet Robbins, classically trained on piano, holds affinities for multiple genres a little further out of the loop than most, especially with her musique concrete elements. Carrying the Bag of Hearts is ambient music vaguely in an Ibiza vein thrust into stars and derelict spaceways but also a good deal more experimental. The inevitable references to Eno will crop up but the second cut, Ascension, commences in a formless neoclassical miasma, then cuts to a stark piano phase before switching to prog-grooves…hardly Brian's venue.

At varying times, I was reminded of Jean-Michel Jarre, Knox Bronson (here), Peter Baumann, Manuel Gottsching (her Walking the Milky Way has Ash-Ra guitar), Edgar Froese, and various prog ensemble keyboardists but never their more propulsive fare. These are starry night sonorities. Each cut has gentle beats and even slower underlying rhythms but neither as narrative devices—and not percussives really, more a matter of colorations fading in and out. The main of each song-story most often occurs in the background; Robbins has reversed the normal order of things, and the listener is perpetually narcotically disoriented, ether-floating. Carrying the Bag of Hearts is as much an example of Satie's furniture music as anything else. All dimensions are clearly present, one can transit confidently within their borders, and the scenes portrayed, especially in The Train to Rhinecliff, are moody, laconic, enticing, sometimes baffling, and the sort of ideÚs fixe that could easily have gone on for hours, carrying the spacious vistas out to their limits. I wouldn't have complained for a moment.

Track List:

  • Nibiru's Crossing
  • Ascension
  • Walking the Milky Way
  • The Train to Rhinecliff
All songs written by Janet Robbins.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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