Bassoon, y'all, Doug Detrick's Anywhen Ensemble has a bassoon! You know you're in for an alternative reality when you see that, a blending of the old of days with lightly neoclassical and post-modern sensibilities circling back to re-inspect what was missed the first time around when mighty minds penned introspective musics. The rest of the group is composed of a cellist, a trumpeter, a saxophone player, and a drummer, and thus—hearing the long attenuated refrains of The Door is Open, wherein one is minded of some of The Enid's novo-classicalism (esp. in In the Region of the Summer Stars)—you become at once perplexed and deeply intrigued. This is by no means common music.
The Bright and Rushing World is actually an antidote to the franticity of modern life, a measured and thoughtful set of pensées piling abstraction upon abstraction, bedded down in traditional structures that refuse to conform to, yet deeply satisfy, expectations. This, ya'll, is long-hair music from several eras and unapologetic about the mutation. The sharp-minded Kent Devereux of the Cornish College of Arts observed that Detrick and compeers "move effortlessly between worlds of traditonal, through-composed, chamber music, and creative improvisation", and I don't think he missed a trick in so reciting. Trumpet/flugelhorn player Detrick composed the decad of cuts over a 9-month period of struggle within its world of complexities, ending up with a suite, and that's precisely the impression rendered, that all-of-a-piece atmosphere of statement, extrapolation, re-statement, re-extrapolation, shift, intermezzo, backflip, and an array of techniques used to captivate the above-average intelligence.
Think of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra listening to The Long Hello (1st LP) and early ECM catalogue atop a hoary encyclopedia of classicalist oeuvre, then losing its collective mind, and going out the top in terms of subtlety, orthodoxy, wild imagination, and solemnity all at once. You thus have the first grasp of Mr. Detrick and his group. I'd laud individual virtues here, which are nearly if not in fact stratospheric, all the more so for their restraint as much as other qualities, but Rushing World was composed as Art with a capital 'A', not as self-indulgence or even cerebral chops-meistering, and succeeds brilliantly as such. These are fully fleshed true SONGS where every element and every moment is a part of the whole. You don't find that very often nowadays.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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