CD Review – Mia Brentano’s River of Memories: A Mystery Trip

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Mia Brentano’s River of Memories: A Mystery Trip

Benyamin Nuss, piano, Andy Miles, clarinets & bass clarinets and friends

Mons Records, 2019, MR874621

After Hidden Sea, released in 2018, Mia Brentano comes back with a new album, named River of Memories: A Mystery Trip. Over the course of 15 pieces, the composer alternates between a vast array of styles. From various forms of jazz, using piano and clarinet, to almost pop-sounding music, using electric guitar; from aquatic sounds – underwater and rain, more specifically – to what we would be tempted to call “modern music.”

With its warm and sensual feel, the first track “Blue moon” is a welcoming start. The following pieces are darker, almost grim. Heavily inspired by modern composers of the 50s – Stockhausen and the French school of musique concrete in mind – they regrettably don’t sound very new. The ever-changing atmosphere from one track to the next is unsettling, abrupt at times, but eventually the second part of the album takes a lighter tone with a lively rendition by clarinettist Andy Miles (“Angry Mia”). “Dancing in Twilight,” performed together with pianist Benyamin Nuss and Shiori Doi on trombones, is also worth mentioning.

 

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About Author

Justin Bernard est détenteur d’un doctorat en musique de l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches portent sur la médiation musicale, notamment par le biais des nouveaux outils numériques, ainsi que sur la relation entre opéra et cinéma. Membre de l’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), il a réalisé une série de capsules vidéo éducatives pour l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Justin Bernard est également l’auteur de notes de programme pour le compte de la salle Bourgie du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal et chargé de cours à l’Université de Sherbrooke. Par ailleurs, il anime une émission d’opéra et une chronique musicale à Radio VM (91,3 FM).

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