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Dark, emotional, and exquisitely beautiful, David Lang's Elevated features premiere recordings of three bold works. Taken together, these pieces create a world in which consonance fights dissonance, hope struggles against hopelessness, and simple melodies are constantly beset by gravity, weight, and decay.
The enclosed DVD (available as a bonus download) captures collaborations between Lang and three giants of contemporary visual arts: pioneer William Wegman, experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison (Decasia), and conceptual artist Matt Mullican. Setting an early (and controversial) Wegman video to music and giving music to Morrison and Mullican as centerpieces for new visuals, Lang uses his material as a way to open up different pathways for both the artists and their work. The results are stunning, moody, and sometimes harrowing.
Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields is revolutionary and moving in every way. Moments of intense, furious complexity are balanced by a delicate and unique sound world. This became one of my favorite pieces of music immediately after listening. Murphy Adams