Innovative New Music:
Christopher Campbell - Orison
(Innova Recordings / May 28, 2021)
Performers: Chris Campbell, Steven Copes, Eunice Kim, Hyobi Sim, Sara Pajunen, Peter Bregman, Claire Campbell, Joe Johnson, Jacqueline Ultan, Rebecca Merblum, Ted Olsen, Grant Cutler, Todd Reynolds, Dave King
Melodic and emotional, the music ebbs and flows in waves, with a richly textured orchestration to add vitality and aural interest. There is cinematic drama in sections, giving way to fluttering movement and joyous abandon. Some sections evoke avant-garde jazz and sonic experimentation. Constantly evolving, the piece leads the listener through a fascinating journey.
Orison was written as a sound prayer and meditation in seven parts. Composer Chris Campbell had originally conceived Orison within a “sacred space”, destined to be performed in a church or Zen centre. According to Campbell's vision, the piece would be staged with performers and visual media, with planes of sound coming from different rooms.
This album represents a linear, or concert version of that idea, recorded with a large ensemble.
Each of the seven parts is fairly short, and the sections run into one another. It's a jewel of contemporary composition, using all the elements available in a tasteful palate of sound.
Chris Campbell is a collaborator, composer, producer, and the Director of Recordings at innova recordings/ACF. Praised as “heady, possessing elements of post-Minimalism, avant-garde rock, jazz and global fusion styles that mingle and merge with dreamlike mutability”…(The New York Times) and “a surreal (or super-real?) vortex…(Gramophone), Campbell’s music is focused on ritual and sonic texture, and how sound can transform space.
In addition to his own music, Campbell has either produced or worked directly on the promotion and distribution of over 300 projects and albums (2 of them Grammy winners).