Nico Muhly: I Drink The Air Before Me - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Nico Muhly: I Drink The Air Before Me

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Published May 24, 2011

IDTABM reaches far and wide in its attempts to balance playful flute frolics and dark, sombre horns, and Muhly has created a piece that, while ostensibly a soundtrack to a visual work, also functions fairly well as a darkly atmospheric work in its own right. There are hiccups, of course; while ‘Music For Boys’, ‘Jagged Pulses’ and ‘Fire Down Below’ are as enthralling rhythmically as they are sonically, other tracks, such as the jauntily modern ‘Varied Carols’, fail to go anywhere interesting, and the pretentious quirkiness of ‘Music Under Pressure’ and ‘Salty Dog’ is just plain annoying. Sometimes these extremes can even be found in the confines of the same track, with ‘Storm Centre’ and ‘First Storm’ veering wildly from awesome, brooding minimalism to lacklustre frivolity. All in all, it makes for an enticing listen, if a slightly uneven one, and could easily be Muhly’s most mature work to date.


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