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Cymerman, Jeremiah: Big Exploitation

Big Exploitation is an arrangement and experiment for a 'chamber orchestra' mixing the traditional chamber format with electronic rock instruments and brass. Cymerman is a conductor and 'spontaneous composer' hailing from New York City and in this album he has brought together musicians from Athens and Georgia.

Jeremiah developed his concept of 'conducted improvisation' (not such an oxymoron as it may first appear) while playing clarinet under Butch Morris and Walter Thompson. The idea is to encourage freedom of movement and expression for the musicians within a framework provided by a series of cues from the conductor but in a way that does not raise the cue to a dominant role and searches for a whole band sound as an output. Jazz musicians may find this approach somewhat familiar. Dr Nerve have followed this idea on a number of occasions and this work has some parallels.

Cymerman uses around 25 cues in this 8 piece collection and the result is, as you might expect, something of a mixed bag sonically. The music ranges, often within the same track, from a heavy doom laden rock with a grinding bass motif, to the more dominant free jazz and chaotic string quartet music in which you can witness some severe cello-shredding! You even get glimpses of more recognisable themes such as the vibraphone (if that is what it is) intro to "Larks Tongues in Aspic" which pops up on the intro to the fourth track.

Overall not at all easy on the ear (the scraping strings on "Killick" for example are enough to make your teeth itch) but a fascinating melange of improvisation and structure.

Track Listing
1. For as long as grass grows
2. The pendulum, the pit and the hope
3. Chemanta, the horrific destroyer of evil
4. The Divining hand
5. The fall of the house of Usher
6. Down to the cellar
7. Killick
8. A quiet week in the house

Added: March 18th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Solponticello Website
Hits: 2379
Language: english

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