CD, SaleBristol-based composer Ryan Teague is one of an increasing number of artists, from Efterklang to Portico Quartet, Ólafur Arnalds to Nils Frahm, successfully operating in the fertile margins between chamber orchestration and electronic processing. This, Teague’s third album of delicately poised, wordless instrumental fare, focuses less on the sweeping, bowed string phalanxes that have characterised his previous releases and errs instead toward the dulcet timbres of glockenspiels, xylophones, marimbas, piano and pizzicato plucking – or electronic approximations thereof. It’s tempting to label this kind of thing ‘minimalist’ – tempting, but wrong. For while Teague is happy to play with the tuned percussion sounds and polyrhythms so beloved of Steve Reich and the New York minimalist ‘school’, he is clearly less concerned with matters of rhythmic complexity or anything as arid or theoretical as ‘phase shifting’, preferring the emotional tug evoked by the enmeshing of simple, contrapuntal melody lines and the glowing properties of modulating major-to-minor chord sequences set against pretty, arpeggiating note clusters.
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