One of the benefits of the digital era is that an EP can receive the same amount of attention as an album. The short form is perfect for a debut, and Vhoir provides a good indication of Tim Linghaus‘ strengths while whetting the appetite for more. It’s the latest find for Moderna Records, whose consistency continues to impress.
Vhoir is not a recognized word; it may be a mash-up for virtual choir. Linghaus writes and performs all of his own music, and often seems like a small ensemble. When “Rehearsing for Prague”, the clicks of nearby instruments and whooshes of passing traffic provide a lovely image of an upstairs studio over a busy street. The pianist speeds through a series of notes before settling down; the cellist warms her hands. Soon the room begins to emanate a quiet light, which passes through the open window to the street below. This is fantasy, but not far-fetched; should the EP succeed, the artist will need to recruit other players.
Half of the tracks are gentle permutations of “Travel Sketches”, although they seem less like sketches and more like interpretations. The lines blur in travel as they do between genres; town boundaries are obliterated by movement. “Lost in a Bus and Architecture” includes cozy field recordings that sound like the creaks of seats and the clacking of tracks. The impression is intimate, an invitation to journey along with the composer. “Room After Performance” incorporates the sound of people moving about as ambient synthesizer gives way to composed piano. The sounds seem looped, hearkening back to the opening piece and providing a contrast between the then and the now. The track ends too soon, but not before leaving an impression. The EP soon follows suit; after twenty minutes, the experience is already over. But we’ll remember Linghaus, and look forward to his first album. (Richard Allen)