Recommendations

A Closer Listen tends to be positive in its reviews, so sometimes it’s difficult to tell which releases we like more than others.  This page lets you know what we’re listening to and enjoying the most.

Ian William Craig ~ Thresholder (Fatcat/130701)
Site favorite Ian William Craig returns with an astonishingly beautiful 38-minute suite, an abraded masterpiece that straddles the worlds of ambience and modern composition.  The set explores the nature of time and space, and feels like a voyage into the great unknown.

 

Daniel Bjarnason ~ Collider (Bedroom Community)
Collider is a collection from Bjarnason’s American Period, its centerpiece inspired by The Tempest and scored for orchestra and children’s choir.  The composer manages to balance complexity and emotion, doing so in a manner that thrills as well as engages.

 

Tim Hecker ~ Konoyo (Kranky)
The master returns, this time with a gagaku ensemble, lending this release a timbre unique among this year’s fall crop.  Konoyo successfully blends ambience, drone and modern composition, creating an immersive sound that perfectly reflects the fire of the cover.

 

Manu Delago ~ Parasol Peak (One Little Indian)
Carrying instruments into the Alps is one thing; performing in frigid conditions is another.  This arduous task pushed Delago’s ensemble to the limit.  Somehow they managed not only to survive, but to thrive.  The results can be heard here in real time and viewed in the video.  We suspect the concert will be a lot easier.

 

Michael Price ~ Tender Symmetry (Erased Tapes)
William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience comes to life in this elegant album, which includes contributions from soprano Grace Davidson (Max Richter’s Sleep) and the Shards choir (Nils Frahm’s All Melody).  Recorded in multiple locations honored by the National Trust, the album connects literature, location and memory, and is easily the finest work of Price’s career.

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