A Vivascene Review by Brian Miller

Vivascene rating 9.0

So this is where music is headed: the fusion of jazz, electronica and modern classical melds, intersects and rises above its sources to produce an entirely new art form with the Polish composer Michael Jacaszek and his new album Glimmer in the forefront. Just as Van Morrison sang in his 1979 album Into The Music, “this is what they’re writing about”, auditioning of this record may bring about an epiphany; it’s that powerful. If you listen to no other new music (and we mean new) in the next 12 months, you owe it to yourself to listen to Glimmer. If, that is, you have a dark and curious turn of mind.

For one thing, the album is based somewhat on the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, who was mostly disregarded in his lifetime but who came to loom large a hundred or so years after his death for his invention of ‘sprung rhythm’, which he claimed emanated from folk songs. Several of the compositions found on Glimmer reference lines from Hopkins’s works. Yet those lines serve only as starting point for Jacaszek. He employs harpsichord, guitar, keyboards, clarinets, extensive sampling and transmission noise in very low registers to produce startlingly beautiful compositions that might well serve as musical soundtracks to the beginning and/or the end of time. His music evokes the celestial, and incorporates dissonance in ways that disturb, confound, and ultimately elevate the psyche of the listener.

For those who think electronica, static, random bursts of noise and a lack of chorus are musically unsatisfying, Jacaszek states his credos:

“All my artistic activity is based on the intuition that there is a hidden reality existing behind or beside the material world.”

“The sound I hear is not possible to execute on any live instrument.”

These are sentiments that Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and even Radiohead would endorse. If you would hear a master at work, then explore the music of Jacascek. It’s our belief your favourite artists will be doing the same.

Watch: “Dare-gale”

Watch: “As Each Tucked String Tells”