New York-based composer
Michael Waller (USA, 1985) began experimenting with
electroacoustic music, microtonality, just intonation, and droning minimalism, but through compositions such as
One Less String Quartet (2010) for string quartet,
Highlands (2011) for bagpipe duo,
Studiare per Zero Quartetti (2012) for string trio,
Trombone Too For Five (2012) for trombone duo,
Discretion (2012) for horn, bass clarinet, bassoon and string quintet,
he moved into a more classical setting, heir to the
impressionist chamber music of Erik Satie and Claude Debussy.
The EP Five Easy Pieces (2014) contains Per Terry e Morty (2012), L'Anno del Serpente (2013), Ninna Nanna (2013), and Acqua Santa (2013).
The EP Seven Easy Pieces (2014) contains seven Miniatures for solo piano.
The double-disc The South Shore (XI, 2015) is a generous compilation of
works from 2013-2014.
The pieces can be grouped in layers of increasing complexity. At the bottom
are from nostalgic fragments scored for one, two or three instruments, especially the eerie Organum (2014) for solo organ and
Arbitrage Deux (2013) for solo clarinet,
the baroque adagio Il Mento Tenuto Alto (2014) for solo violin,
the four movement Pupazzo Di Neve Partitas (2013) for solo cello (allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue).
Slightly more complex are the
romantic madrigal Profondo Rosso (2013) for chamber ensemble,
the ecstatic and lyrical string quartet Atmosfera Di Tempo (2013), which was later re-scored for septet and re-titled Rifiuto,
and the tender, doleful string trio Per La Madre E La Nonna (2013).
One step up are
Ritratto (2013) for saxophone, cello, electric guitar, flute, trombone and viola,
La Riva Sud (2014) for piano and viola,
in which minimalist repetition and brainy counterpoint prevail over emotion.
At the top are abstract soundscapes such as
the four-movement Y For Henry Flynt (2012) for solo cello
His religious music can be solemn and geometric, like a slow-motion Bach:
Nel Nome Di Gesu (2013) for cello and organ.
This album contains only one sample of his experimental music, the dissonant
Arbitrage for clarinet and percussion.
Trajectories (Recital, 2017) contains mostly music for solo piano,
starting with the fragile filigree of the brief piano sonata By Itself.
There is more life in the eight
austere meditations of Visages (composed in 2015), each fueled by a
complex, quasi mathematical melody, notably the
tense III, the vibrant V and the narrative VII.
The nine-minute Lines (2016) for piano and cello straddles the unlikely
border between romantic aria and lounge jazz.
The energy collapses again in
the three-movement Breathing Trajectories (2016), which begins by
tiptoeing through a dreamy pensive anemic mood (I) and slowly crosses
the six minutes of II in an absent-minded state, awaken a few times in
sudden bursts of energy. III feels more like a relaxed
walk along the coast, staring at the multitude of trajectories that populate
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