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Jeff Greinke — A Thousand Year Flood
(Projekt PRO407, 2023, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-04-27

A Thousand Year Flood Cover art

Over thirty years ago I was introduced to Jeff Greinke’s music via a split-CD with Art Zoyd (the reason for my purchase) and J.A. Deane; no title, but the music spoke for itself and left me wanting to hear more of what he had on offer. Over time I’ve managed to amass about a quarter of his thirty-or-so releases; every one has been a pleasant surprise, and A Thousand Year Flood is no different. Here, the compositions are an eerie blend of introspective ambient, flowing electronic, and chamber sounds that cross the realms of psychoacoustics and dreamscapes; something is always happening in the stirring cauldron of sound, but without a lot of repetition or predictability, always offering something warm and gentle to the listener’s senses. In addition to Greinke’s synths and piano, many of the album’s eight pieces feature arrangements for strings (cello, viola, and violin courtesy of Heather Bentley), and one piece, “The Forest,” also features clarinet by James DeJoie. The title track is one of two pieces that approaches or exceeds the ten minute mark, a cloudburst of shimmering strings and mysterious cavernous synths, casting light and shadows over swells and scintillations that join earth and space — it’s almost unthinkable that such beautiful sound sculptures and arrangements would be the soundtrack to a great thousand year flood, but who am I to interpret the composer’s inspiration? “Earth and Sky” is a certain standout among the album’s tracks, based on a beautiful rising melody interspersed with emotion, calling forth bursts of viola and cello. “Upon a River That Still Flows” is another long piece, clocking in at nearly twelve minutes, drifting along effortlessly, almost seeming like an improvisation, punctuated by piano and strings, wrapping itself around the listener like a warm blanket on a starlit vista. The entire album runs with emotion, beauty and mysticism, one will find plenty of the introspective moodscapes that Greinke has come to be known for.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): James DeJoie, Jeff Greinke

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