Marc Spooner — A Rite of Spring
(TropeAUDIO TA050, 2013, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-08-09Stravinsky was a major influence on twentieth century classical, experimental, and rock music. He was a pioneer in using dissonance, unusual tonalities, and odd time signatures in the early 1900s. Aaron Copeland characterized Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring, as “the foremost orchestral achievement of the twentieth century.” Excerpts were used in Disney’s Fantasia and have been recorded by electronic musicians such as Tomita. Now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first performance Marc Spooner, keyboardist for Metaphor, has taken on the monumental task of recreating the entire ballet electronically. When an artist attempts to cover an iconic performance or composition, there is a huge risk of the results paling in comparison to the original. In Spooner’s case his attempt sounds tired, like he is trying to do Tomita doing Stravinsky, but with a greatly limited sound pallet, basically analog sine waves. Spooner may have faithfully followed Stravinsky’s score, but what stimulated Copeland’s characterization is lost in the present recording. Given the capability of today’s technology, this release could have been so much better, even using analog synths and Mellotrons. What is missing is the ability to distinguish between instruments and how the music contrasts and interacts between the woodwinds and strings. If a musician is going to attempt to cover one of the masters like Stravinsky, he has to reinterpret the music, take it to another level, and make it his own, not simply play the score on analog synths. I applaud Spooner’s attempt, but I cannot recommend this release.
Related artist(s): Marc Spooner
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more