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Silent Orchestra — Poe - A Dream within a Dream
(Bandcamp no#, 2021, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-06-27

Poe - A Dream within a Dream Cover art

Silent Orchestra is the project of two composers and multi-instrumentalists: Carlos Garza and Rich O’Meara, the former having scored fourteen feature length films and well over twenty short films, the latter currently a member of Kwo’m Percussion Group, focused on composing and performing new music for percussion. With Silent Orchestra, their mission is to provide new scores for early silent films and bring them to a modern audience. They have already received critical acclaim for their scores for Nosferatu (1922) and Salomé (1923), and now the score at hand is for Edgar Allan Poe’s A Dream within a Dream as part of a compendium of Poe classics. Throughout, Garza plays keyboards, guitars, bass, mandolin, dulcimer, and orchestrations, while O’Meara provides marimba, vibraphone, keyboards, percussion, whispering, and ukulele on one track. Between them they have nearly every instrument covered, but for those that aren’t, six additional guest musicians provide flute, clarinet, alto flute, cello, violin, viola, additional ukulele, and (ahem) metal grinder. The score begins with “Silence – A Fable” and moves seamlessly through “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the title track, “The Oval Portrait,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Mesmeric Revelation,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Raven,” Annabel Lee,” and “Dream Land” — ten pieces in all that are distinct, yet flow together in a perfect chain, truly conveying the dark sense of foreboding that is uniquely Poe. Garza and O’Meara’s orchestral works here are truly masterful, conveying the dreamy and horrific subtleties of each story as they go forward, but with or without the stories, their music stands strong on its own and will deliver many repeat listens, each time with new details revealed.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Silent Orchestra

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