Falling Out of Time
Silk Road Ensemble, et al
In A Circle ICR017 78:26 mins
The Silkroad Ensemble has drawn on an ever-evolving roster of musicians to explore human connection through musical fusion. Their latest venture is a new work by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, Falling Out of Time, based on the 2014 book of the same title by Israeli writer David Grossman. Grossman’s mesmeric text explores the author’s agony at losing his child in the 2006 Lebanon war and recasts his personal experience of grief as a myth-like tale. In collaboration with Grossman and the ensemble, Golijov has created an affecting and adventurous new work which he describes as an ‘epic lament’.
Written for three vocalists and a chamber ensemble which includes Iranian kamancheh (bowed fiddle), Chinese pipa (plucked lute), flugelhorn and drum kit, Golijov’s score draws on styles as diverse as the ballads of Central Asia and the early Delta Blues. The piece is understandably dark in tone, and the combination of this intensity of mood, the score’s often dense textures and a heavily produced sound at times feels overwhelming. Passages where the texture is stripped down and solo instruments have more breathing space are the most rewarding, including ‘Fly’ where violin and kamancheh twist and weave across a gentle drone, and ‘Walking’ where vocalists Wu Tong and Nora Fischer bring hushed intensity to Grossman’s hypnotic text.