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Brian Belet: Sufficient Trouble
By Brian Belet, Janis Mercer, Keith Kirchoff, Patricia Strange, and Stephen Ruppenthal. By Brian Belet. Classical. CD. Naxos #RR7969. Published by Naxos (NX.RR7969).
Item Number: NX.RR7969
With Sufficient Trouble, his debut release on Ravello Records, composer and performer Brian Belet offers a selection of compute rmusic composed over the last twenty years. Featuring acoustic instruments and responsive electronic materials the album offers a degree of variety in timbre and musical content that is sometimes lacking in electronic music. In Lyra, the album's opening track, Belet establishes an aural world in which the organic material and electronic content merge seamlessly, clearly defining the musical language to come as the album progresses. A sense of musical humor and clear intent runs throughout Belet's work, and one quickly concludes that the composer, while wonderfully fluent and virtuosic in his chosen medium, is not at all above poking fun at tradition. Name Droppings, assembled from fragments of spoken text, is crafted solely using quotations from program notes and biographies the composer encountered while attending concerts. The resulting piece, with narrative thrusts provided by unexpected textual content, succeeds as both a strong composition and humorous commentary on the concertgoing experience. While Belet proves adept throughout this release at crafting strongly evocative electronic materials, his writing for acoustic instruments also shines through in the works tha tdraw from mixed disciplines. In various pieces, strings, brass, and the piano all interact with electronic materials, often leading to shimmering textual content. By often utlizing responsive electronics and real time controls, as in Radiance and Still Harmless [Bass]ically, Belet allows for the ''performance'' element to remain a crucial, and often defining aspect, of these selections. Still Harmless [Bass]ically presents the electric bass in an electronic environment for which it is aptly sutied. Harmonics and wide-ranging bass flourishes weave in and out of responsive electronic surroundings, creating an atmospheric palette that is at once intriguing and impressively emotive.