Over hill, over dale and next thing you know it is 2023 and a new year looms before us. I was glad to listen inside this new panorama and vista for the first time the latest music by Evgueni Galperine, namely the album titled Theory of Becoming (ECM New Series 2744). This is a adventuresome set of ten interrelated works. acoustic and electroacoustic, ambient tonal sound color extravaganzas. The composer notes in the lines that at first it seemed like altogether new territory that was being visited creatively, But the composer found he had set out upon the previous paths he had visited, but as he proceeded further he reached new stops upon the way, new and related stylistic realms. As a listener unfamiliar with this composer I have heard and gradually understood it all after several heartings/
I most say there is much in the way of new ambient sonics and ritually open matrixes that vary in time and space. It all can remind one of some of the zones of the Psychedelic Prog Rock album folks from years back, but then it is much more acoustic and electroacoustically refined and structured.
There are spectacular fanfares and orchestral electronic excitements that contrast with more ruminative reflections in a world that the lyrics to a Stockhausen pieces called in his own words both “near and far alike!”
It is not music that precisely screams Avant Garde as you hear it unfold, but it is by no means a revisitation of old territory so much as it is of the world now, somehow, so resound in ingly sonic in ways ECM-like but post the sort of mellow fare of several decades ago. Sometimes “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Strawberry Fields” come to mind as you listen, only somehow transfixed, then a high modern moment followed by a repetition of remembering but only for a minute and cleanly done ,more like Orff than Glass. And it is all so rather eerie after a while.
If you relax and get rid of expectations you will perhaps like me find it all quite rewarding and involved, underplayed in its subtle nuances but brilliant and determined to go in an original pathway, What it is doesn’t have its own frame so we must listen without sone detailed fieldmap. No matter, since all that works for this far-Modern future 2023 as we might hope. The future is here and we can try some of it on for size with this I do believe. Listen. It is worth your time.