These eight recent pieces (from RST’s “classical” side, rather than the “Ambient” side) are diverse, and make an excellent addition to the composer’s works. (There is also a Folio – Volume Two.)
There are no liner notes to the album, but he has provided a brief helpful outline of some pieces in the “Editorial Reviews” section.
The opening piece is languid, with frequent moments of silence, interspersed by short notes by woodwinds and strings. The second begins more ominously, and is more electronic, with sounds such as “scraping” of piano strings, and percussive “pianistic” and “wooden” sounds. The third piece turns sharper, and even harsher—almost grating, at times, with electronic and metallic sounds in the mix. The fourth piece, “Escape Velocities,” is for unaccompanied solo flute (RST has done other works for solo flute—e.g., the title track on Meridian – Chamber Music Works 1989-1997), but this one is perhaps his most interesting; a virtuostic track, exploring various unconventional sounds from the instrument, which John Fonville develops to the fullest.
“Star Map” (perhaps my favorite track of the collection) has lots of shimmering, echoing and reverberating (but gentle) electronics. The 6th track, “Imaginal for JC (i.e., John Cage) in Four Thirty Three” (the length of Cage’s famous “silent” composition) is actually more electronic, than “silent.” The seventh piece is a change of pace, featuring string orchestral sounds (both sustained, or in brief bursts). The final piece is probably the most “far-reaching” on the album, with recorded (and electronically modified) voices (usually with indecipherable words) and electronic sounds.
— Steven H Propp