From Innova: Neil Rolnick “Extended Family”
Innova 782 (January 25, 2011)
The string band Ethel
Here is what Innova tells us:
“Family, faith and human frailty. And all very personal. Neil Rolnick takes on some serious topics with this new CD. But as you’ll expect if you know his earlier work, he comes out of it with a polyglot mashup of music which moves from solemn beauty to manic dance, from memorable melodies to digital madness. In the title track, the string quartet ETHEL delivers a powerful rendering of a work chronicling Rolnick’s experiences with his family at the time of his mother’s death. In Faith, pianist and improviser Bob Gluck, with Rolnick on laptop, takes us through a high powered musical exploration of what it means to believe, or not. To round it out, Rolnick ends with MONO Prelude, a solo performance for spoken voice and laptop which chronicles his own experience of hearing loss. Better hear this now.
Since he moved to New York City in 2002, Neil Rolnick’s music has been receiving increasingly wide recognition and numerous performances both in the US and abroad. A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, beginning in the late 1970s, Rolnick has often included unexpected and unusual combinations of materials and media in his music.
Though much of Rolnick’s work has been in areas which connect music and technology, and is therefore considered in the realm of “experimental” music, his music has always been highly melodic and accessible. Whether working with electronic sounds, improvisation, or multimedia, his music has been characterized by critics as “sophisticated,” “hummable and engaging,” and as having “good senses of showmanship and humor.”
Rolnick teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was founding director of the iEAR Studios. ”
The album, the CD $15 at Innova, the .mp3 at Amazon $8.99
Innova is simply the finest presenter of New Music anywhere.