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Press Reviews for I Drink The Air Before Me

With a disc of Nico Muhly's choral works also out this month, Decca seems to have taken up the music of the 29-year-old composer in a big way. This CD is devoted to the ballet score commissioned by Stephen Petronio's company and performed in March last year. Muhly's own sleevenotes reveal that his brief was to include a children's choir and that the subject matter should relate to extremes of weather, anxiety and living by the sea. The musical scheme he devised – 12 sections playing without a break and constructed around spiral sequences of pitches – is realised by a quirky six-piece ensemble, "a community of people living by the sea", writes Muhly. There's a "busybody flute, a wise viola, and the masculine, workmanlike bassoon, trombone and upright bass"; there's a piano, too, an "agitator", with its electronic and sampled sounds. None of this role-playing seems contrived or intrusive; it's the sheer variety of the invention, and the soundworld created for it, that holds the attention, with its blend of Adams-inflected post-minimalism rock sonorities combined with Muhly's own melodic gift. The kitschy use of the children's choir, mercifully only in the first and last sections, is problematic, but the rest is thrilling.

Guardian (September 30th 2010) ★★★★★★★★

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Discography

Drones
Released on 12 November 2012
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I Drink The Air Before Me
Released on 6 September 2010
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Mothertongue
Released on 25 May 2008
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Speaks Volumes
Released on 25 November 2006
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On the web

  • Find out more on Nico Muhly’s website
  • Check out Nico Muhly’s page on Facebook
  • Follow Nico Muhly on Twitter

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