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Press Reviews for Speaks Volumes

This is my first encounter with a young American artist who I didn't have the pleasure to know before listening to this dazzling album. Nico Muhly is only 25, a classic Juilliard-graduate enfant prodige who has already collaborated with Philip Glass - one of his several influences, all of them filtered by a brilliant stylistic uniqueness - and Antony (yes, THAT Antony) who lends his voice in "Keep in touch", probably the best track of the CD, mixing dissonant viola/trombone counterpoint with Hegarty's unpredictable vocal lines, the whole flowing in a moment into a Michael Nyman-like passionate vamp; but Muhly's harmonies are five times more intriguing.

The Vermont-born composer is also a refined pianist: check his beautiful chordal rainbows in "A Hudson cycle" (written as a wedding present for two friends) which reminds of Charlemagne Palestine's resonances in "Four manifestations on six elements". Instead "Pillaging music", with Muhly on piano and celeste and Samuel Solomon on percussion, fuses echoes of Steve Reich and Harry Partch with the author's distinguished personality. We must not forget Valgeir Sigurdsson, best known for his previous work with Bjork and Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a fundamental element in the overall sound  of "Speaks volumes" both as a producer and as an active participant through his studio treatments, which deliver the pieces from any potential academic lacquer while nearing them to a much appreciated tactile modernism. Finally, a special mention goes to the string players, whose bravura highlights the most fascinating facets of Muhly's arrangements: indeed, everyone did a fantastic job but, deep in my heart, Lisa Liu's violin on the goosebump-raising "Honest music" and Nadia Sirota's viola in the above mentioned "Keep in touch" have a special place. "Speaks volumes" is a precious record which will open many doors to its originator.

Touching Extremes

Touching Extremes (April 2nd 2010)

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Released on 12 November 2012
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I Drink The Air Before Me
Released on 6 September 2010
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Released on 25 May 2008
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Speaks Volumes
Released on 25 November 2006
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  • Find out more on Nico Muhly’s website
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