Neo-classical/experimental composer Sean McCann is already back with another album for us this year. The excellent Ten Impressions for Piano & Strings I wrote about back in January is still available for purchase at press time if you happen to be interested in that as well. “Victorian Wind,” one of the tracks available for preview from A Castle Popping, showcases the same opulence McCann fashions seemingly time and time again. “Victorian Wind” with its woodwinds and piano dancing around the somber strings makes you feel like you’re in Fantasia or you’re sitting out in the rain, somewhere in the past, admiring the apple of your eye whilst he/she socializes among their friends with a private quartet playing for them – “Victorian Wind” feels hopeful and dissonant at the same time with the juxtaposed timbres. “Eleven in Nights In Spain” is available for preview now as well, but it’s quite jarring compared to “Victorian Nights.” Listen to both below via the SoundCloud players and see what you think of them. Cheers!

 

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The Details

A collection of recordings from 2013 & 2014. This is the first solo release by Sean since Music for Private Ensemble. A display of six recent pieces, not to be taken as a formal ‘album,’ but whatever floats your boat!

The first side holds abstract vocal-based work. Recorded in hotel rooms during business trips in Las Vegas and Spain, and later manipulated on tape.

The second side is serene; featuring a recording of McCann’s first formal composition for quartet, Victorian Wind, performed by the Thin Edge New Music Collective. The LP concludes with two works for piano, recorded and edited at home in Pasadena, CA.

Also included is a sister CDr, Tub of Deep Green Ink, which compliments the nature of the LP. It presents ten tracks from 2011-2014. Ranging from layered string recordings, like the pastoral 2012 piece Inverness String Variations, to computerized-vocal experiments, as with ADR Aria & The Wind Sick (both from 2014). Human voice is dissected and stitched back together; examined under odd light. 2011’s Rooms of Night explores the interior of Sean’s old house in Highland Park (Los Angeles); rain ambience, a cocktail, babel. The album is bookended with digitally notated pieces (for fake oboe & piano, respectively).

Together, these two collections sum up the body of McCann’s musical experimentation and rumination from 2011 to 2014.

Price $21.95

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