Beautiful music: The Blue Notebooks of Max Richter
Opening with a text from Franz Kafka, read by Tilda Swinton, over a sparse piano melody, the album moves through the heart-wrenching ‘On The Nature Of Daylight’ through to sparse but lyrical piano pieces, hazy swirling atmospherics, avalanche pulse-beats and partially occluded melodies. Other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders. The organ music was made for a chapel near Tourtres in South-West France, whilst the environmental sounds are mainly recorded around London.
Peppered across Richter’s music like diary entries (and backed with attendant typewriter clatter) are a number of literary texts or ‘shadow journals’ (from Kafka and Czseslaw Milosz’s ‘Hymn Of The Pearl’). Chosen by Max on instinct, these brief passages muse over time, memory, and the impermanent nature of things.
“ Not only the finest record of the last six months, but one of the most affecting and universal contemporary classical records in recent memory.” – Pitchfork (USA) 8.6/10
“…it’s a modern compositional tour de force of almost overwhelming emotional power…” – Time Out (Critics Choice)