MAX RICHTER: Infra (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Jul 1st 2010 01:36 am

Max Richter: Infra

130701/Fat-Cat Records 2010
13 Tracks. 40mins39secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP

Max Richter has become very much in demand these days, with a number of increasingly high-profile projects under his belt, from soundtrack work, his score for Ari Forman’s animated memoire Waltz With Bashir earned him a European Film Award for best composer in 2008, to art installations. One such commission came from English modern dance choreographer Wayne McGregor, who enlisted Richter to provide the score for Infra, a ballet inspired by T.S. Elliot’s poem The Waste Land, and a collaboration between McGregor, Richter and Welsh visual artist Julian Opie, which premiered at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London at the end of 2008. The performance, and work around it, was also the subject of a documentary broadcast on BBC 2 that same year.

Presented here in expanded form, with the original eight compositions created for Infra intertwined with an additional five pieces inspired, as their titles suggest, by the notion of journey, this record is typical of Richter’s work Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 4th 2010 12:17 am

10 years in 20 records

The noughties have seen probably the most radical changes in the music industries since the advent of the record. Consumption habits have dramatically moved from traditional to digital formats, music has been increasingly seen as something to steal rather than to buy, and listening habits means that nowadays, the album is becoming increasingly redundant. Or is it? Whereas it had, at least in some circles, become totally acceptable to fill records with substandard music, it is now essential for artists to create consistent pieces of work if they want to retain the attention of their audience. The last ten years have delivered their fair share of hits and misses, and this list doesn’t pretend to be in any way shape or form exhaustive. This is just, in no particular order, the definitive list of the 20 albums that have defined the noughties at themilkfactory.

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MAX RICHTER: Memoryhouse (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Nov 5th 2009 01:17 am

Max Richter: Memoryhouse

130701/Fat-Cat Records 2009
18 Tracks. 65mins04secs

Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD | LP Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD

Max Richter spent his formative years studying music and composition in Edinburgh and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, then went on to form Piano Circus with five other pianists in the late eighties in order to perform Steve Reich’s Six Pianos. He stayed with the formation for ten years, working on pieces by composers such as Reich, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Terry Riley or Michael Nyman, during which time he also collaborated with Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans of The Future Sound Of London for a number of years, notably contributing to the pair’s Dead Cities album in 1996, and The Isness in 2002.

Recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and originally published on the BBC’s short-lived Late Junction imprint in 2002, Memoryhouse was the first of Richter’s records as a composer, and established the blueprint for his work to follow, blending often melancholic orchestral themes and piano solos, peppering them with discreet electronics and samples of conversations. Continue Reading »

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Max Richter, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 23/10/2009

themilkman on Oct 26th 2009 12:00 am

Max Richter, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 23/10/2009

Hosted at the Union Chapel in Islington and organised by the good people over at Arctic Circle, this week saw a series of performances collected under the Marginalised banner, in support of the Margins Project, an charity operating from the back of the Union Chapel for people who are homeless or in crisis in London, with performances by Gavin Bryars and Max Richter and events focusing on the music of Vernon Elliot and Michael Nyman. Before the performance took place, an introduction to the charity was presented to the audience in the form of a short film, highlighting the need for such an organisation in the area, the relentless work of voluntaries and the major drop in donations resulting of the current economic climate. Marginalised, in its second year, gives a chance to put on a program of events and generate some revenue for Margins. Continue Reading »

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MAX RICHTER: 24 Postcards In Full Colour (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Aug 1st 2008 12:50 am

Max Richter: 24 Postcards In Full Colour

24 Postcards In Full Colour
130701/Fat-Cat Records 2008
24 Tracks. 34mins33secs

Max Richter’s latest offering is not, so the press release claims, the follow up to his 2006 album Songs From Before. In fact, the twenty four tracks assembled here are part of a much wider experiment, due to be performed in art galleries, with at its centre mobile phone technology. Audience members will be able to pre-register their phone number and receive SMS messages triggering specific tracks, making each performance totally unpredictable and unique.

Beyond the concept and the cold technological practicality, Max Richter revisits here some of his favourite themes (the passing of time, the ephemeral aspect of memories, the melancholy of leaving places behind) and assembles them into miniature vignettes which, in most case, last little more than a moment. Continue Reading »

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Max Richter/Jóhann Jóhannsson, Union Chapel, London, 29/06/2008

themilkman on Jul 1st 2008 12:42 am

Feature: Max Richter/Jóhann Jóhannsson, Union Chapel, London, 29/06/2008

Max Richter gave a rare live performance at the Union Chapel in London’s Islington, ahead of the release of his latest project, 24 Postcards In Full Colour, on Fat-Cat in July, and, opening the evening for him was Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Jóhannsson took the stage accompanied with a string quartet and one additional personnel on electronics. With the string quartet positioned centre stage, Jóhannsson found himself stuck in the background between a baby grand piano and his keyboards. Jóhannsson has, since the release of his debut album, Englabörn, in 2002 on Touch and reissued last year on 4AD, established himself as one of the best contemporary classical composers around and has, beside his own records, composed music for films and plays and has also been involved with a handful of side projects. For this London performance, Jóhannsson focused exclusively on his solo work, presenting tracks taken essentially from Englabörn and IBM 1401, A User’s Manual, with a couple of more rhythmic pieces sourced from Dis. Continue Reading »

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MAX RICHTER: Songs From Before (130701 / Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Oct 16th 2006 12:55 pm

Max Richter: Songs From Before

Songs From Before
130701 / Fat-Cat Records 2006
12 Tracks. 37mins18secs

British-born composer and musician Max Richter studied composition and piano at Edinburgh University and at the Royal Academy Of Music before pursuing his studies in Florence under the late Italian composer Luciano Berio. Richter then co-founded contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus in 1989, and spent ten years performing works by Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Graham Fitkins, Louis Andriessen, Brian Eno and many more with them. During this time, he developed an interest for sampling and electronic instrumentation, which led him to work with The Future Sound Of London on their 1996 album Dead Cities. His first album as a composer and musician, Memoryhouse, was recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and released on the BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction imprint in 2002. Continue Reading »

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