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Persee » Reviews

May 16, 2007

Review by Adam Rosenthal

Filed under: Reviews — persee @ 5:02 pm

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Persee: Orchestrated Perception - Eye-Opening Music

Downtown Los Angeles, May 10, 2007 – Avant-garde composer Drew Schnurr’s mélange of visual and sound phenomena ripped a thread or two off the king’s robe with a formidable, mixed-media expose of the lies of U.S. presidents on Thursday night at the Regent Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. His experimental Persee: Orchestrated Perception filled the well-attended room with a series of stimulating musical and digital masterpieces. I loved it.

With the third piece of the evening, Drew answers his own question: What is the sound of deceit?- with the clever juxtaposition of repetitive, minimalist flashes of lies on a screen, and methodical bursts of disquieting chords. Like Beethoven himself, he uses volcanic string attacks to challenge the business-as-usual social veneer at the highest socio-political level. Digital media artist Michael Chu was the visual player of the moment, adeptly projecting each of the lie’s words as its melody slid, or thundered, off the instruments. It made me wonder if an audience attuned to the music of deceit might not better recognize the nature of those they wish to lead them before selecting them for positions of power. Or do we hear their music without really listening? Hmmm.

The other two pieces were fascinating in their own ways. I’d never heard Drew before, and was impressed with his chamber ensemble’s melodic and harmonic ebbs and flows. By the end of the first piece I was captivated along with the rest of the audience. And the second piece, accompanied by C.E.B. Reas’s moment-to-moment digital process - which had me feeling like I was witness to the beauty of microbial flowering - was intoxicating. This composer bends and stretches rules within his own aesthetic, weaving his musical ideas in harmonious waves that threaten to drown, yet gently tumble 
the listener forward with intrigue and anticipation.

Review by Adam Rosenthal
freelance writer, poet and songwriter from Redondo Beach,CA