Peter Garland

Garland: Walk In Beauty

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Two piano pieces and an ensemble work with Aki Takahashi, piano, and the Abel/Steinberg/Winant trio. The title piece, Walk in Beauty, named after the Beauty Way chant of Navajo curing and peyote ceremonies, is a bit stiff and uninflected in performance and composition, but the final piano work Jornada del Muerto (In memoriam of Lew Welch) (Journey of the Dead One , the name of a place in southern New Mexico in which travelers have perished in its desert and where the first atomic bomb was exploded) has interesting and beautiful patterning, especially in the final section, The View From Vulture Peak. The eight-section ensemble piece Sones de Flor (Flower Songs) -- based structurally on the Japanese poetic form renga, a chain of linked couplets, and played on violin, piano, vibraphone, and tom-tom -- is beautiful, clear, and a full realization of Garland's folk music-minimalist-formal aesthetic and also makes for good listening. Listeners may also enjoy checking out Garland's Nana + Victorio (1993) on the Avant label.

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