John Wolf Brennan

Text, Context, Co-Text & Co-Co-Text

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John Wolf Brennan's third solo piano recording completes a trilogy that began with The Beauty of Fractals and Iritations (sic); together with those, this makes up The Blue Trilogy. Like his previous works, Text, Context, Co-Text & Co-Co Text is deeply researched and planned out, so that no single note is out of place in the proceedings. This time out, Brennan felt he was collaborating with Irish sources, from James Joyce to Fiona Templeton and Julian Barnes and beyond. First a work would be its sole text, then have added its context (the text it accompanies), and then co-text, which is another extrapolation text somehow related to the first as it relates to itself and the second, and the final is the listener's interpretation of such. Yes, very Derridean -- too much deconstruction for this listener. There are enough academic pianists out there who bring their own crazy theories to the fore and occasionally make interesting music from them -- especially improvisers who like myths. But these texts, all of them Irish, which have been deconstructed enough by history and its rewriting, need no recontextualization in the noodling polemics Wolf Brennan puts forth here. This is a plinkety-plonk, slightly melodic, and trite record that has grand pretensions.

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