Karl Jenkins

Adiemus Colores

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Based on the ideas that inspired Karl Jenkins' original concept album, Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary, his 2013 Deutsche Grammophon debut explores the vivid colors and rhythms of Latin music. Jenkins uses the vocalise technique he developed since 1994, a style of wordless singing on syllables of his own devising, and he backs up his Adiemus Singers with orchestrations that incorporate the dance rhythms of Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, with overtones of opera and jazz. Yet Jenkins goes one step further in his exploration by connecting each Canción to a specific color, which inspires a subjective mood or expressive style, albeit conveyed in abstractions best appreciated by synesthetes. Adiemus Colores may suggest actual colors to some listeners, though perhaps at variance with Jenkins' titles, but the many layers of voices and instrumentation are too slick and over-produced to give the real flavor of Latin music. Instead, the album seems like a lavish commercial showcase for the featured performers, the Adiemus Singers, tenor Rolando Villazón, fado artist Cuca Roseta, guitarist Milos Karadaglic, and trumpeter Pacho Flores, as well as a résumé of Jenkins' abilities as a producer. His tendency to cram as much as possible into his arrangements creates a dense wall of sound, and despite obvious differences of mood and affect in these pieces, the tracks have a weight and thickness that seem at odds with the light and heat of Latin music. Even so, this CD is sure to appeal to Jenkins' admirers and introduce more listeners to this prolific Welsh composer.

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