Gene Carl

Gray Matter

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This collection of four of Gene Carl's compositions for piano and electronics fails to ignite. "Pink Suite" is a rather tepid piece for solo piano, in which Karl sports a timid, though somewhat bluesy style. "Claremont Concerto," also written for piano, comprises abstract contrasts of sound, though it rarely swings and tends to drag. "Kaddish" is arguably the most interesting number, perhaps because of the eclectic instrumentation: electronic tape, two synthesizers, ratchets, and Zube Tube (tm). Composed in memory of a friend of the composer, the piece moves outside, but fails to develop. The longest track, "Gray Matter," is a requiem for electronically manipulated voice, synthesizers, and programmed samplers. It, too, ultimately disappoints. Based loosely on the book The Man with a Shattered World, by A. R. Luria, the morbid words articulated by Karl fail to catch fire.

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