This is the music composed by Randall Woolf for a production by the American Repertory Ballet based on Maurice Sendak's classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. So technically speaking, this is theater music for a children's play. But it's so much more. Randall Woolf, one of the most promising young composers of the late '90s, wrote music that stands on its own and owes very little to the language of standard children music. The heavy guitar (electric), complex forms, sometimes very atonal modes and inventive arrangements turn Where the Wild Things Are into a delightful contemporary composition. The child universe is present through a highly imaginative world of sounds, the occasional use of danceable beats, simple melodies and heavily-treated voices appearing here and there. Although very serious writing can be seen throughout this suite, there is a refreshing lighthearted quality to it that will keep the children's attention while entertaining adults. Thanks to a perfect meeting between classical, rock and avant-garde music, this album is full of surprises.
AllMusic Review by François Couture
|Where the Wild Things Are, ballet|