Music by Nick Davis -
'... a wide palette of colours ...'
Australian composer Nick Davis has produced a new album as a follow up to Tales of a Summer Past. Like that album, this new one, Candescence, was produced by Nick in the studio using sampled instruments from the East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra library and East West PMI Bösendorfer 290 piano library. This use of sampling means that Davis has total control of the music and can produce albums more economically than using live musicians. The sample library produces remarkably effective simulacrums of the live instruments, though the string tone takes a little getting used to.
Davis writes what might be termed light music and sometimes I missed the spontaneity of live performance in these recordings. These new pieces have less of a feel of crossover or minimalism, some are positively contrapuntal. The disc opens with Forever More, a piece which has a positively Mozartian feel
[listen -- track 1, 0:00-0:50].
The texture is often piano led, in all the pieces on the disc the piano figures very strongly. Flight to Freedom opens with a long piano solo, featuring a lively theme that could almost be fugal. Only later on do the woodwind and brass come in.
Davis's construction technique makes much of variation form, he repeats his material supplying imaginative variants; sometimes he makes a point using agglomeration with each repeat accumulating material and texture, other times he utilises contrast to make his point.
Copyright © 13 May 2006
Robert Hugill, London UK