Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anthony De Mare and "Speak:" Text-Sound-Song Artistry

Anthony De Mare, pianist, vocalist, dramatist, story-teller, is one-in-a-million. He realizes works that call upon his considerable talents to enact compositional dramas in a quasi-sprechstimme way. He narrates, sings, recites, provides vocal-sound elements and accompanies himself on the piano, all at the same time. You can hear it to good advantage on his definitive album Speak! The Singing-Speaking Pianist (Innova 241).

These are performance pieces composed by the likes of Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Frederic Rzewski, and three others.

The coordination and masterful execution of vocalise, singing, exclamatory assertion and pianistic punctuation is nothing short of extraordinary.

This fellow is very good! The pieces have enough in the way of music, story and pacing that time goes by quite quickly. And it is time spent to good use. In a way, this is the thinking person's Broadway, the hipster's alternative to opera, the musical equivalent of a very dynamic poetry reading, theater for those jaded with the usual claptrap.

It's a trip that you will very much enjoy if you have an open mind.

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