Loeb--Between Sea and Sky
A Sled Named Pre-1918
Perhaps my best bit of imaginative music criticism--
Between Sea and Sky is like Citizen Kane.
Between Sea and Sky opens with a wisp of a tune--four notes rising stepwise. 100% pre-1918.
The opening gets the tune under our skin but also starts to turn it upside down. The heart of the piece is descending music, almost unbearably sad. A gnostic wasteland of descent.
I can get lost in the sad descending music, but listening carefully, phrase by phrase, I understand each gesture.Surprisingly the composer finds something in those depths, in those desperately sad descending, expiring lines.
The return of the modestly rising opening tune is the Citizen Kane moment translated into David Loeb's musical vocabulary.
Orson Wells responds to Jorge Luis Borges' review
"We all know that a party, a palace, a great undertaking, a lunch for writers and journalists, an atmosphere of cordial and spontaneous camaraderie, are essentially horrendous." (Borges review of Citizen Kane"
Likewise, a century of wars and revolutions-musical and political revolutions. Loeb didn't join any of the 20th C. musical revolutions, but he acquire the appetite for harmonic labyrinths. He recentered that on pre-1918, but even more pre-Renaissance and Asian musical idioms. A syncretist's syncretist.
When we embrace integration to this degree, revolutions the merest blip.
Srdjan Berdovic, Carlo Valte, Mariano Aguirre, guitars
from Loeb's website--
Although David Loeb began composing at the age of six, he destroyed everything he had written prior to beginning his studies at Mannes (not to mention some things written much later). Nevertheless the works written since then now number well over one thousand, and he continues to produce new compositions in diverse media frequently. Moving back and forth between residences in New York and Kyoto and often making shorter trips from both places actually increases his output rather than slowing it down. Changes of climate, cuisine, culture, language, art, and above all music seem to provide considerable stimulation for creativity.
Loeb created his unique international style. Each instrument is a mask. When he writes for guitar, the mask is part biwa and shamisen, part Renaissance lute.