I Like Harmony

I’m having a rather blissful time listening to the CD American Dream, compositions of Scott Wollschleger played by Bearthoven, a bonafide “piano trio” comprised of Karl Larson, piano, Pat Swoboda, double bass, and Matt Evans, percussion. “Gas Station Canon Song” is for quiet solo piano, “We See Things That Are Not There” is for hesitant piano and vibes, and the dramatic centerpiece “American Dream” is for the complete trio. The performers are all great and the production is top-notch. Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti contributed helpful liner notes.

Sometimes I worry just a little bit about the direction of “post-minimal” American “classical” music, especially if there are “indie” or “rock” references. Of course there are good things, like Caroline Shaw’s Partita and John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean, and I wrote about Michael Gordon’s Sonatra for the New Yorker Culture Desk, but just last week I was at a concert where the minimalist works went over big with the audience yet left me cold.

Wollschleger is “process” oriented, the harmonies and melodies repeat and mutate over time, but the raw materials are notably compelling. Possibly Morton Feldman is Wollschleger’s biggest influence. If you like Feldman, get hip to Wollschleger right now

I admit Scott is also a friend, today we walked in the park together.