Contemporary chamber music gets short shrift these days. While jazz musicians whine about their own lack of popularity their orchestral/chamber music counterparts wallow in real anonymity. No one knows what these people do holed up in their apartments and houses, scribbling away on manuscript and their music is rarely heard so it's refreshing when a young composer records on his own and releases it on his own as Matt LeGroulx has done with Chamber Music, Vol. 1. The music ranges from Reich-ian minimalism to Beefheart-ian guitar composition to Nancarrow-ian automated complexity. In fact, the best pieces here are those dedicated to Nancarrow, the four fugues for piano. The voices are so closely arranged that they produce the aural equivalent of fractals, the melody created by the transpositions of the voices can be heard in every nook and cranny. The result is remarkable, so finely detailed that it's impossible to listen too hard or too much. He may never reach the level of popularity of a Nico Muhly but props to this young composer for taking his legacy into his own hands.
- Lukas Shapiro
released January 25, 2010