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Wednesday October 22, 2014

Album Review

There are a few inconsistencies in Bing & Ruth's <em>Tomorrow Was the Golden Age</em>, and not just in the collision of past and future tenses in the title. First, despite being credited to a duo, the music of Bing & Ruth stems solely from composer David Moore, and here it is played by septet, including clarinet, cello, bass, piano and tape delay. The confusion just gets thicker the deeper you go: The most delicate interplay between piano and woodwinds you'll hear all year is on a song entitled "Police Police Police Police Police." Across its hour runtime, <em>Tomorrow</em> allows the beauty of Moore's minimal yet evolving compositions to flourish at a languid pace. In "Warble" Moore's piano gently cascades around the strings and clarinet, the unobtrusive tape manipulations of Mike Effenberger gently widening the space around each element. The movement on "Just Like the First Time" is so unhurried that it seems to slow down time itself. The result could soundtrack any ocean sunset, waterfall or bathtub soak, but is also worthy of deep concentration by itself. There are stylistic nods to composers like Morton Feldman and Gavin Bryars, a patience similar to that of Stars of the Lid, and the piano ruminations could easily slot into the more contemplative part of the ECM catalog. But Bing & Ruth implement such influences in a manner that it transcends such names and tags all together.

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