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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nick Vasallo, Monuments Emerge

Here we have a fascinating collection of compositions by Nick Vasallo, Monuments Emerge (Innova 821), covering the period between 2007-2012.

Since I am ill today I will not go into much detail. Asian (taiko drumming and more) influences, modern classical (minimalism and modernism) and some heavy metal elements (toward the end notably) combine in ways that have a kind of organic seamlessness.

The results are convincing, forward-looking, well constructed, and original.


  1. Please tell me more! Would love to read more feedback. thanks!

  2. Hi Nick,

    Sorry, I was ill on the day I wrote this brief review and ended up not saying as much as I would have liked. The metal at the end was a pleasant shock! And I much appreciated the integration of the drumming into a contemporary context. I would love to hear even more of the metal-meets-modernity-and-world as a continuous unit--and I'll bet you've either done pieces that put it together in a more extended way like that or are working on such a thing. But what you've done already on this CD bears a great deal more listening on my part. Usually by five listens I get a strong sense of what's happening. With your CD I feel like more ear-time will give me more to think about. That sort of music is what I most appreciate because usually the rewards end up being that much greater.

    Thank you for all the labor that went into writing the music on this CD and please keep me in the loop as new work gets recorded.

    All the best,

  3. thanks Grego, I appreciate the support. I think additional listens would be great - I am the same. I usually have a CD in my player for weeks maybe months at a time.

  4. Absolutely Nick. I know people who only listen to really complicated and potentially worthy music once, then formulate an opinion. The only thing that does is make you like something that sounds exactly like something else you have heard many times, or conversely, dislike something that requires ear-effort, that doesn't follow the dots to where you are used to going. When you think of some of the sameness of the music of the baroque era, I think that was part of a situation where most music was designed to be heard once or twice and that's all. So the music started sounding like cookie-cutter formula stuff. Of course Bach, Handel, and the best of them were so good that further listening brings out all kinds of details that most people probably never imagined then--or only the keyboard students and the orchestral-vocal participants would get it because they had to play/sing it repeatedly to become proficient. Just about anything worthwhile today must be heard multiple times to be appreciated--and of course the advent of recorded media makes all that possible for anyone who takes the time. So I'll be doing more of that with YOUR CD!

    All best,