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Tim Hodgkinson — Pragma
(Recommended Records (RéR) TH1, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

Pragma Cover artThis is a disc of difficult music since the listener must have the discipline to hear the "big picture" and not get caught in a scattering of perceived dissonant ideas. In the composer's own words: the starting point for his works begins with improvisation and arrives at finished material through the execution a musical action. Pragma consists of six pieces to a random puzzle which have been created across the last two years. Dissecting them one by one will give you a good appetite for what to expect. "Repulsion" is a mood grabber with plenty of open space for clarinet, and an interjecting brass section who have an unhealthy dialogue so to speak. The second selection, "SHHH" is a quiet conversation between heavily manipulated, taped voices providing a disturbing, almost ghostly mood. The third work is a controlled mayhem using prepared viola and definitely not for the faint of heart. I'm surprised that modern horror film has not grasped the potential of Hodgkinson's penchant for sorting through a seeming disarray of disparate ideas. The tense tone his work creates could easily catapult a teen movie goer into a frenzy in say... Scream 3? Possibly, but more likely this modern composer will still languish with others who only appeal to a small, but educated audience.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Tim Hodgkinson

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