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Brandon Seabrook's Epic Proportions


Review by Gary Hill

It's a pretty safe bet you've never heard anything quote like this. The blend of sounds includes classical, chamber music, freeform jazz type sounds, progressive rock, world music and more. It's more often than not on the strange side. It's always art music. It's also quite compelling.

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Track by Track Review
A flute type instrument brings this in here and holds it for a time. The cut gets some medieval styled sounds added to the mix as other instruments join. It gradually becomes more art music like, although the instrumentation remains largely unchanged. The cut has some intriguing changes getting pretty crazed and King Crimson-like at times. It drops to a more classical sting arrangement, but then grows out from there into some seriously freeform territory. There is a percussion solo around the half-way mark (the song is over ten-and-a-half-minutes long) that has some really sparse parts to it. It eventually rises back up with a section that seems to combine Crimsonian weirdness with chamber music. It gets quite weird in a tasty way with odd sounds dancing across at various points. There are world music elements in the mix. Old time sounds eventually take the piece near the end to serve as the outro.
I Wanna Be Chlorophylled I: Corpus Conductor
Crimsonian jamming gets this number underway. It's also suitably freeform in nature. Eventually this turns to a mellower movement based strictly on classical string instrumentation. That gives way to a return of the Crimsonian jamming further down the road. It gets pretty crazed before it's over.
I Wanna Be Chlorophylled II: Thermal Rinse
Mellow and symphonic in nature, this has a sparse arrangement as it gets underway. Yet, it also has some real drama built into it. This stays reasonably mellow and undeveloped, but moves through a lot of unusual and rather freaky territory. This gets pretty trippy before it's over. While it's still tastefully strange, this never gets nearly as intense as the pieces that preceded it.
The Perils of Self-Betterment
Classical, but also built on more of that Crimsonian element, this is hard to pin down, but so crazy cool in its oddities. Computer-like blips and bleeps are heard in the mix. This keeps evolving, getting pretty crazy as it grows.
From Lucid to Ludicrous
Sparse percussive elements get things underway here. The cut gets into some trippy territory as it continues. It remains fairly sparse, but also has some spacey moments. I really dig the standup bass work later on the piece.
Gutbucket Asylum
There are some strange echoey vocalizations on the early sections of this. The cut works out into strange hard rocking stuff that still manages to be freeform. They bring back the vocalizations beyond that. That section gets punctuated by something that feels like an odd version of "Flight of the Bumblebee." Percussion takes over as it continues. This is a strange, but entertaining piece of music.
Libidinal Bouqets
Classical instrumentation creates a tense and moving pattern of sound as we get underway here. The piece is more than ten minutes long, and they put that time to good use, taking it through all kinds of changes. This has a lot of world music built into it alongside plenty of that more freaky, freeform stuff.
Compassion Montage
There is a dreamlike dense quality to this. It has some strange operatic vocals at times. It's also freeform, dramatic and very strange, but in a particularly intriguing way. This is definitely art music. There is something vaguely unsettling about this, but in a good way.
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