Sunday, October 5, 2014


Where to start on this recording? How do you talk about a score so unclassifiable? Marisa Michelson's music for Tamar of the River teases and tastes at an endless list of styles and genres that simultaneously make the score sound like it was written in the distant past as well as the distant future.

The fact that Michelson's palate is so expansive is part of what makes this score such a joy to listen to. It electrifies and jolts us. It gets under our skin. It twists and turns in such unexpected and jarring ways. It floats with melodic beauty.

There's American and European classical influence here, but there's just as much contemporary pop, African tribal music, gospel, Middle Eastern folk, and sprinklings of so much more all over the place. All of these are used to new effect that shatters expectation. This is one inventive, even innovative, piece of musical theatre writing.