MESHES: MUSIC FOR FILMS AND THEATER

Review by: ClassicsToday

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 8

Teiji Ito already was a visionary composer in 1952 at the age of 17, when experimental filmmaker Maya Deren asked him for a soundtrack. Ito had grown up with parents who were active in theater, dance, music, and film, and his interests ranged from Asian, African, and Caribbean music to jazz, blues, and flamenco. In this first available recording of his music Ito reveals this pan-global philosophy in scores from 1952, 1959, and 1982 mainly through eclectic instrumentation: didjeridus and kazoos collide with mbiras and berimbau (Brazilian monochord), and gamelan instruments are paired with clarinet and xylophone. The scores are sparse, allowing the sonorities of each instrument to resonate alone. Axis Mundi, Ito’s music for a 1982 theater work by Christopher Hampton, is like a teeming nocturnal forest, filled with the utterances of nature and shamanistic chanting. Here Ito’s ideas sound more developed than in the Deren soundtracks from the ’50s, which are mesmerizing for their ritualistic qualities. Amazingly, all instruments on the Deren soundtracks were played by Ito himself.



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Recording Details:

Album Title: MESHES: MUSIC FOR FILMS AND THEATER
Reference Recording: none

TEIJI ITO - Meshes of the Afternoon; The Very Eye of Night; Axis Mundi

  • Teiji Ito, Genji Ito, Dan Erkkila (multi-instrumentalists and vocalists)

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