Monday, October 10, 2005

Max Richter: Live Orchestral Electronic


Max Ricther is one of those artists that really is indescribable. IS music can best be described as classical or orchestra. The songs feature the traditional arrangements of strings and piano but also infuse delicate, if not almost unnoticeable, elements of sampling and synthesizer work. The outcome is a fully contemporary and modern invocation of the classical music mood and feeling. If you are one of those listeners who enjoys listening to Brian Eno, Bjork, Vangelis or Jarre then you will probably enjoy Max Richter immensely. His latest release is entitled "The Blue Notebooks".

Max Richter (b.1966) trained in composition and piano at Edinburgh University, the Royal Academy of Music and with Luciano Berio in Florence. His early music was basically hard-core Modernism: much influenced by Xenakis.

The Richter family moved to the UK from Germany when Max was a young child, leaving the wider part of his family distributed around Germany. The sense of a lack of roots had an effect on his musical formation - "I have always had a sense of belonging, in some way, to the middle of Europe but not specifically to any one place. This is very common I think, especially in Germans whose families inevitably include all sorts of influences from the Austro - German - Hungarian - Polish mix...." explains Richter.

On completing his studies, Max Richter co-founded the immensely successful contemporary classical ensemble Piano Circus, where he stayed for ten years, commissioning and performing works by Arvo Part, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe and Steve Reich. During this time the group was signed exclusively to Decca/Argo, producing five acclaimed CDs.

Richter was also the driving force in developing the group's use of live sampling and electronics, as well as developing the use of live video and lighting in performance.

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