Wed Aug 1 2007
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5
Chris Tignor is a composer whose music always seems to leave a door open for the listener, in a musical sense as well as in his full-disclosure approach to composition titles. This is no land of String Quartet No. 2, but of contemplation and dissolution of an idea for two pairs and the pulse of this skyline with lightning like nerves—to name but two examples from his ensemble Slow Six’s second full-length release, Nor’easter.
Tignor’s ideas—here expressed by various combinations of strings, guitars, keyboards and computer—attract the ear so quickly that the compositionally studious might assume they’ll gain little through multiple passes. Yet the often hauntingly nostalgic music always manages to give up more, perhaps because of the way a glissando in the harmony lingers like a bit of personal nostalgia, or of how the subtle electronics deepen the conventional chamber-music palette. Tignor is a composer with the requisite pedigree—Bard, NYU, Princeton—to place him on the classical-music pages, yet he also sits comfortably among the Pitchfork set. You might call his work postminimalism with a blatant indie-art-rock twist.
Private Times in Public Places, Slow Six’s 2004 debut, generated buzz through innocent, gauzy tracks blissfully stretched like taffy. In these six new works, Tignor explores more complex ideas and methods of expression, resulting in a solid, forward-moving follow-up. For anyone seeking an evening companion with a good ear and an easy confidence, this is your album.