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A solo venture by local underground Jazz artist Viggo Mortensen, this new Perceval Press CD Time Waits For Everyone fits into the ranks of the turn of the Century composers. The works as a whole are originally crafted products of human sensibility interpreted through jazz improvisation. Consonant motifs resolve into dissonant chords where pedals and keys linger on an idea of solitude in the minimalism of a single repeated note. The slow transformation of chords is merely one facet of these minimalist poetic Lieder without words, or art songs, sequenced into Liederkreis, or a song cycle.


Time Waits For Everyone can be linked to the prior works Intelligence Failure and Please Tomorrow. The group of CD's is a seeming three-part modern Liederkreis. Please Tomorrow felt like it was about getting to dawn. Intelligence Failure, which plays out dark motifs, instrumentation and chord structures, felt like the tense fight between dark and dawn. Time Waits feels like it is about being dawn. Similar ideas were heard in the prior two works but are more fully resolved in Time Waits.


None of the motif continuation critique is to berate the works as mere repeats. Rather, the most current of the three is more complete, much like Mortensen's work in I Forget You Forever. In that book, a similar idea was visually executed with images often presented with little to no text and no need to do so. The repeated theme in those photos could be seen as always looking into something or being looked at – or voyeurism. Open windows, open and empty shelves, photos with a vignette creating a sense of telescope or womb – each photo carried a sense of being watched or watching with the ultimate end dark with empty and bloody carcasses. Here too the Lied does not need the spoken word to convey its strong emotion. Music's history holds the Lied was interwoven with the German language but influences were found also from French composers Claude Debussy and Louis Berlioz, among others. The work uses phrasing styles from nocturnes and preludes, and the idea of a Sonata, or to sound, versus a Cantata, or to sing. Time Waits For Everyone reveals a more mature pianist than what the musician let show in prior releases.


This sudden surge of confidence is perhaps most evident on the track Danube Poem. Here Mortensen's masterful use of the pedals is combined with strong feelings and motifs from Debussy's Calire de Lune, a similar idea also found on Please Tomorrow's track Moonset. Both tracks created deep meditation euphoria, another facet of the modern Lied in the New Age genre. All three also have a brief encounter with children’s song motifs, such as Three Blind Mice. The revisited feeling of such minimalism in this work conjured feelings of a political statement on the emotionally blank age of war. If one musically translated Mortensen's beautiful poem Back To Babylon, Danube Poem would be it. Traversing back and forth in gentle contrapuntal woven segments, deeply emotional progressions are juxtaposed against the passionless and sexually dry. Therein lies the brunt of tension found in Time Waits For Everyone.


Heavy Russian elements also found in the Lied style, at times, strained the delicacy of Mortensen's half-pedal craftsmanship, specifically on the track Treblinka Poem. The touch of the hand on the keyboard is so soft. Yet, the dominating demand of the blurred bass line begged for a more dissonant chord structure never fully realized. The choices create an unresolved tension. The track leaves the listener with an insecure and restless sense of surrounding – a Lament. The harmonic dissonance created an exploration into very dark emotions. Perhaps Treblinka Poem is about dark and light conflict – or the way Yin and Yang are in constant battle to catch one another. Beethoven created an entire work out of a theme without dampers in the very famous song Moonlight Sonata, or Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor Quasi Una Fantasi, translated to Like A Fantasy. Here too a minimalist feeling was created in several of Beethoven’s repeated single notes also enhanced by the lamenting blurred bass line. In slight contrast, Treblinka Poem uses a quasi-bass ostinato to create the lamentation. The term would put the work in that of a classical style, but the idea can cross genres into jazz, if labeled a riff. Such words roughen the semi-modal delicacy of Mortensen’s work here though. This is the other conflicting theme for Time Waits: the work combines genres with well-executed jazz improvisation crossed with strong classical influences.


The music was not the only minimalist work on this new CD release. On the cover, the way the tree is backlit by the sun gives a feeling of a slow build like dawn, which matches the music very well. The sparse use of image also gives a similar feel to that of the music. Using a natural image reflects the asymmetric and organic feel of the improvised music. The cover image leaves the viewer with the feeling they have seen that tree - down on Red Rock trail or maybe along another trail here in Topanga, or in other parts of the world. The feeling was not just about having seen the tree someplace. The image manifested into feelings the viewer has stood underneath that tree in the same sort of place, such as when lying in trees as a kid - just like the fence in the photo Grandview in Mortensen's book I Forget You Forever. Most have seen that fence somewhere in their mind’s eye. The way the names are written on the inside cover are the same - minimalist. The only name spelled out is Uncle Henry's. The only use of color on the inside is the red for Time Waits. The title is not even finished – it is just a mere Time Waits For. The sparse use of words, images and notes left a lot to discover in the mind's eye, or heart, or wherever art comes from - that dreamy place. Maybe that is the best part of Mortensen’s minimalism. The listener can choose which way to respond.


The 18-track CD is available for purchase at Perceval Press for $10.


On The Web:
Time Waits For Everyone available at Percevel Press here: http://percevalpress.com/timewaits.html

Author Bio
Kriss Perras
Author: Kriss PerrasWebsite: http://www.ruptured-media.com/Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Publisher & Editor
Bio
Kriss Perras owns Ruptured Media where she publishes Malibu Arts Journal. Ruptured Media is also a story development company. Kriss has been tenacious and fought authority from the very start of her career in journalism. Kriss' first story as a journalist was for her college newspaper covering George W. Bush and Steve Forbes in the Iowa Caucuses during the 2000 election. She showed up at the hotel where Bush was to speak with her editor's letter of assignment in hand. She credentialed at the press desk like every other press person. She had questions in hand she had prepared to ask the Presidential candidate. She walked into the speaking room to find the press was roped off from the candidate. Being new to election coverage, and journalism, she was disappointed. She stood next to a seasoned AP photographer on the press platform. She asked the AP photographer if she could get out from behind the ropes and ask Bush her questions. The AP photographer said, "Well, you can try." So she did. She stepped out from behind the ropes and waited in line behind the people seeking the candidate's autograph. When it was her turn, she introduced herself to Bush as a college journalist and started to ask her questions. Bush said, " Wait, are you a journalist?" She said, "Yes." Bush nodded to his Secret Service team. They promptly came over on each side of her. She was 5'6" tall and weighed 127 pounds. The Secret Service men were well over a foot taller than her and obviously guys who worked out often. They could pick her up with their pinky fingers. They quickly picked her up by her arms, carried her over the ropes and plopped her back down on the press platform as she was still asking Bush her questions. Bush to his credit said, "Please give her one of my books. The answers to her questions are in my book." So she had to read his entire book, but she indeed found the answers to her questions. She also drew political cartoons for her college newspaper and still does today. Her next big break came in 2002, still as a student, with an interview with former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski. Kriss went on in 2006 to found PCH Press, Malibu's daily newspaper. With PCH Press, she had extensive coverage of the battle against LNG and the fight against the placement of an LNG port being placed off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard, among other local news. She has covered Olara Otunnu, former United Nations Undersecretary General and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict when he spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She covered Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman when she spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She has interviewed Progressive David Swanson and numerous Malibu Mayors. In 2007, She founded Malibu Arts Journal magazine. Kriss built Malibu Arts Journal from the ground up. She has taken the magazine from an unknown dot com to a respected title. She earned the magazine digital distribution through Magzter and the iTunes App Store where it now enjoys broad based readership across the globe. She is a member of the national honor society Who's Who In American Universities And Colleges. With Malibu Arts Journal she has interviewed several people of note: Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick, Pulitzer Nominated Photographer Jeff Widener about his iconic "Tank Man" photo from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, internationally recognized photographer Glen Wexler, internationally acclaimed painter Marcus Jansen, international photography phenom Alex Prager, the widow of Arman--the man who helped to found an entire art movement known as Nouveau Realisme, musician and singer Cal Campbell, son of Glen Campbell and William O'Daly, guru translator of Nobel Prize Winning Poet Pablo Neruda. She has interviewed politicos such as the offices of California State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Senator Richard Pan. She has covered controversial subjects such as Dr. Wakefield and the vaccine debate, among many others. *Photo Copyright 2017: Alan Weissman
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