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At All Perceval Press

Perceval Press' recent CD release, At All by Viggo Mortensen is intellectually challenging and may draw entirely different emotions from another listener. This release is a near solo work, with only one track containing work from Buckethead and Travis Dickerson, a combination we have become accustom to hearing from this indie publisher. This writer-artist would disagree with categorizing the works on this CD as experimental music, as that term would be a shallow take completely overlooking the deeper elements of At All. While recognizing, in the words of the great jazz artist Elliott Sharp, "no improvisation is ever truly free," the works on At All are that of a Free Jazz Style. Or in classical terms, Impressionism. At risk of offending an artist who loathes to fit into a category - or to reference self - Mortensen uses suggestion and mood to create atmosphere in this impressionistic work.

A famous example of an impressionist composer who utilized the power of musical suggestion to create atmosphere was the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi in his symphonic poem The Pines Of Rome, also known as the Roman Trilogy - Fontaine di Roma (Fountains Of Rome 1915-1916; PIna di Roma (Pines Of Rome 1923-1924); Feste Romane (Roman Festivals 1928). The Pines Of Rome, specifically in the movement The Pines Of Villa borghese, uses a blaring forte trumpet to recreate the sound of children crying, and the harp, flutes and strings to create childish taunting sounds plus a chorus of instrumentation in question and answer format that creates sounds of a group of children making fun of one another. These were sounds Respighi heard while at this Villa. Much like Monet who painted outdoors, Respighi painted his musical brushstrokes outdoors and composed what he saw.

Both Mortensen and Respighi draw from a similar pallet where instrumentation personifies human emotion. The two artists rely heavily on musical symbolism. French composer Claude Debussy, who authored the groundbreaking works that started the musical genre of Impressionism, and Respighi have very feminine approaches to the style and chord structure. Mortensen tends towards a masculine and slightly more dissonant form of Impressionistic techniques. All create very deep emotional sensations. The opening legato note of At All's track two is reminiscent of the opening legato note of Debussy's Piano Works No. 1 track titled Nocturne - except Mortensen's dissonant chord structure is masculine instead of Debussy's soft feminine mood. This is aptly so since Mortensen's track is titled Bomb This and has an eerie feeling of the aftermath of nuclear bomb explosion.

All of these artists use the Symphonic Poem to open the mind to subliminal emotion sometimes not readily accessible. The genre is a dream mood, Its harmonies may catch the listener off-guard because they do not fit into cookie cutter symphonic forms but do tend to draw on portions of those elements for structure. The feeling of being thrown off-guard also can come in a transition from one movement to the next, as in the transition from Mortensen's Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore (track 8) to the title track At All (track 9). That one the reader will have to listen to for the full effect. Mortensen's style might even feel like a fresh deck of cards just out of the box thrown into the air and scattered on the ground such as in Shoreditch Nocturne. His musical brushstrokes are purposefully visible and at times blurred by the piano's pedal to create a psychedelic mood. His voice sounds as though he is in deep despair - vocal tears.

Mortensen's cover photo also uses the power of suggestion. Some might find threads of the character Mother from the 1998 release and remake of Hitchcock's masterful work Psycho, a film in which Mortensen played the role of Sam Loomis. Others might find the cover photo uses Monet's use of light and it's ever changing qualities. The inside photos also create moods of isolation and deep reflection on the past.

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At All can be purchased from Perceval Press here:

Author Bio
Kriss Perras
Author: Kriss PerrasWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Publisher & Editor
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. Her photogrpahy has aired on CMTV channel 14 Spokane, Washington. *Photo Copyright 2017: Alan Weissman
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