It’s all too rare that composers of forward-thinking music are granted access to large ensembles, much less those working in the lineage of the American Maverick. Rarer still is for one to handle these performing forces with the grace and delicacy that Brian Baumbusch exhibits throughout Effigy, his new Other Minds Records release. Effigy features performances of two previously unrecorded works by the CSU Fullerton Wind Symphony and Other Minds Ensemble, both conducted by Dustin Barr.
Effigy opens with the piece “Kings,” an homage of sorts to the American Maverick composer Lou Harrison, written for the composer’s centennial in 2017. Both artists share an affinity for gamelan-inspired rhythms, which is on full display in this work. Baumbusch expands on Harrison’s incorporation of non-western musics by bringing in raga techniques from Hindustani Classical Music. The composer includes a movement that highlights the National Steel Just Intonation Guitar, an instrument invented by Harrison himself and premiered at Other Minds Festival 8 in 2002.
“Isotropes” takes inspiration from the rhythmic experiments of Henry Cowell and Conlon Nancarrow, realizing his densely layered “polytempo” techniques by providing each player with a click track. Melodies and figures that begin in unison slowly drift apart creating what Australian ethnomusicologist Oscar Smith calls “not de-synchronization but hyper-synchronization” in his detailed liner notes to the album.
Effigy is available now as a CD with a 24 page full-color booklet and digital download available from Other Minds’s Bandcamp page and all major streaming and download platforms.
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1 · Prelude (for Whom…) [04:33]
2 · Atahualpa [07:07]
3 · Tut [02:42]
4 · Interlude (Tempo Canon for Lou Harrison) [04:06]
5 · Boru [05:46]
6 · Huangdi [04:49]
7 · Postlude (Effigy) [06:48]
Total time – 35:54
Performed by the Other Minds Ensemble
Dustin Barr, conductor
8 · Part 1 (Escalation) [05:17]
9 · Part 2 (Coronation) [06:24]
10 · Part 3 (Murmuration) [07:43]
11 · Part 4 (Reconciliation) [05:17]
Total time – 24:43
Performed by The Cal State University Fullerton Wind Symphony
Dustin Barr, conductor
© 2017, 2020,
Brian Baumbusch (ASCAP)