Max Richter

24 Postcards In Full Colour (FatCat, 2009)

24 Postcards… is ostensibly an excercise in taking the long-form composition we expect from classical music and fitting it into that most modern musical framework: the ringtone. Richter challenges the notion that this medium cannot be used for creativity and redefines our expectation of what classical instrumental music is.

Traditional acoustic instruments are joined by tape loops and ambient noise experiments to create these remarkable vignettes that when taken alone feel like snapshots; incomplete, cut-0ff artefacts filled with intrigue and shadowed by the sense of a larger scene. Taken together, they feel like documentation of an individual life, their abrupt ends and evocative titles (‘A Sudden Manhattan Of The Mind’, ‘From 553 W Elm Street, Logan Illinois (snow)’) inviting you to fill in the gaps.

For me, it conjurs up grainy, cinematic images of cityscapes an urban landscape slowly passing outside a smogged-up train window, a view filled with experiences that are just out of reach but enough to capture your imagination for a moment, before something else comes into view to fleetingly take hold of you. There’s so much contained in these tiny, vivid pieces that they may evoke something entirely different in you.

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