Published Mar 13, 2017U.K. electronic music producer Emika's first symphonic work, Melanfonie, was funded via Kickstarter — to the tune of €25,000. That kind of green buys a lot of studio time. Apparently, it also buys you all 50 pieces of the Prague Metropolitan Orchestra and the extraordinary soprano Michaela Šrůmová.
Credit Emika for pulling it all together. Four years in the making, Melanfonie is her composition, an attempt, she says, to focus listeners' attention on the players and their instruments rather than the dusty rulebook of classical music.
She's accomplished that. The strings bring Philip Glass to mind on "Destiny" and "The Miracle," and there's a deeply romantic feel to "Finally Free." But the centre of attention throughout is Šrůmová; her voice is otherworldly. You may cringe when she belts out the lyric, "the voice of an angel," but it's an indiscretion you'll forgive soon enough. (It's not her fault a composer asked her to sing a line that she personifies.)
Melanfonie is a good first crossover effort for Emika, a significant accomplishment worthy of praise, if not an all-out triumph. (Emika Records)