Nick Storring Gardens

Nick StorringGardens
Toronto-based [and, full disclosure: former Exclaim! contributor - Ed.] Nick Storring's deeply rooted love for all things musical is reflected in his outright fecundity and unflagging ardour. As a composer, his extensive body of work has been programmed by a wide swathe of ensembles and presenters. As a cellist, he performs in outlets as diverse as the five-piece chamber ensemble Bespoken and the out-rock group Picastro. He's interested in weird dance music, non-Western folk forms, electroacoustic improvisation and experimental pop tunes. Storring is one-of-a-kind, someone whose enthusiasm and talent combine in wondrous ways, and with fascinating results.

Gardens, his sophomore solo release, is what the composer refers to as an informal tribute to the orchestral psychedelic soul of the late Charles Stepney. To realize such a panegyric sound, Storring employed over 60 different instruments, creating a bizarre yet entrancing melange of chamber music, globe-trotting melodies, psychedelic textures and free improvisation. He has produced a genre-defying body of sound that is taut yet complex, deep yet playful, spread dutifully across five pieces of varying duration. The sheer ambition Storring demonstrates through painstakingly composing and arranging this work is commendable on its own. That the ultimate result is so utterly gorgeous is almost beyond words. (Scissor Tail Editions)