Ryan Teague Coins & Crosses

In the world of synthesised sound a composer with a well appointed hard drive can deliver a multi-instrument soundtrack without ever crossing paths with another musician. That can tend to be a little antiseptic, though. Ryan Teague is getting his hands dirty with the Cambridge Philharmonic and Cinematic Orchestra harpist Rhodri Davies to find the convergent paths of acoustic and electronic music. After a brief fanfare the title track unfurls, a little queasily close to new age with wind chimes and Davies’s harp tinkling and singing like pixies. The preciousness is never completely excised from the album, with animated pomp explosion of "Tableau I” knocking against the inflated acoustic grandeur of "Fantasia for Strings.” Finally on "Accidia” things settle into a good chocolate/peanut butter groove, with the windswept strings weeping over a grinding pulse and Morse code electronics. "Seven Keys” is a Hitchcock-ready dirge for encroaching darkness and double-dealings. At its best, Teague’s work touches upon the minimalism of Reich, Bryars and even Aphex Twin. Those not unseated by the romantic swelling will find a rich sound world to sit through. (Productions Virage)