Michael Galasso High Lines

American violinist Michael Galasso is an elusive figure and a quintessential musical nomad who has rarely recorded under his own name; up until now, he’s best known for his musical contributions to Robert Wilson’s theatrical productions. High Lines, Galasso’s first solo album in two decades, is a crisscross of musical influences and obsessions, in which classical violin bumps up against country fiddling, American minimalism meets the blues, and Persian music gets shredded by epic Hendrix rock guitar. A succession of musical landscapes bleed into each other: waves wash over beaches; rugged journeys across deserts, oceans and mountains; the cumulative pain and wonder of travel. Galasso nicely summarises the album’s contradictions in his comments on the track "Swan Pond,” in that he wanted to "create a sense of false beauty,” turning a delicate musical idea into a "dark pond, as we proceeded to destroy it.” It’s stoically beautiful music, across which guitarist Terje Rypdal scorches like a meteor — his backwards-guitar weirdness on "Gorge Green” alone is worth the price of admission. (ECM)