Nau Ensemble The Eternal (Variations on Joy Division

As hard as it might be to believe, the Nau Ensemble, a chamber orchestra, has been able to capture the raw emotion associated with Joy Division’s music. The orchestra has created the same feelings that the original band did with their music — albeit in a peaceful manner. Choosing to loosely translate the songs from 1980’s Closer album, the ensemble evokes emotion with their playing that is well-timed, passionate and provocative. Much credit should be given to conductor and composer Hans Ek who managed to keep everything together to sound perfect. Going beyond Joy Division’s music to capture more than the songs, but the feelings associated with them must have been a difficult task, one he pulls off beautifully. Vocalist Coro di Bellini has a majestic voice that angels would fall in love with, which is a stark contrast to Ian Curtis. She’ll leave you wondering where she is in a song as her opera vocals are hard to follow but that doesn’t matter. Unlike Closer, The Eternal is one long song, which means you won’t be able to skip or program to favourite tracks. This is how it should be listened to. Taken as a whole, the experience should leave you oddly calm when the 60 minutes are up. Don’t be turned off by the idea that an orchestra performed Joy Division’s songs. This is very cool, and every Joy Division fan should have this in their collection but don’t expect a rendition of their punked up goth songs — this ensemble are more refined in their approach. (Atrium)