"Orchestral romantic minimalism" from Mychael Danna
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It seems ironic, but Mychael Danna's most beautiful and subtly orchestrated music to date was inspired by the unrelenting monochromatic greyness and the timeless grandeur of the great Canadian skyscape. "Skys originated from a series of photographs I took on a spring trip in 1986," says Mychael Danna. "The relentless rain and fog over wet sand dunes made for poor sunbathing, but left a strong and distinctively moody impression in my mind of these skies which dominated the landscape."
Though originally planned as a suite of pieces for orchestra, in working them out on an inexpensive digital sampling keyboard Danna became quite attached to a certain murky string sound which conveyed precisely the mood he was looking for. In the final production, oboe, flute, cello, clarinet and trumpet were recorded live using classical musicians, but the digitized string section remains in all its rough glory.
Danna calls the resulting style "orchestral romantic minimalism" - the repetition of small melodic/harmonic cells, rendered with deep feeling, evoking the timeless grandeur of the great Canadian skyscape.