Music for Modern Dance, Volume 1 by Bill Storch, John Storch (Review)

This music is spirit glorified.

Voices in a stew of mystical music, flavored with Eastern spices, South American jubilation, Czechoslovakian vampires, with a helping of morning and night on the side. Or maybe a more accurate description would be that of a dance containing all the amazing architecture of the body, soul, and spirit, well-built and presented together with the dimensions of height, width, depth, and time while our plethora of musical notes and beats enwrap it all. And you’re not certain which it is; through the dance either the body, the music, or the dimensions are moving, but the others are still and unwavering. Perhaps the body is moving and the dimensions and music are the same. Or maybe it is the music that moves… but I have a suspicion that both the music and the body are the ones that remain unchanged, and height, width, depth, and time move around them.

“The Dress of Eleven Yards” takes us on a journey to somewhere in South America with a woman remembering the first time she told her mother, grandmother, and spinster aunt about the new life inside of her. This piece sounds like a modern dance. Voice, keyboards, some drums, and Spanish guitars. It then goes into the dress which is more than a dress… “I’m no faulty design. I’m no off the rack’ deal. And I’ll shake this fabric into my sky of imagination, a parachute for longing, a nightgown of my dreams.” “Dawning” and “Twilight” take us on a synthesizer sleigh ride. Never stopping the sleigh, we always carry the sound of the blades through the snow while the musical scenery goes from a peaceful tranquil winter wonderland to a windswept barren land in the midst of a blizzard.

“The Grove” takes us to India where we hold our breaths for fear of waking the dead and we listen to the forbidden story which the teller so aptly weaves. “Heard to whisper, when they stand in groups, in voices of the dead, a thousand tales unravel from the roots they send to earth…” A beloved daughter, boys waiting for her in a borrowed car, 3 kids on a joyride, and a reckless 3 hung from a banyan tree. A man also hanging in a tree by his teeth faced with a question, able to answer only at his death. A friend who loves the banyan tree and it’s half-forgotten face… a chilly story. Chilly music.

Forgotten spaces… and the music that reminds us of them. Would that I had but a glimpse of the visual to go with this audio experience! The Demetrius Klein Dance Company would do well here. In truth, I wonder if I see more easily in my mind the pictures of this modern dance, as I myself am a teacher and lover of dance.

Here in this Music for Modern Dance, we find the beats, pulses, and rhythms with thoughts so creatively expressed, layered with organs, xylophones, tambourines, and a variety of voices. What else can I say that has not already been said for this music that has not already been heard? You have probably heard it’s elements before, that is nothing of interest. So how can I explain this to you? “Illusion! Underneath there lies the common life of the everyday; Only the spirit glorifies with it’s own tints the sober grey” (Longfellow). This music is spirit glorified.

Written by Tricia Krull.

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