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Eos Ensemble, The/Sheffer, Jonathan – “Music of Paul Bowles, The” – [Catalyst]

Naysayer   5/3/2016   A Library, CD

Paul Bowles: living in Morocco, writing novels depicting extreme violence, hero to the Beat Generation. But did you know this man composed music? The early part of his career he was one of the most sought after individuals to compose incidental music for Broadway and for independent films. This collection of Bowles music, (from 1995) as performed by The Eos Ensemble, was one of the first recordings made of his work for over 50 years since it was first written or performed. Five pieces, broken up into smaller sections, come from 1932 to 1949. They are light, airy pieces of orchestrated classical sounds, very much referencing his work in theater. It is all so upbeat that it makes a listener wonder if this is really Bowles. Yet it is. And it makes sense, in a way. Definitely a man who carved his own path. The two pieces with words, “The Wind Remains” based on Federico Garcia Lorca and “Secret Words”, talk of longing, loss, and the inability to be happy being who you are. A wonderful addition to the collection from one of the mainstays of the early to mid 20th century avant garde.

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