DAN JOSEPHArchaea (Mutable Music 17525-2, US 2006)

Released in 2006 by New York City-based label Mutable Music, Archaea, consists of three extended chamber works performed by the Dan Joseph Ensemble: Tom Chiu (violin), Michael Lowenstern (clarinet), Marija Ilic (harpsichord), Loren Dempster (cello), Danny Tunick (percussion) and the composer on hammer dulcimer. Influenced most directly by the first generation minimalists, Joseph’s works offer a different voice to the idiom with his unique sense of timbre, intricate rhythms and unexpected formal turns. Equal parts East coast and West coast, Appalachian and Balkan, Rock and Baroque, Archaea is characterized by its immediate beauty, positive spirit and exhilarating drive.

Selected Press:

Archaea is an intriguing contemporary minimalist album……a sophisticated and beautifully performed personal expression……as vibrant as Phillip Glass’s early works: it is fresh, young, and perfectly straddles that fine line of pop new music on which Glass, Riley, Reich, Hassel, Eno, and others rode to fame in the 1960s and ’70s……a great way to introduce new composition to younger ears, and to lighten the soul of the jaded listener.” Musicworks (Canada)

“I put this on an was transported…….The first reference was the Penguin Café Orchestra – the sound, vibrancy, joy and tempo. Then I realised that this was minimalism of a high order…….. A fabulous album.”
Ampersand (USA)

“Through and through, this is an outstanding release.”  GAZ-ETA | recenzje (Poland)

“For Joseph, Archaea knocks one out of the park, meeting Mutable Music’s worthy goal of releasing music that will “engage the mind and the heart,” as well as providing an example of everything that can go deliciously right with minimalist work.”  Startling Moniker (USA)

“I played this with curiosity and fell in love with this. Especially the first two pieces, ‘Percussion And Strings’ and ‘Archaea Quartet’ are great. It’s an odd mixture of minimalism, along Steve Reich’s early seventies works (like ‘Octet’, but then without any wind instruments), oriental (eastern Europe), baroque and even mediaeval at times.”  Vital Weekly (USA)

“What is clear to me in Dan Joseph’s pieces is how he tries different ideas of minimalism….the performance by the group is brilliant, precise and fluent at the same time. Especially the first two pieces show rewarding and fresh ideas.”  Radioshow “PSYCHE v/h FOLK.” (Belgium)

Recorded at Spin Recording Studios, LIC, NY, July 20-21, 2005. Engineered by Nik Chinboukas. Mastering by Tom Hamilton. Photos by Chris Woltmann. CD design by Carin Fortin.

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