Jeremiah Cymerman: Citadels & Sanctuaries (5049 Records, 2021)

August 24, 2021 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jeremiah Cymerman: Citadels & Sanctuaries

New York clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman’s latest album consists of ten pieces, each dedicated to a composer which made a crucial impact on his development as a musician. He describes it as a “coming of age” album, as it coincides with his 40th birthday. Recorded at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works, there’s a resonant space to these recordings, and while the first piece seems to bask in that space, he cuts through it with some of the harsher pieces. He has a commanding presence which still seems to emerge from ether. “Spheres of Humanity (for Alvin Lucier)” takes you by surprise in how abrasive it gets, and “The Absolute and Its Tearing (for Horațiu Rădulescu)” is much more shrill and piercing, eventually becoming more jarring through electronic processing effects. By contrast, pieces like “Broken Language (For Morton Feldman)” and “Knot of Breath (for Mario Diaz de Léon)” are both icy and vaporous. “With the Old Breed (for Nate Wooley)” is a brief flush of noise that seems to be clearing something out from the artist’s system. “Manifesto (for Iancu Dumitrescu)” is a much longer piece which seems intent on droning in a straight line at first, but then ends up becoming jagged and noisy. “Conscious Faith (for Evan Parker)” has some sharp vibrations as well as some metallic clangs reflecting throughout the space. Cymerman’s own personality is evident throughout the album, but the dedications make it easier to dissect his influences.

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