Title - 'The Blue Notebooks'
Artist - Max Richter
For those not in the classical know, Max Richter is a German-born, British composer who has spearheaded a renewed interest in neo-classical composition and the convergence of contemporary classical and alternative popular musical styles since the early 2000s.
Richter is classically trained, having graduated in composition from the Royal Academy of Music and studied with Luciano Berio in Italy, but he is influenced equally by punk and popular forms of electronic music.
The Blue Notebooks, which was Richter's second solo album (2004), lies somewhere between minimal music, movie soundtracks, ambient and trip-hop! Ergo, this sophomore album is a veritable musical masterpiece. It's almost like a soundtrack to a film; it's very visual. It has a lot of Phillip Glass-like slow repetitive string-arrangements, but, for my money, is much more interesting to listen to.
Using piano, cello, violin and viola, alongside electronic beats (made using a variety of antique electronics and Reaktor), spoken word passages and the occasional field recording (including a very realistic crow that you probably think comes from your garden); other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders.
For those wanting more, to mark this 10th anniversary of its release, Richter created a track by track commentary for Drowned in Sound, in which he described the album as a series of interconnected dreams and an exploration of the chasm between lived experience and imagination.