Album Review: Richard Carr | Over the Ridge | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Richard Carr  | Over the Ridge

(Neuma Records)

During the downtime of 2020, Rosendale composer Richard Carr went old school. Pen to paper, he overruled decades of digitizing by constructing a dozen melodic pieces for string quartet, a third of them improvised. Hitting the violin himself on half the tracks, he recruited a smart, young string squad: violinists Laura Lutzke and Ravenna Lipchik, violist Caleb Burhans, and cellist Clarice Jensen. From there, the quartet embraced emergent structure—musical architecture coming from process itself with no predestined form—to build a set of slowly mutating modern pieces. With its effervescent moods and varying song species, this brave achievement is more for deep listeners rather than casual ones, due to its unpredictability, as the beautifully buoyant and wandering (“Processional,” “Dawn Crossing”) slams head-on into the plucky and playful (“Early Departure,” “Over the Ridge”) and the hefty and rambunctious (“Terrace Dancing,” “Funiculare”). Take the risk, but be prepared for a heady ride.

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