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Michael Mizrahi

The Bright Motion

(New Amsterdam; US: 29 May 2012; UK: 8 May 2012)

With a remarkable consistency in releasing challenging and gorgeous “indie classical” music, the New Amsterdam label rarely disappoints. This collection of solo piano compositions performed by Michael Mizrahi, entitled The Bright Motion, only adds another ace to its sterling record. On the spectrum of relaxing and technically uncompromising, this leans more toward the latter, as each piece is focused on exploring the various aspects of piano playing in depth.


Ryan Brown’s “Four Pieces for Solo Piano” twiddles around the high end of the register, with fragmentary melodies and chords dancing in tandem, producing marvelous results. Meanwhile, the seven and a half minutes that make up Patrick Burke’s dizzying “Unravel” are build around an ostinato chord pattern which pops up in between seemingly random melodic lines and brooding low-end chords. Those looking for a more straightforward piano study will find much of this inaccessible, but for anyone with a taste for adventurous composition, this is a goldmine.

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Brice Ezell is the Assistant Editor of PopMatters, where he also reviews music, film, and books, which he has done since 2011. He also is the creator of PopMatters' Notes on Celluloid column, which covers the world of film music. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour", was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.


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Michael Mizrahi - "The Superstar Etude No. 1"
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