Vista view classical folk.
I did wonder if a pandemic may mean Max LL would not be able to write music about different places or cultures but with his new EP ‘Andes’ released this week, I have been proven wrong. Ever the geographical composer, this harks back to an earlier trip to Peru and Bolivia. Along the way, he purchased a ronroco and a charango – two types of South American guitar. These are the main instruments of the EP.
Across the five tracks, Max LL weaves delicate hazy melodies with these two guitars. The production is mostly quite airy in a way that lets the fingerpicked nature of the music breathe and enjoy its reverb. In tracks like ‘Twilight’, a small ominous synth haze seeps in as if to warn us of the beauty that the music holds. With a careful piano plink and a warm aural synth, the worries fade but never go away. It is always beautiful though. The interplay of guitar and piano of ‘Sajama’ and ‘Andes’ are both perfectly pitched to be curious and evocative. ‘Rain in Salar’ is whimsical and the shimmering guitars evoke a rainy sound. Closer ‘Una Sola Vez’ is the most delicate of the collection. Fluttering like bird wings, the guitars and piano serenely envelop the listener like a stream of water. Soothing and calming, it is a lovely end to the EP.
Who knows where Max LL will be travelling too next but over the last few years, he has become a favourite composer of mine as he pulls from various traditional instruments and weaves them into contemporary classical adventures. An underrated and under-appreciated composer of our times.
Recommended track: Una Sola Vez
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