26 September 2023

What The Nightbird Told The Wanderer

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, VICO 2011-2021.

I normally avoid reviewing classical music because it’s a style of music that I have insufficient knowledge to write with clarity about.

Having said that, I have always enjoyed the mix of rock music and orchestras and particularly orchestral music blended with various world music genres.

The VICO is a leader amongst the many orchestras working in this area.

What The Nightbird Told The Wanderer is a celebratory project that has been a decade in the making.

In 2011 the VICO celebrated its 10 year anniversary by performing two major concerts: Classical Meets Intercultural and Orchestral Evolution.

Both of these projects combined classical European orchestral sensibilities with intercultural world music.

These concerts were extremely popular and while the VICO was riding the crest of euphoria they recorded both Nightbird Singing by Mark Armanini and Dreams Of The Wanderer by Moshe Denburg but never got around to finishing either project.

Heavy schedules and packed programmes meant that the incomplete recordings sat on the shelf until, 10 years later – when the VICO was about to celebrate its 20 year anniversary, the original composers, Mark and Moshe, revisited the recordings and teamed up with producer/engineer Sheldon Zaharko to do the mixing and mastering.

The two pieces blend together beautifully and the mix of traditional folk instruments combined with the power of a full orchestra is wonderful.

The VICO has also released its first full-length studio album, Performances In The Key Of The World (2020), which also celebrates their 20th anniversary.

The members play traditional instruments from China, Vietnam, Persia and India, as well as European instruments.

If orchestral music with a twist is your thing, then I’m sure that you will enjoy these albums.

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