Roman Mints - Game Over
Violin and electronics has become a much favoured medium: Pierre Boulez’s magisterial Anthèmes II comes to mind but, as these pieces demonstrate, Roman Mints is intent on something more immediately expressive. Irish composer Ed Bennett’s Sometimes it rains draws on traditional Chinese violin techniques, while String Factory deploys Mints’s playing in the opposing of live and recorded sound that veers between the meditative and aggressive.
The other pieces are by Russian composers featured in the Homecoming Chamber Music Festival that Mints co-founded in Moscow. Taras Buevsky’s Largo recitare is an elegiac reflection on transience, whereas Alexander Raikhelson’s Criptophonic Piece embodies the concept of ‘homecoming’ in music whose plangency recalls Schnittke. Most impressive are the works by Artem Vassiliev: Story 1 has the violin as observer of an eventful sequence of incidents related by the tape; an abstract scenario that Game Over resourcefully extends through its inclusion of oboe and piano as ‘other voices’, and by the belated emergence of confrontational electronics.
Mints is to be commended for such an enterprising disc, recorded with pristine clarity and aided by informative notes. I look forward to hearing more from this source.