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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Alan Brown: Composure

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Alan Brown: Composure

Alan Brown ’s latest release is a direct follow-up from his 2015 album ‘Silent Observer’, using tracks from the same 2014 recording session in the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber.

Mixing is again by Brown and Paul Streekstra, with mastering done by Angus McNaughton. ‘Composure’ continues to embrace the use of the sonic environment as an added element for his improvised compositions.

It begins with one of the few tracks where Brown is not adding synths and sounds and textures in post-production: Form Of The Dream incorporates a synth track generated by the Brian Eno/Peter Chilvers Scape app, which Brown improvised over. The result is an ambient, resonant, dreamy soundscape that meanders through time.

There’s little sign of Brown’s jazz roots throughout, rather ‘Composure’ revels in improvisation free of any genre labels. While the use of post-production synth tracks could potentially veer into the ambient, those elements are there to enhance the free-ranging acoustic improvisation, rather than tie the album to a genre.

As I’ve noted before about Brown’s other improvisatory work, he excels at creating audio moods and textures that really should be snapped up by movie makers. And really ‘Composure’ could be a soundtrack in and of itself as there is a clear narrative of mood that guides the form of this 12-track album. 

www.alanbrown.co.nz