Piano Music for a Post-Ironic Age
Nicholas Vines composer
Ryan MacEvoy McCullough composer
Nicholas Vines presents HIPSTER ZOMBIES FROM MARS, his third PARMA Recordings album. This collection of three major piano works by Dr. Vines was recorded on location at Cornell University with artist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough at the piano. For all of the flash one might expect from the album title, Vines bypasses gimmickry in order to capture something sophisticated.
Standouts include the four-movement Terraformation for pianoforte, inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson’s science-fiction novel “Red Mars.” Vines depicts the technology’s influence on nature by lifting traditional classical forms and acclimating them to a modernist viewpoint. McCullough captivates the listener with his careful attention to the futuristic timeline into which Vines’ tone clusters have been poetically mapped.
Indie Ditties: Twelve Scapes for Piano is a social commentary on the modern hipster movement. The multi-genre piano melodies are thoughtfully constructed, telling a story that is both interesting and musically complex.
Concentrating carefully, a keen listener will hear familiar incidental phrases in the most unexpected of places (hint: Movement III, Bad Appletude is not about produce). Vines describes his compositional technique as “ firmly rooted in the technical resources of the Western classical canon, while embracing sounds and ideas from an array of popular, experimental, Australian and non-Western traditions. This combination of rigour and pluralism gives rise to music at once vectored and kaleidoscopic.”
Popular media outlets have called the work of Dr. Nicholas Vines “exquisite,” “riveting,” “arresting,” “edgy, bright and entertaining as hell.” HIPSTER ZOMBIES FROM MARS does not fail to deliver on these accolades.