Reviewed by Rupert Loydell
Chris Lemons is a Christian experimental classical composer based in Chicago, Illinois. His first CD release contains two tracks, the brief (seven minute!) "Control" and the 31 minute epic "Refugee". Each combine a rock band - guitar by Lemons, with saxophone, bass, drums and synthesizer, with a string ensemble of four violins, two cellos and two violas. The music draws on progressive art-rock, contemporary 'mainstream' classical works and also the more minimalist composers such as Glass and Reich; although the overall sound is, to these ears, more symphonic than the latter's rhythm-driven works. Drawn out bowed guitar (or perhaps it's amplified cello) gives way to dense guitar solos, all over symphonic backing. This music is driving and intense, never static or dull. I found it slightly dated -very reminiscent of Yes guitar solos at times, or Henry Cow's more formal moments, but interesting and worthwhile nevertheless. If you're interested in new Christian musicians working in different musical areas, then I recommend Lemons to you.
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