PETER GREGSON: Touch – Violins: Sarah D’Angelo, Henry Flory, Eunice KimDerek Powell/ Violas: Esme Allen-Creighton, Dana Rokosny; Cello: Douglas Jameson, Bass, Ali Cook/ Synthesizer, Peter Gregson – Sono Luminus CD + Blu-ray (details below) + downloadable files DSL-92191, 49:26 (8/18/15) ****:
This disc contains eight works for analog synthesizer, violins, viola, bass and cello. Gregson is well known in new music circles, and he is also a superb cellist. Gregson has worked on many successful and innovative projects despite being rather young. He has premiered works by composers including Tod Machover, Daníel Bjarnason, Gabriel Prokofiev, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Steve Reich, and Sally Beamish. He also collaborates with many of the world’s leading technologists, including Microsoft Labs, United Visual Artists, Reactify and the MIT Media Lab.
It is sometimes hard to characterize a collection of electronic music, but I would describe the tracks as thoughtful, moody, and somewhat ethereal. I thought of it as late night music, something that would fit nicely into my own musical rhythms, but everyone has their own likes and dislikes.
To many ears, this kind of music is difficult, but I find Gregson’s music a happy exception. It’s highly listenable. Audio-wise this disc is a model of how a high resolution disc should be offered to the public, marrying physical media with downloads.
First, you get a regular CD. The second disc is a Blu-ray disc, with three mixes available. There’s a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track, with a resolution of 24/192. Then there is a 2.0 LPCM Stereo mix 24/192. Finally, there is a 9.1 Auro 3D 24/96 mix. Most people won’t have the height speakers to accommodate an Auro 3D setup, and the format is not widely popular.
In addition, the disc contains downloadable files in MP3, FLAC and WAV format. It’s a bit tricky to get these files to your computer unless your Blu-ray player is on your home network. If you have a Blu-ray player on your computer, it’s simply a matter of dragging and dropping the files into iTunes or your playback software of choice.
The recording is laid back but a stunning listen. The rear channels are active, and the stereo PCM tracks sound excellent as well, especially through some high-quality headphones.
Peter Gregson is certainly a talented musician, and I found the entire album a worthwhile musical journey. The musicianship is of a very high caliber, and the recording is of the highest standards of the recording art, something we always seem to get from Sono Luminus. Recommended!