Life's a stage.
On their stage in Toronto's Harbourfront Centre Theatre and during the life of the Art of Time Ensemble, audiences have been transfixed by performances that fuse dance, visual art, spoken word, film, and the remarkable hybridization of pop, classical, chamber music and Jazz.
Led by pianist and founder Andrew Burashko, Art of Time shapes carnivals of invention, aligning their creative ingenuity with world class writers, producers, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, arrangers and musicians. Dream teams of talent like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Madeleine Peyroux, Peter Mettler and Branford Marsalis are the norm for this exquisite inventive engine.
In Jazz, spontaneity runs hand in hand with a chorus of preparation, fine tuning a balance between the spirit of improvisation against a foundation of learned musicality. Ain't Got Long, the ensemble's latest album, takes this practice to an exhilarating new level, incorporating lush cinematic soundscapes crafted from the brilliant arranging of musical savant Jonathan Goldsmith.
Carefully teasing apart everything from celebrated pop tunes to Gershwin classics, Ain't Got Long lets you hear these songs for what they often are: raw, emotive catalysts that expose an awkward beauty found within the uglier sides of humanity. Love In Vain resists cliche with melodies drawn across a tense chalkboard of mood crafted from a bleak update of Robert Johnson's original blues paired perfectly with Madeline Peyroux's vocal mawkishness.
River encrypts the loneliness of Joni Mitchell's lyrics with a strangely soothing melodic lethargy, as Jessica Mitchell's soft, somber vocals effortlessly knife through the heart of the song. Rooted in the electronic treatment of Murderer's Home, a vocal sample from the Alan Lomax Prison Songs V Collection, the album's title track pulses into a sonic hallucination, emerging as a masterful example of how Goldsmith's imagination instinctively builds and releases tension using every scrap of musical intelligence many leave on the cutting room floor.
Propping up the integrity of chamber orchestration, Goldsmith bets that you'll be hypnotized by dense clusters of strings, smartly placed instrumentals, the alluring vibe of electronics, methodical production, and the off metered ways his songs begin, unfold, and come to a close. The art of Goldsmith's particular mastery of time is resolute: audacious arrangements that are so good, so compelling, and so intriguing, they might shift the paradigm of what sustains you musically.
No label can adequately define this album. It defiantly exists to celebrate a pantheistic approach towards artistic disciplines while opening doors for the musically claustrophobic. Ain't Got Long shines through a lavish musical prism that displays every sharp, intricate, and glorious layer of what makes the Art of Time Ensemble a transcendent musical experience.
Click on the album link below to hear or purchase any of the music from Art of Time Ensemble's Ain't Got Long.