Greg Haines: Digressions
The Preservation label presents Digressions, the third album from British composer Greg Haines.
The genesis for Digressions began when Greg was engaged to work with a school orchestra in Britain, the aim to get its players thinking about different approaches to composition and sound. At the end of his time with the students the piece they had worked on was recorded, which Greg then shaped further and added to until it eventually became Digressions. The orchestra became source material for Greg’s own compositional essence of neo-classical colours and experimental contrasts.
Like the work of Arvo Pärt, these pieces build and swell on graceful shapes of orchestral movements. In Greg’s hands, they are rendered with nuance by processing and microtonal sounds that work like brushstrokes against their force, creating shifting harmonies, glimmers of melody and highly emotive listening. Invoking a curious beauty that also mirrors the expansive atmospheres of Christian Fennesz and the like, Digressions> is sweeping and symphonic in its unfolding.
Having lived in Berlin for many years now, Greg’s work is also able to encompass performances from a range of talented and well-known friends also living in that city – Digressions features composer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick, as well recording work from Dustin O’Halloran.
The album was also mixed and mastered by native resident Nils Frahm. Such contributions help engender the grandeur of Greg’s work as much as its subtlety. However, it’s the poignancy and spirit Greg has invested into Digressions that stands as what makes it a truly captivating work.