Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek – Seeker

seekerPolitical risk guru Ian Bremmer made news today with his firm’s Top Risks for 2018 forecast. The president of Eurasia Group, writing with the company’s chairman Cliff Kupchan, warns us that our “global order is unravelling.”

“The scale of the world’s political challenges is daunting,” they write in an introduction up on eurasiagroup.net. “Liberal democracies have less legitimacy than at any time since World War II, and most of their structural problems don’t appear fixable. Today’s strongest leaders show little interest in civil society or common values.”

Bremmer and Kupchan continue: “In the 20 years since we started Eurasia Group, the global environment has had its ups and downs. But if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis – the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown – it feels like 2018.”

On that uplifting note, a new release from Aaron Martin and Rutger Zuydervelt (a.k.a. Machinefabriek) works as a kind of soundtrack for the state of things. That’s not what it’s intended to be. Seeker has quite a different back story, in fact.

The two collaborated on a score for choreographer Iván Pérez’s dance work Hide and Seek in 2012. This album features “refined versions of the first sketches we made, trying out how our sounds would blend, and what directions and atmospheres could be used in the dance performance” explains Zuydervelt in the release’s notes. The full 53-minute score is also featured.

Their inspired collaboration produced a major work. Seeker is more than a dance score. Its tension, its juxtaposition of Martin’s stirring cello performance with Zuydervelt’s masterful additions is engrossing.

If it’s true that the world will unravel in 2018, this is what it will sound like. Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek may have intended to produce a soundtrack for Hide and Seek. They’ve achieved a great deal more.

Kevin Press

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