An old friend of mine, who makes part of his living as a ghost writer, once shared a story about a client he’d completed an assignment for getting into hot water. An attentive reader had spotted a passage in the piece that was a bit too much like something he’d read elsewhere.
As you can imagine, my friend was mortified. He felt only marginally better when he learned that the original piece he’d inadvertently copied was in fact also his work. He’d achieved what few writers can claim. He plagiarized himself.
Celebrated composer Benjamin Louis Brody has taken a more purposeful approach to self-reference. His new disc Far Away Music – Brody’s premier on the terrific Preserved Sound label – is sourced entirely from his previous releases.
The album’s notes explain: “When I started this project, I asked myself whether I could give my music depth perception, similar to a painting or drawing – the classic illusion of train track perspective that gives a painting a certain sense of distance,” he said.
“The music and sounds you hear could only have been created through computer technology. By manipulating the speed and texture, it has allowed me to change the perspective of the original content,” said Brody. “Far Away Music represents how I experience my work in a more personal way – it’s vast and subconscious.”
It’s a big idea, almost as big as the sound he creates on these four extraordinary pieces. His recordings have been described as both ambient and post-rock. This effort, which Brody calls “music inside of music” is majestic by comparison. Its seriousness and the impact it will have on listeners warrants a new classical label.
Brody has delivered a major work.