Michael Torke (1961, American)

I’m not always well-inclined towards the kind of tonal repetitive, jazz and/or rock and/or dance-music-inspired repetitive minimalism that acquired much vogue and following in the early decades of the new millenium. It’s not the repetition I dislike and not the tonality, but the saccharine harmonies and moods that often seem to go with it. I’m ambivalent about Torke. At its best (which is often in his early years, when he and his music were still fresh and young), it is (as I said in one of my reviews) “dynamic, bouncy, rhythmic, dance-like, joyful, propulsive, loud, exuberant, ubpeat, entertaining“. But, like Phil Glass, with success came laziness, and Torke started to… repeat, and repeat. And, as I titled another one of my reviews, “what’s missing under the repetition and the repetition of the repetition is true substance, going beyond the merely ‘entertaining’“.

I still have to transfer my Torke reviews from Amazon.com.

Chalk for string quartet (1992). Balanescu Quartet in Balanescu Quartet plays David Byrne , Robert Moran, John Lurie, Michael Torke. Argo 436 565-2 (1992). “16 minutes might seem too long, but in fact it is that very length that makes it doggedness interesting.

Comments are welcome