The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us

Good things come in fives
Jacob TV
David Biedenbender
Rob Deemer
Gregory Wanamaker
John Steinmetz
Akropolis Reed Quintet
Tim Gocklin
Kari Dion
Matt Landry
Andrew Koeppe
Ryan Reynolds
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Northville, MI

Release Date: 
Mar 24, 2017
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

The Space Between Us is the third studio release from Akropolis Reed Quintet, a group with a singular instrumentation, well on its way to redefining how modern wind chamber music groups present classical music. It’s an album about conflict and resolution, a story of how art and its reflection on life can bring people together.

It opens with the first studio recording of Jacob TV’s “Jesus Is Coming” for reed quintet, a composition that juxtaposes fragments of speech and babble against traditional chamber writing. It’s followed by four Akropolis commissioned works. A raucous amalgam of influences, David Biedenbender’s Refraction by turns evokes heavy metal, the vocal music of Guillaume de Machaut, and dubstep. The delicate, often meditative “Gallimaufry” by Rob Deemer belies the chaos implied by the title, while title track The Space Between Us by Gregory Wanamaker explores changing relationships through language, texture, color, and harmony. The album closes with John Steinmetz’s “Sorrow and Celebration,” which imitates a ceremony or ritual, calling people together to mourn and rejoice.

Formed in 2009 at the University of Michigan and winner of the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary imaginative musical adventures. They have commissioned more than 25 new reed quintet works, published a catalog of original and arranged reed quintet sheet music, and have garnered more than 22,000 online views for the Web Premiere video series of new reed quintet repertoire. Akropolis injects its dynamic repertoire into communities and schools around the country, and in 2015 won the Fischoff Educator Award. The group was recently awarded two grants from Chamber Music America and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for a January 2017 community residency in Detroit.



“By turns frenetic and soulful, the five pieces on this new release plunge a listener sharply into the world of the Akropolis Reed Quintet, a sharp, sleek ensemble out of the University of Michigan. Four of the pieces were commissioned by the group, and they share a fondness for funky rhythms, angular textures and slightly aggressive rhetoric — all of which might make the disc a little wearying in the aggregate if the music weren’t so shapely and smart. Moreover, the lyrical episodes that are scattered throughout — particularly the slow movements of the title work by Gregory Wanamaker, and John Steinmetz’s concluding “Sorrow & Celebration,” which calls for participation from the audience — are pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace. Leading off is the startling, ingenious “Jesus Is Coming” by the Dutch composer known as Jacob TV, which builds densely layered textures from taped samples of two small children and a terrifyingly unhinged New York street preacher. It’s a piece you can’t unhear.” - Joshua Kosman



“The mixture of chamber music and jazz serves up some interesting ideas in the hands of Tim Gocklin/oboe, Matt Landry/sax, Ryan Reynolds/bassoon, Andrew Koeppe/bcl and Kari Landry/cl. The eleven compositions over a wide waterfront of sounds and moods, ranging from a modern theatrical mood with voices on “Jesus Is Coming”  to lovely floating and pastoral reeds melding with delight on “Kyrie for Machaut and Part: and modern classical musings on “Goat Rodeo.” There are some glassy and glossy textures as the reeds coalesce for rich harmonies on “Gallimaufry” , and Reynolds’ bassoon is rich on “Sorrow & Celebration…” whereas the horns turn into sirens on the jarring “The More We Change” and get eerie on “”Death Metal Chicken.” Lots of ideas and concepts, some take you on significant journeys.” [FULL ARTICLE] - George Harris


"Does it sound disrespectful to say a new music release can be a highly entertaining listen? I hope not, because I was entertained, cajoled, intrigued, and transported in probably equal measures by The Space Between, the new release from the Akropolis Quintet." [FULL ARTICLE] - Anya Wassenberg