Orison

Composers: 
Christopher Campbell
Performers: 
Chris Campbell
Steven Copes
Eunice Kim
Hyobi Sim
Sara Pajunen
Peter Bregman
Claire Campbell
Joe Johnson
Jacqueline Ultan
Rebecca Merblum
Ted Olsen
Grant Cutler
Todd Reynolds
Dave King
Catalog Number: 
#1 001
Genre: 
new music
Collection: 
strings
percussion
organ
Release Date: 
May 28, 2021
Vinyl
One Sheet: 

Orison is a sound prayer and meditation in seven parts. Composer Chris Campbell originally conceived Orison as a spatial piece within a “sacred space”. He envisioned presenting it in a church or a Zen center with performers, visual media, and planes of sound inhabiting different zones or rooms throughout the space. This album is the linear, “concert version” of that original conception, recorded with a large ensemble.

The music is phantasmagoric, moving and shifting fluidly from one part to the next. Its timbres and lines dovetail and transform, moving through time into new forms, but always retaining some essence of their previous identity as they blossom into the next textural idea or sonic image.

For Campbell, creating this music has been a way to process the world around him, things rising up and falling away. It’s been a way to bear witness to cycles and events, both macro and intimate. 

Chris Campbell is a collaborator, composer, producer, and the Director of Recordings at innova recordings/ACF. Praised as “heady, possessing elements of post-Minimalism, avant-garde rock, jazz and global fusion styles that mingle and merge with dreamlike mutability”…(The New York Times) and “a surreal (or super-real?) vortex…(Gramophone), Campbell’s music is focused on ritual and sonic texture, and how sound can transform space.

In addition to his own music, Campbell has either produced or worked directly on the promotion and distribution of over 300 projects and albums (2 of them Grammy winners).

Reviews: 

APPLE MUSIC - NEW IN CLASSICAL PLAYLIST

a playlist of all the best new classical music- from contemporary recordings of older works to new works pushing the conversation forward.”

WMBR NEW EDGE

"This is deep and thoughtful music - an extended work that covers much sonic territory. Campbell and his exemplary musicians have created a unique and compelling narrative of beauty in harmony & dissonance." - Ken Field, composer/musician & host of The New Edge

HAULIX DAILY 

"Most music is trying to sell you an idea or lifestyle. The songs you hear on the radio or recommended through algorithmic playlists try to figure out what you want and then sell it to you. It’s a good racket if you can manage to write things that are both catchy and vague enough to be twisted into an auditory sales funnel, but it’s not for everyone. Chris Campbell, for example, has almost nothing to sell. His music asks that we take a look within. He’s writing meditative arrangements meant to deepen your understanding of self. Orison is a seven-track exploration of consciousness and awareness that pleads with us to break from society and focus — at least momentarily — on our well-being as individuals. Campbell understands that we need one another to get by, but first, we must learn to love ourselves. Orison is the soundtrack for overdue self-care and healing. Please don’t take it for granted."

STICKING IT TO YOU REVIEWS

“This is one SPECTACULAR project! The album contains some of Chris’ most beautiful works. Deep, Dark, Diverse, Urgent, Impactful.” - Collin J. Rae

ANEARFUL

"Orison" is a perfect title, but "oasis" would work, too, for the way Campbell's music clears space in the mind. Although there are fewer daily shocks in 2021 than in 2020, this still feels just like what the doctor ordered. During the years of its composition, Campbell came to think of the piece as "a companion" and this listener feels the same. Keep it close. [FULL ARTICLE]

Q ON STAGE 

"Chris Campbell’s latest release, “Orison”, is, according to the composer's liner notes, “a spatial piece within a sacred space…with planes of sound inhabiting different zones or rooms throughout the space.” The word itself means “prayer” or “plea to a deity” and, in this time when many prayers have gone out, it seems to be an aptly timed meditation. 
Beginning with Orison: I. “Parallels, Threading Light” it arises with an opening like a sunrise–the cello and violins providing the first glimpses of light. From Orison: III.  “Ten Thousand Streams (Forward Motion)” with the opening dry restlessness of percussion giving us the flavor of water’s movement, to the threnody of Orison: IV. “Streams to Source, Object to Origin” and throughout the entire CD, lovers of contemporary classical will find a worthy companion to join them on a walk through the local park. This is a four-seasons work that will give flavor to a hike, add pace to your Couch to 5K sprint to goal and, if you are on a driving trip this summer, interstate highways will never have sounded so good!" [FULL ARTICLE]

TAKE EFFECT 

"The esteemed composer and producer Chris Campbell takes on a mammoth project here, where members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus) and violinist Todd Reynolds, among many others, flesh out what Campbell calls a ‘sound prayer and meditation in 7 parts’. “Parallels, Threading Light” starts the listen with soft, emotive strings as the setting turns darker with firm keys and a precise tension, and “Rotating Light Mirrors The Water” follows with great use of restrained drumming amid a mysterious ambience that bursts in a busy display of pulsating, cinematic qualities. In the middle, “Streams To Source, Object To Origin” relies on warm piano alongside quivering strings that embraces both minimal and maximal ideas into its adventurous spirit, while “Ten Thousand Streams (Retrograde)” flows with proficient drumming and sonic manipulation that showcases Campbell’s inimitable vision.Close to the end, “Rotating Hymns” is an ominous album standout with much beauty in its meticulous nature, and “Ground Calls Out To The Sky” exits the listen with nods to classical music amid ebbs of calm gesturing and even dreamy moments of sublime layering. Campbell is well versed in post-minimalism, avant-garde rock, jazz and global fusion, and traces of orchestral, chamber and classical are also present on this highly creative harmonic, twisted and even inspiring listen." [FULL ARTICLE]

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“Expressed in a gorgeous spatio-temporal flow…I feel I am in the presence of a latter-day Berg—It is orchestrationally ravishing and beautifully absorbing.” [FULL ARTICLE] - Grego Edwards