Wollschleger / Bearthoven - American Dream | RECORD STORE DAY

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The members of Bearthoven (pianist Karl Larson, double bassist Pat Swoboda, and percussionist Matt Evans) are a piano trio in the jazz sense of the term, but in practice, they're a progressive classical ensemble that has become an expressive vehicle for a growing contingent of young composers. The trio's second release on Cantaloupe Music, American Dream, focuses on the work of composer Scott Wollschleger, and includes three new pieces: the epic title work, as well as Gas Station Canon Song and We See Things That Are Not There. Larson describes American Dream as "a reflection of the contemporary American state of mind." Rather than making a direct political statement, the album reflects the contradictory nature of the "American Dream" in our current socio-economic climate. "This music expresses the strongest sense of urgency I've experienced in my entire life," Wollschleger explains, "channeling feelings of doom, optimism, hopelessness, and the sublime. Much like a dream, these pieces weave an interconnected musical fabric of contradictory worlds." In essence, it's a direct reference to a modern American paradox: how the majestic and the repellent always seem to coexist in a state of flux, no matter the medium. American Dream is laden with rich melodies and jarring dissonances that interconnect throughout, creating a sonic experience that's by turns cinematic, surreal, contemplative, provocative - and ultimately, empowering.