Eddie Lascu 14-May-2008 With Form It Threatens Silence

"With Form It Threatens Silence" is the third solo release of musician and composer Kurt Rongey, following “Book in Hand” (released in 1991) and the critically acclaimed “That Was Propaganda” (released in 2000). Rongey is also a full time member of the progressive rock band The Underground Railroad.

Given the exciting times we live in and Mr. Rongey desire to promote his music by means of the Internet, there are no plans to release this album as a physical CD. Instead, the album can be downloaded in its entirety from Midawn. There are offered several audio options: CD-quality FLAC format and high-quality compressed OGG format audio. For review purposes I was sent this album along with scans of the CD graphics that can be obtained via e-mail, once the digital file are purchased from Midawn. From liner notes written by the artist himself, we learn the story of this album. Rongey started working on this project in 1993 and between March and November of that year he managed to play and sequence all instrumental parts on a single keyboard. He rearranged one of the tracks in 1995 after which the whole project went back in the can, waiting for the right opportunity to get its vocal parts. That opportunity came in 2005 while Rongey worked on The Underground Railroad’s “The Origin of Consciousness”. To put the final touches on the album required another year or so and the record was finally ready for release in 2007.

Now, before I even make the slightest attempt to describe the music, let me quote the musician in describing the source of inspiration for each of the 4 tracks of the album (the description is taken from the liner notes): “Eroica” was inspired by the inherent virtuous bravery of scientific curiosity and of those who exercise it; “Mechmech” (a suite in three parts) was born from the observation of the innate aesthetic beauty of man-made, mechanical things; “Lie Still” drew life from the inevitable disaster of attempting to grant faith the status of knowledge-generator; finally, “Kunstwolle” (a monumental 23-minute opus) sprang from the inexorable march of humanity toward mastery over its incarnation and physical context, against all odds.

Do I have your attention yet? Good, because here is what to expect, musically. This is a very complex album. With its intricate patterns, makes a difficult listening experience, but a rewarding one, nonetheless, if you decide to give it more than just a try. Rongey’s phrasing, heavily anchored in abstract, contemporary music, will challenge you to the core. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, holding a degree in composition and piano interpretation. With that in mind, you know to expect orchestral tones all over his work. The almost inhumane harmonies assert themselves through the rapidly changing time signatures, a characteristic that is also pregnant in the music of The Underground Railroad – it’s only now that I realize what a big influence Rongey had on the overall sound of the band. And then there are the sophisticated layers who are astute arranged to convey the depth of the concept, then killed as soon as you start making sense of them. This shouldn't come as a surprise since Rongey lists Wagner and Messiaen among his interests.

It’s clear that Kurt Rongey sets-up a very high bar for himself. He takes the time to top one ambitious project with another and by doing so, he advances our desire to evolve. The sources of inspiration are non-conventional and the music is crafted to match. If only we had the wisdom to comprehend...

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