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Canadian composer M.C. Maguire's music is like no other — a quirky, post-modern hybrid.
M.C. Maguire is a composer/producer who has created a very quirky post-modern hybrid that combines classical, pop, jazz, electro-acoustic, and world music traditions. He works primarily in his studio's multi-track environment combining live recording, sampling, synths, exotic plugins, and digital editing possibilities. The finished product usually consists of a rigid, hierarchical, multi-layered construct, which is mathematically proportioned to reflect the philosophical/psychological thrust of each individual work's raison d'etre. A Teenage Dream for piano & CPU is based on four songs by Katy Perry; while Sade auf Kashmir for cello and CPU is based on the concept of the sonic intertwining of Sade's No Ordinary Love with Led Zeppelin's Kashmir.
M.C. Maguire, composer
A Teenage Dream for Piano & CPU
Keith Kirchoff (piano)
M.C. Maguire, composer
Sade auf Kashmir for Cello & CPU
Bryan Holt (cello)
"It seems more than a bit ironic that, as this is being written, the death of legendary music producer Phil Spector has been announced. I would not be surprised if this is the first time that the name of this rock giant has been mentioned in these pages, but Spector himself credits the orchestral music of Wagner as one of his inspirations in creating his trademark Wall of Sound. Listening to this disc, titled Saturation Velocity, I would also not be surprised if MC Maguire is also inspired by Wagner, and perhaps Spector himself. First of all, this highly eclectic music contains a healthy dose of pop music, and the plush, virtuosic use of electronics certainly creates a distinct version of a wall of sound. As is the case for Wagner and Spector, the success for such an approach relies on the composer’s ability to create lucid texture and a variety of tonal color, and that certainly occurs in this bold and compelling music. A Teenage Dream is an exhilarating electronic amalgam based on the melodies of four songs by pop idol Katy Perry, including the title work as well as (for those few Fanfare readers who may care to know) “Bon Appetit,” “Dark Horse,” and “Firework.” The work begins simply with solo keyboard music, and then Maguire gradually adds layers, eventually arriving at imposing, kaleidoscopic masses of sound. The piles of music are not unrelentingly; the texture and massing are presented with a well-controlled ebb and flow. Importantly, while the music can often present an excitingly wild character, it is always grounded by the easy to enjoy melodies that inspired the composer in the first place. The title to the second work, Sade auf Kashmir, refers to the mash-up of the hit single by Sade, “No Ordinary Love,” and the stoner classic from Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir.” If anything, this work is even more grandiose than A Teenage Dream, even though it is a few minutes shorter. The composer’s description of the technical aspect of the composition offers a good sense of what to expect: “The finished idealization is loaded onto 300 tracks of audio, midi instruments and a mountain of software plugins, shaping the audio density to ever greater climaxes.” As is the case for Keith Kirchoff’s intrepid solo piano in A Teenage Dream, cellist Brian Holt navigates the often treacherous landscape of Sade auf Kashmir with admirable aplomb. I found this adventure to be great, heady fun and even inspirational. Obviously, this kind of electronica is not for everybody, but for that matter, neither is Wagner." (Fanfare)