The latest bespoke artisinal release from our friends at Time Released Sound features Polish composer Olga Wojciechowska who plays acoustic and electric violin as well as collaborates in a variety of projects with choreographers, DJs, musicians and producers. Maps and Mazes is a collection of eleven pieces originally written for various international theater/dance and film productions coalesced into a diverse yet cohesive and satisfying album experience.
The album is book-ended by ‘The White Spaces’ and ‘Eternal Sunset’, both featuring a narrative voiced by horns and wrapping nicely into each other for continuous play of the album. The remainder of the tracks vary in mood but as they play out, one begins to get a consistent sense of the composer’s vision and style. She offers widescreen cinematic suspense (‘Primal Fear’, ‘Faith Tuner’), abstract soundscapes (‘Lazy Indifference’, ‘Abandoned Words’, ‘Resonating Memories’), and evocative melancholy with effusive swells of romanticism (‘Melting Into the Unknown’, ‘Number of Possible Words’, ‘I’m Never Not Thinking About You’). And in ‘Walk My Shadow Home’, her soaring violin is scintillating, approaching post rock intensity.
Maps and Mazes is one of the year’s most solid and enjoyable modern classical releases. While it pulls from various projects in her body of work, it comes together nicely as a single album experience, very much like a soundtrack to an imaginary film. It serves as a fine introduction to a composer and performer who clearly has a tremendous amount to offer on par with the most notable talents in this field.
Time Release deluxe editions are always special bespoke creations and Maps and Mazes is no different. It comes in the form of a hand sewn booklet composed of translucent vellum maps, threaded and intricate mazes, and a fabric pouch for the factory pressed disc, all stamped, punched, hand worked and enclosed in a large circular and reconfigured antique educational chart. An attractive standard digipak edition is also available.
More by Olga Wojciechowska
If, like me, you are new to Olga’s work, you might enjoy these other lovely compositions as a starting point for further discovery: and appreciation:
Part of Rising, an evening of new work performed by Aakash Odedra with four solos choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Aakash Odedra himself.
Final Track from “Pluto”
The final track for Pluto, a “genre-defying” theatre performance based on Naoki Urasawa’s manga series of the same name