Friday, 29 June 2018

Michael Price - Entanglement (2015)

More Erased Tapes loveliness, this time from English composer Michael Price.  Having amassed several film and TV scores to his name in the past 20 years, often in collaboration with David Arnold, Entanglement gave Price his first opportunity to create an album in its own right.  His guiding principle here was "to make an album that sounded like a dark, Berlin record store discovery from the 30s. Something that had timeless emotive power, and pre-digital rawness".  And this he did, with a string orchestra, synths, electronic and tape effects, using vintage technology whenever possible - that wobbly fragility at the beginning of The Attachment comes from using a 1940s magnetic disk recorder.

Fans of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter et al will find a lot to love here.  As in their case, it's obvious that a seasoned soundtracker is at work, but on an album untroubled by outside commissioning, the composer's ambition and love for their craft can really let loose.  Entanglement's nine pieces find Price in an often melancholy, but always evocative mood, whether focusing in on his own piano playing (the church bell-like tones of Easter) or filling out the sound with various shades of strings.  Ambient city sounds, recorded by Price on his phone, give Budapest an extra travelogue authenticity.  On two particular highlights, Maitri and The Uncertainty Principle, a guest soprano is featured (words below), which brought to mind for me Hans Abrahamsen's Let Me Tell You, or even Górecki's 3rd.  Don't miss this gorgeous album.

No one minded that
The flowers' beauty faded.
And I saw myself in the world grow old
As the rain went on falling.
(a waka by Ono no Komachi, 825-900)

The Uncertainty Principle
Autumn evening.
With her sleeve
She wipes a mirror.
(a haiku by Yosa no Buson, 1716-1784) 


  1. Really loving all the Erased Tapes stuff. Idk how I wasn't aware of this label. Fantastic releases. Thanks a ton for sharing.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful share!

    On a possibly irrelevant note, I've become fascinated lately by how many artists and composers are attracted to themes related to modern physics, to quantum theory in particular. I'm pretty sure this isn't the first "Entanglement" I've encountered, and "Uncertainty", in various permutations, is everywhere, as are particles, fields, wave packets, strange attractors, condensed matter and many objects owned by Schrödinger. For some reason we seem to resonate with such things.

    Anyway, this is one of the most enjoyable fruits of this unusual pairing that I've heard so far. Cheers

    1. Definitely not irrelevant, I reckon you're on to something there! One of those timely reminders that the arts & the sciences are always more intertwined than they seem on the surface, and as far as I'm concerned the more people get to see modern physics as great art the better.

  3. softshoebanana13 July 2018 at 21:37

    Alan, thanks for this, wonderful