Awakening Orchestra

volume II: to call her to a higher plain
(Biophilia)

At various points of this tour de force, composer Kyle Saulnier and his Awakening Orchestra brilliantly signify the chaos America is enduring—socially, politically and economically.

Parsing individual tracks on volume ii: to call her to a higher plain isn’t the best way to evaluate this symphonic palette, as it morphs from one mood to another. It has to be heard as a dramatic whole, reeling from collective crescendos, delightful fugues and sonorous interludes—especially the saxophone on “i can see my country from here, i. free labor, free land, free men.” The succeeding movements where flights of flute blend with piano and saxophone are beautifully rendered, delicately balancing the piece’s surge of power. But the music is never more potent than on “to call her to a higher plain, first cadenza,” Brooke Quiggins Saulnier’s violin passages leaping from hoe-down to hallelujah.

In effect, this is a Great American Songbook of another order. And while it references several specific themes inherent in our culture, the ensemble captures an epic, sweeping sound in a quest to reach a higher realm.



On Sale Now
July 2021
Julian Lage
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