John Puchiele Ensemble "Life Cycle" CD
John Puchiele is for me a new name on the ambient map, in Toronto, Canada based film, television, dance... composer was also a member of The Glass Orchestra, famous Canadian ensemble founded back in 1977, who have performed with glass objects and glass instruments. "Life Cycle", a thematic work mapping the human life cycle stages, is according to my knowledge debut work under the name of John Puchiele Ensemble. Released at the beginning April 2013 on Antediluvian Records, which I believe is John's own label. The album comes in elegantly designed 4-panel digipak (created by Null). "From There To Here" announces the new human life with warmly floating cinematic washes, gracefully expanding into dramatic climax, beautifully enriched by sparse, but gently expressive piano motifs. Shorter "First Step" keeps its wide-screen dimension along with its heartening feel. It's evident that John Puchiele is strongly influenced by his film score composing. The next, again shorter piece, "Foundations", moves into deeply evocative modern classical terrains. "The Big Sky" is the first longer composition on album, crossing over 7-minute mark, but musically remains in sublimely captivating orchestral spheres, very nice!!! "Thinking", with 10 minutes the longest stage of "Life Cycle", dives into dreamlike zones with female chants and celestial choirs. These utterly alluring soundscapes are later intertwined by male choirs. Sculpted with infinite grace and beauty!!! "Second Step" meanders over the cumulus cloud beds, flavored with intense moments. "Life Gets Busy, Pt. I" unfolds quietly, but soon bowed string epic steal the show and evolves into richly orchestral and dramatically colored arrangements. "Life Gets Busy, Pt. II" attracts immediately with eloquent piano playing, certainly the most uplifting piece masterfully celebrating the rhythm of life. But "Third Step" shifts into nostalgic-infused period conducted by cello-like drones and circling, high-pitched dissonances. The next longer composition, "Climbing", envelops each listener with its strongly yearning mood, precisely sculpted with expressive modern classical movements, highlighted by bowed string mastery. Deeply visualizing and retrospective soundscape, certainly one of the high points!!! "N.D.E." dives into low drone territories, ebbing and meandering through exquisitely fragranced dreamlike dimensions with angelic appearance and dense orchestral cascades. A close call comes... "The Edge Of Infinity" is hazed by deeper transcendental dronescapes. "From Here To There" closes the journey with brief, but gorgeous eulogistic symphony to honor the memory of a loved one. "Life Cycle" is a very solid performance by John Puchiele, who has decided to work without the motion pictures and invited each listener to paint his/her own life allegories while journeying through "Life Cycle" and pay homage to human life.
Richard Gürtler (May 05, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)