The Classical Perspective

Seeking a fresh perspective on Explosions in the Sky's instrumental rock, the Chronicle queried the single most important figure in Austin instrumental music, renowned Austin Symphony conductor Peter Bay. Bay was given a promotional advance of the band's new disc, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, and in return gave us his off-the-top assessment of the group's music.

"My first impression is that these guys are really good musicians," declares Bay. "The performance is really great. I think they have worked a lot on refining their sound.

"There's a certain minimalist classical feel to the pieces," he continues. "They really work hard on trying to develop a blend of sound. It's not like any rock band where each instrument has its own individual sound and identity. It's amazing to me how well they blend. I really admire their playing and concept of sound.

"The first thing that came to mind was ["Tubular Bells" composer] Mike Oldfield. Their music is based on repetition and building on that repetition.

"It was a little too repetitive for my taste. I would want to see them live before making any kind of final judgments. Maybe it's a different experience live. I like Philip Glass' music, which is also based on repetition. Yet I feel it's much more interesting to hear it live than to hear it on a disc."

Bay finished by inquiring about the band's previous efforts, going so far as to say that not only would he seek out a copy of Explosions' previous album, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever at Waterloo Records, but that he'd consider purchasing a finished copy of The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place to spend more time with.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Explosions in the Sky

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle