by Cait Winston
The 2021 album Fantasy is the culmination of more than a decade of professional collaboration and friendship between composer Laura Kaminsky and pianist Ursula Oppens. In Fantasy, Kaminsky invites reflection on the current social and political landscape through an impressive variety of genres.The throughline is Kaminsky’s exciting sense of rhythm and expressive harmonic language, perfectly executed by Oppens, a master of new music.
Fantasy begins with a piano quintet in which Oppens is joined by the Cassatt String Quartet. The first movement, “Anthem,” is driven forward by rhythmic material inspired by the West African drumming patterns that Kaminisky studied during her time in Ghana. In “Anthem,” musical motives are layered on top of one another, creating a thrillingly complex rhythmic world. By contrast, the harmonies remain expansive and largely consonant. [Read more…]