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A new chamber music

Unaccountable Effect
Unaccountable Effect
By Liz Story

Windham Hill Records: 1985

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This review first appeared in the May 8, 1985 issue of The Daily Aztec.

The 1980s have witnessed the emergency of a new style of music that incorporates characteristics of music from all over the world: jazz to juju, bluegrass to reggae, classical to raga. Groups such as Tangerine Dream and Oregon can be seen as having pioneered this New Age music a decade ago, but only now has there been a new generation to push and expand it.

There are several distinct streams to this New Age movement: Artists such as Shadowfax and Andy Narell follow the path Oregon laid down, and produce a music that captures a "world beat" by using complex rhythms drawn from Latin, African and Asian traditions. Others see Tangerine Dream as their inspiration, and are heavily into synthesizers and other electronic instrumentation.

Then there are those like pianist Liz Story who play a sort of new chamber music. Her third album, "Unaccountable Effect," is one of the most expressive efforts yet to come from this new field of music.

The material itself is hard to describe, let alone pigeonhole. The music here, though, lends itself more to an emotional response in the listener, rather than intellectual. The title track, for instance, seems to evoke browns and oranges, like a late fall afternoon in the Midwest. "Deeper Reasons" has an air of gloom about it, a melancholy beauty that is as unforgettable as it is sad.

Throughout the album, she achieves these emotional palettes with just a piano; it is an amazing instrumental voice she possesses.