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Silkroad Ensemble

Silkroad Ensemble’s Recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time is Out Now

Silkroad Ensemble has released its eighth album, Falling Out of Time, written by longtime collaborator Osvaldo Golijov. Falling Out of Time is inspired by Israeli writer David Grossman’s eponymous novel by the same name. Golijov’s music tells the story of the incredible pain of a grieving mother and father over the unbearable loss of their son, as well as the solace and contemplation that comes from humanity’s shared experience of death. Drawing from ballads of Central Asia and the early Delta Blues, Falling Out of Time is a tone poem in voices featuring thirteen Silkroad artists with immersive music that brings listeners into “a realm where loss is not merely an absence, but a life force of its own.”

“It so happens that we all are, as a world, living in a moment in which the ‘natural’ order of things has been upended. More than ever, we are in need of stories that help us make sense of the broken pieces.”
Osvaldo Golijov, Composer

“The first thing I noticed about Silkroad’s new recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time was its beauty. As I listened more, I was struck by how deeply rooted this work is—rooted in places, in people, and in relationships. It’s rare to hear something that is at once so personal and so interconnected, so specific and so global.
Rhiannon Giddens, Silkroad Artistic Director

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New York Times feature on Osvaldo Golijov

Critical Acclaim

“Osvaldo Golijov’s ‘Falling Out of Time’ for Silkroad Ensemble is a masterpiece as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally gripping”
Classical Post

The Silkroad Ensemble Release a Haunting, Surreal New Osvaldo Golijov Epic
“Over the past practically three decades, the Silkroad Ensemble have been the world’s great champions of a blend of music from south Asia, through the Arabic-speaking world and the west. Their latest album, Falling Out of Time – which hasn’t hit the web yet – comprises a single, lavish, thirteen-part tone poem by contemporary classical composer Osvaldo Golijov, which hauntingly dovetails with the group’s esthetic…Uneasy, fragmentary flickers from the strings followed by Wu Man’s pipa join to introduce the simply titled Step, rising to a harrowing intensity. The Lynchian dub interlude afterward comes as another real shock…”
Lucid Culture

“Singer Wu Tong, as the bereaved father, and Biella Da Costa, as the wife who refuses to join him, bend their voices into a virtuoso range of extended techniques—helped along by electronic manipulations of the sound…The painful subject matter and the nonstop intensity of Golijov’s music leave the listener awed and overwhelmed. In the hands of the renowned Silkroad Ensemble, already one of the world’s top new-music groups, Golijov’s return has the perfect interpreters.”

Critical Acclaim for Carnegie Hall Performance
“At Zankel, members of the Silkroad Ensemble gave voice to a father’s cry across a dozen or so songs in 80 minutes. The use of folk idioms — Sephardic, Middle Eastern and something like the blues — made the performance eerily intimate and age-old, like a community’s spirit had been cracked open. The piece provides a wide embrace, one that wrapped around me, too…Golijov built the sound world of “Falling” out of the Silkroad Ensemble’s melting pot of instruments. There’s a classical string quartet; a jazz bass; a kamancheh, a Persian bowed instrument; a pipa, a Chinese lute, which takes the place a zither might otherwise occupy in such music; a modular synthesizer; a drum kit; a one-man brass section; and three folk vocalists who approximate Near Eastern modes without actually using microtones…“’Falling’ is so closely tied to the strengths of ­Silkroad, which commissioned the piece, that it’s hard to imagine the trumpet part without Brantigan’s intense feeling and astonishing control. Or the kamancheh without Kayhan Kalhor’s liquid bowing. Or the pipa without Wu Man’s delicacy.”
The New York Times

“The sound palette is diverse. Electric bass lines propel some sections almost in the ­fashion of rock music riffs…The small string section’s harmonic writing can be described as a 21st-century viol consort. Adding a more vibrant edge was pipa player Wu Man, who sometimes gave extra muscle to the ensemble, but more significantly broke into ­plaintive solos. Perhaps the best music was in the purely instrumental sections, especially the electrifying duet played by violinist Johnny Gandelsman and Wu Man in which each player took turns with wild (though eloquent) flights of virtuosity…The handling of all these elements is a testament to Golijov’s constructive talents. At its most effective, the music indeed captures the kind of grief that’s almost physical, the sense that you’ve ingested ground-up glass and that every part of you is ripping away at every other part of you.”
Musical America