Ephemera by Maciek DobrowolskiRelease date: April 14, 2018
Trying to present a musical vision of a poem, any poem, let alone W.B. Yeats’ ‘Ephemera’ requires you to have: 1. a perfectly set out musical vision, particularly if you are going to present that musical vision in a different order that the pome lines actually have; 2. be a truly gifted composer in the rank of some current modern classical names like Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nico Muhly and some others 3. be infinitely courageous, almost to the level of being dumb to attempt something like that.
On the evidence of his album version of W.B. Yeats’ Ephemera, Maciek Dobrowolski, Warsaw, Poland “film & video games composer”, as he dubs himself has all three of the above requirements.
Dobrowolski sets his vision of the poem in a string quartet setting with a refined touch of a composer who knows exactly what he’s doing and who has not only the skills and technique but also a feel to do so. And he certainly needs that touch and feel to be able to give his compositions the additional electronic elements, like in ‘Pull’ and not to ruin the beauty of the melody the quartet is playing.
Like with the added electronics, Dobrowolski is bold enough to re-interpret the lines of the poem to suit his musical vision and his vision of Yeats (splitting ‘Continual Farewell’ into two parts) without falling flatly on his behind, but is, as he is throughout the album able to come up with a freely-flowing musical whole that makes sense is thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. Oh, and it makes you pull out that dusty copy of Yeats off the back of your bookshelf where it was lying for who knows how long.
Simply said, a set of beautiful music that transcends the terms as modern classical, ambient or ‘video games music, for that matter.