Few have been as acclaimed by The Silent Ballet over the past decade as Christopher Tignor (Slow Six, Wires Under Tension), so expectations were understandably high for his second release under his own name. Thunder Lay Down in the Heart does not disappoint.
Thunder begins with the reading of a poem from John Ashbery (by Ashbery himself) and quickly proceeds to the album’s main work — the title track broken into three pieces. The second half of the album is a reworking of the first half at the hands of Tignor, and Rachel Grimes (of Rachel’s) on “First, Impressions.” “Thunder” mesmerizes like the best out of Slow Six’s catalog and takes the listener on a journey of truly epic proportions. Often overlooked in NYC burgeoning contemporary classical scene, Tignor’s compositions never fail to impress, and “Thunder” sees the composer outdoing himself once again. It is a bit of a surprise, then, that the album’s highlight lies in the forth track, “The Listening Machines,” in which Tignor showcases his most experimental track in recent memory. Although Wires of Tension certainly sees Tignor getting quite a workout in audio manipulation, “The Listening Machines” catapults the album to a new level that should be welcomed by fans of Ben Frost, Tim Hecker, and Daniel Lopatin.
Thunder succeeds on all fronts, and we’re again reminded why Christopher Tignor has become one of the forefront pioneers in modern instrumental music.
Editor’s Note: Tignor’s interview @Textura comes highly recommend for those interested in the inner workings of the album.