Michael Jon Fink's A Temperament for Angels (written in 1989 and fully revised for this recording in 2003) combines equal measures of beauty and grit in a powerful, kaleidoscopic, elusively shaped textural music that is compelling from its first quiet violin note (to its full sixteen voices of strings and electronic/sampled sounds and percussion) to its final shimmer of decaying cymbals. Often dark and moody, this music speaks in broad, chromatic harmonies and light, nearly detached single pitches, shuttling almost mobile-like between these extremes with a natural grace and sense of inevitability.
This recording features two of Los Angeles’s most noted new-music specialists and members of the celebrated chamber group The California EAR Unit: violinist Robin Lorentz and cellist Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick , each tracked multiple times.
Michael Jon Fink’s instrumental and electronic music has been presented at the Green Umbrella Series of the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New Music L.A., the Monday Evening Concerts, the SCREAM Festival, the Fringe Festival, New Music America, Festival Commune di Chiesa, the Martes Musicales, Podewil, the Marquette Festival of New Music, the CalArts Contemporary Music Festival, Outpost, and other festivals and individual concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has performed and recorded with the new music ensembles Negative Band and Stillife. His orchestra works have been commissioned and performed by the Classical Philharmonic, the Symphony of the Canyons, and the Santa Monica Symphony. Fink has also composed incidental music for two plays of William Butler Yeats: The Herne’s Egg and Deirdre, the latter of which was featured at the1996 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His music has been released on the Cold Blue, Raptoria Caam, Bare Bones, Wiretapper, TrancePort, Contagion, and CRI record labels. In recent years, Fink has devoted a good deal of his time to performing as an improvisor (electric guitar), touring in both the States and Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland).
The Los Angeles Times has described Fink’s music as “lustrous,” “metaphysically tinged” and “unapologetically tranquil” and likened it to the work of the late composer Morton Feldman. The L.A. Weekly has written that Fink’s music is “of ethereal simplicity . . . he has shaped and refined his spare style greatly—it is distinctly his own.”
“An impressive, beautiful CD single offers up a seamless, elegant ‘cloud’ of sound….The idea of music transporting the listener is an old-fashioned one, yet here is another beautiful Cold Blue single of new music that takes us to another world. Michael Jon Fink impresses with his ability to straddle electronic and acoustic, free and structured, new and old…. Ecstatic pedal tones often anchor the music far below the other voices—and can sound like chord roots as they pull the piece toward tonality, only to draw it away again…. Fink’s mingling of acoustic and electronic creates a truly seamless, elegant continuum of sound—helped no doubt by the mixing desk, not to mention the warmth and general high quality of the recording.” —Arved Ashby, Gramophone
“Music that…feels as if it could go on endlessly…music that comes from the classical tradition, but that feels like it belongs somewhere other than the concert hall…texturally rich, meticulously crafted and delicately beautiful.” —Dusted