Edward Artemiev is a respected pioneer in Russian electronic music, but he is also renowned for his film and stage soundtrack music. His new album combines both of these elements of his music in a compilation of recent TV and movie soundtracks plus some of his more accessible personal music. The album begins with a thirty minute - 3-track - triptych based on Lithuanian and Russian poems: “White Dove”, “Summer”, “Astral Downpour”. This lengthy work features two female vocalists and the music ranges right across Mr. Artemiev’s musical spectrum - sparse instrumentation, electronic, rock guitar and large orchestral sections. It is very atmospheric, almost ethereal in places, rocking out in others (especially the second track), very beautiful indeed - some of it brought to mind the futuristic cityscape in the movie “Blade Runner”, and you could imagine some of this fitting in well with Vangelis’ score for that movie. The remaining twelve tracks feature pieces from his soundtrack work plus a couple of instrumentals from his archive. While servicing the dynamics of the movie or TV programme, this music also showcases Mr. Artemiev’s skills as composer and musician. “Invitation to Reminiscences” is probably the most approachable album of the new set of releases. The music is full of melody and whether executed on Mr. Artemiev’s beloved synthesisers or electric guitar or orchestra, it doesn’t matter, this is a lovely music full of tunes and atmosphere.
John M. Peters (“The Borderland”)
2010 saw two new releases by veteran Russian composer and electronic musician Edward Artemiev. First is “Invitation to Reminiscences”. The first three tracks, running over 30 minutes, are described as a poem cycle and are sung in both Lithuanian and Russian. The music is characterized by symphonic electronic progressive rock. The mood and atmosphere is continually shifting and is hauntingly beautiful and even nicely spaced out at times. There’s plenty of intensity, but overall the feeling is uplifting, and the Lithuanian vocals by Gintare Yautakayte on the first two parts are potent and beautiful. There are some solos on the first part (“White Dove”) that almost sound like fiery guitar but must be keyboard produced. The second part (“Summer”) includes a rocking jazzy song section that has some killer violin and this time the guitar really sounds like guitar but I see none mentioned in the credits. The third part, “Astral Downpour”, ends the cycle on a darkly symphonic and highly intense note. It’s both rocking and orchestral, with the vocals (by Janna Rozhdestvenskaya) switching to Russian for the finale.
The remaining 12 tracks are all excerpts from various films and television series that Artemiev composed scores for. It’s an enjoyable variety of music, mostly in symphonic, ambient soundscape, classical, and progressive rock realms, but there are tastes of much else as well.
Spaceman33 (“Aural Innovations”)
Edward Artemiev possesses an awesome capacity to create very imaginative, fresh, expressive music in a wide variety of styles. In the collection of themes gathered in this CD, this admirable ability is reflected once again. As for the origin of these, many are part of soundtracks that Artemiev has composed for movies, such as for instance “Crazy Gold” or “Temples of the World”, as well as television series such as “Doctor Zhivago”. The immense artistic background of Artemiev, which ranges from the most radical electronic music to the most traditional of classicisms, to “rock”, “space sequencer music” and an infinity of other musical trends, allows him to move at ease when it comes to composing anything he wants to create. On the other hand, his remarkable creative powers, characterized by the strength of his melodies and the originality in the structures of his compositions, allows him to offer the listener a pleasant audition, nice, intense and full of unexpected surprises. Just like it happens with many of his other albums, “Invitation to Reminiscences” is a jewel of contemporary music.
Jorge Munnshe (“Amazing Sounds”)
Russian composer Edward Artemiev is capable of the best, and we get some of that on “Invitation to Reminiscences”. This is a compilation of film and TV music (series titles are given). A pioneer in USSR electronic/electroacoustic music, Artemiev, with time, has slipped into instrumental music, and the whole second half of the album is devoted to honey-drenched tunes. However, the first half-hour consists of three long songs in Russian and Lithuanian, large-scope works where the electronic part still shows genuine research and there's a successful progressive rock-influenced drive also. A great way to discover some of the film-track work of this seminal composer.
(“DWM Music Company”)