Alvin Curran, Inner Cities

Dreaming while listening to Inner Cities from Alvin Curran, recorded by the Belgian pianist Daan Vandewalle.


The 6 hour musical cycle makes me feel in an open space, where human presence is reduced to abstract shadows and even the landscape becomes more a feeling than a place; defined by forms and colors rather than by lines or specific shapes or objects.

The composer Alvin Curran desribes the cycle on his own website as

I offer these disconnected autobiographical fragments like a drawer full of fossilized imprints to put you in the same position I am in now, attempting to connect the dots and tell you something, anything about the pieces on this set of CDs, maybe my best music.

In these Inner Cities there is no “drive-by” anything; there’s merely back alleys, empty lots full of stubborn weeds and clear sky, trails of memory which may or may not lead anywhere or even have relevance to the music at hand. The bottom line: these pieces are a set of contradictory etudes – studies in liberation and attachment, cryptic itineraries to the old fountain on the town square whence flows all artistic divination and groping for meaning in the dark.

Samples of this fascinating and very diverse cycle are featured on Curran’s website. I feel so free to upload one of these samples, part of the first piece, directly here.

Inner Cities 1 (Alvin Curran, played by Daan Vandewalle), Inner Cities CD set, 1:21

Strongly recommended!


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