For the past decade, Playground (also known as the Playground Ensemble) has been one of the few groups to delve into adventurous, forward-thinking, avant-garde chamber music while also exploring a variety of other genres such as jazz, world music and rock. "NO one To kNOW one," the opening track on Dreams Go Through Me, is an ideal example of what the ensemble — made up primarily of graduates of the Lamont School of Music's master's program and faculty — is capable of creating. Anchored by composer Andy Akiho's steel pans, the piece incorporates elements of Philip Glass; a groove-based section featuring vocals by Flobots MC Brer Rabbit comes in about halfway through. The song is one of the more ambitious pieces on the album, but the other selections, such as Leanna Kirchoff's three-part "Dreams Go Through Me" suite, which features soprano Megan Buness, and Brian Ebert's five-part "Contrandances," are just as compelling.
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July 5, 2011 | 4:00am|