William Susman's 'Collision Point' is a delightful and engaging journey / New Music Buff
I first encountered this man's music in a concert by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. I subsequently reviewed his album Scatter My Ashes . Now fresh off the presses is the present disc which is a collaboration between Mr. Susman and Piccola Accademia Degli Specchi, a chamber ensemble specializing in new music. It is a delightful and engaging journey to a region stylistically inhabited by the likes of Mikel Rouse whose post-minimalist chamber works on the Made to Measure label were a revelation to this listener in the early 90s. What always perplexed me was why I had been unable to find more writing like this. Well, here it is in all its glory. These are standard concert length works (15-20 min range) which engage and sustain the listener easily leaving anything obviously experimental behind while also touching an artistic depth that satisfies. Is there an untapped genre of well written post-minimalist chamber music? If so, this disc belongs there.
The disc contains four works, two from the 90s and two from 2010. The first, Camille (2010) is the three movement work that opened the lovely Scatter My Ashes album from 2014. Like the second work on this disc (the seven movement Clouds and Flames for violin, cello, and piano also from 2010) it utilizes a very personal take on post-minimalist ideas creating music of a quasi romantic nature with echoes of Brahms as well as Lou Harrison. By which I mean to say simply that they seem to be a mature integration of what the artist has learned in school and since then as well.