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Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks is 91.7Mana'o Radio: catch of the day

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Catch of the Day presents tracks from new and imminent audio releases in many genres, with off-the-cuff intros plus on-the-spot evaluations. We air at 12:00 noon Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time under the umbrella of The Alpha and Omega Show, hosted by the redoubtable Paul Janes-Brown, actor, critic, and chorister. Officially, we compare notes for 60 minutes, but overtime is always a possibility. Please join us on Mana'o Radio 91.7 FM, Maui's leading noncommercial, 100%-listener-supported, 100%-volunteer-staff broadcaster, or live on the web at manaoradio.com. On our selections for August 5.

On August 5, we opened with the Deutsche Grammophon reissue of The Blue Notebooks, an early double album from Max Richter. Obscure to the point of invisibility 15 years ago, the German-born British composer and all-around keyboardist has emerged as quite the cult icon. (My indoctrination came with the eight-hour-plus Sleep, which has been performed live as an all-nighter in ad hoc dormitories, complete with beds, pillows, and covers. You can also partake at home, in a bed of your own. Highly recommended. Digital downloads available.) Some have called Richter a minimalist, some a postminimalist, which may be labels as descriptive as any. From my limited exposure, I prefer to think of him as perhaps the Vivaldi of the Alpha State: dreamy, vague, celestially restful. We heard the opening track ("The Blue Notebooks"), with voiceover by the Circean Tilda Swinton, and a bonus track called "Cypher," about which I cannot think of a single thing to say. But please don't construe that as a put-down.

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