When he’s not flying to Seattle to squeeze the accordion with the Foghorns* or writing clever/righteous/wistful pop songs or DJing on Santa Clara college radio or rocking the keys with San Jose band Cola*, Peter Colclasure is sitting down at his piano and composing beautiful music in the contemporary classical vein. He recently released Antigo, a whole album of this stuff, and it’s highly enjoyable listening, like the soundtrack to the movie you wish you were watching instead of whatever you finally settled on after an hour of desperately clicking through Netflix.
The world of newly-composed music that could broadly be called “classical” is large and overwhelming. It includes everything from atonal minimalism to cornball romanticism, and honestly it’s just not a very helpful term at all, but here we are, all these pianos and strings and a need to put things in categories. To get a bit more specific, the music on Antigo – especially “County K” – is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Yann Tiersen. (Whose name you might not know, but you know that one tune from Amelie, right? Of course you do.) I do like the weird, discordant stuff, but this hits a sweet spot for me, emphasizing harmony and melody and counterpoint, but not to the point of being cloying or lacking in tension. Enjoy “County K,” and then go ahead and get the whole album already.
*The Foghorns and Cola happen to be playing with my own band next Wednesday at Conor Byrne. Just throwing that out there.