The Addictive Rhythms of Eric Moe Come to a Head in 'Kick & Ride'

Q2 Music Album of the Week for February 11, 2012 | Free Download of 'Kick & Ride' II: Slipstream

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Warning: Consuming Kick & Ride (the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s newest recording that features three drum-heavy works by Eric Moe) while in anything even hinting at a bad mood could lead to broken mugs at Starbucks, holes in apartment walls or shoving matches on a downtown 6 train platform.

Tread with caution. Otherwise it’s completely easy to succumb to the beats and rhythms that come out of Moe’s fantastical imaginarium, a headspace that ties together the free-flowing atonality of Alban Berg with the guttural rumblings of Samuel Barber’s Medea, adding in a healthy dose of superhuman strength. Such feats of daring are immediately apparent in Superhero, a five-part work based on the comic book characters of Moe’s youth (born in 1954, he was primed for a childhood spent in the DC and Marvel universes), placing one such nameless crusader in a Straussian Heldenleben context.

As Moe professes in his program notes, however, the effect is slated to be “affectionate and serious, not ironic,” a detail that comes clearly across in the fourth movement, “Existential Crisis (What’s It All For?).” Much like the third act of Adams’s Nixon in China, this movement solidifies the heart behind Moe’s hero’s journey and the complex nature of these seemingly one-dimensional figures immortalized on newsprint.

Following a twelve-and-a-half minute interlude in Eight Point Turn, which builds up percussion to a fever pitch, we see the full percussive potential of BMOP’s Robert Schulz in Kick & Ride, a work that jolts with frenetic, buoyant energy, running at a pace that seems to be unsustainable, abetted by the back-and-forth between drum set and orchestra. At times primal and ritualistic and others sophisticated and smoky, this unbridled trio will fuel whatever flames you’re currently fanning.


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Comments [1]

Fred Buda

Bob Schulz plays great but the piece need s to "breath" & leave some "space" ,a term used in jazz land.I am talking about the 3'rd streamish style of writing unless this composer wants this to sound more like a oarody.

Feb. 21 2012 12:48 AM

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Q2 Music's Album of the Week is our weekly review of the newest and most dynamic contemporary classical releases. It focuses on musical discovery, world premiere recordings and fresh perspectives on today's classical landscape. Read our review and stream the album on-demand for one week only at


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