Cosmopolitan V1 by Toby Kasavan

K.Anna Diehl

As a classical musician, I find it hard to believe that there are still classical/modern compositions in our current time that can measure up to the late composers throughout the different eras, between Chopin’s fluidity, and Liszt’s atonal harmony or even Copland’s creativity. It’s a very rich genre with lots of layers, color, and texture to consider. Toby Kasavan is a classical pianist, composer, and keyboardist who studied at the California Institute of the Arts. Later, he moved to NYC and started performing and recording in varied styles, like free jazz with William Parker and Daniel Carter, and funk with Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker. He also performed in other styles like world music and the classical avant-garde. 

“Cosmopolitan V1” is one of the compositions in a set of 2, they explore the style and genre in which composers like Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich adopted, yet with a softer edge. The first track is a 5-minute journey with the piano that will take you through the phases of an ongoing dream, telling an exciting storyline with its ups and downs. A variety of emotions are introduced: a combination of fear, excitement, intensity, and an ongoing conversation with the occasional sweet moments. All while keeping the classical yet modern avant-garde technique and unexpected cadences with augmentations and open chords that catch you off guard and unpredictability of sound. There are occasional lower-pitched and bass-y chords stroke in unexpected moments that caught my attention. Also, a few melodic tunes with trills add a softer and sweeter side to the whole ambiance. You can even trace the elements of jazz and its tunes underneath the ongoing sound.

A very interesting and rich piece to listen to that will set you in a peaceful state of mind, leaving you wanting more.


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