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Lauri Porra - Entropia CD (album) cover


Lauri Porra


Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Finnish bassist and composer LAURI PORRA (b. 1977; descendant of Jean Sibelius!), having been a member in such various acts as Stratovarius, Emma Salokoski Ensemble and Crazy World, has released three albums under his name, containing instrumental music somewhere between jazz/fusion and [progressive] rock. Sadly these fine albums are still unreviewed here... Porra, if any, is among those "rock" musicians whose "leap" into the "classical side" of contemporary music feels very natural - yes, actually even more natural than his kindred spirit PEKKA POHJOLA's, who composed a symphony. This album collects his orchestral works from the last few years, performed by Lahti Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jaakko Kuusisto (another open-minded musician who doesn't want to maintain high boundaries in between various worlds of music). Texts in the leaflet are in Finnish and English, except that the spoken lyrics on 'Kohta' are only in Finnish. The liner notes by both Porra and Kuusisto are most welcome guides to these compositions.

'Kohta' is a 19-minute orchestral piece featuring the text and voice of the rap artist Paperi T (= Henri Pulkkinen). The instrumental version is the bonus track on the 83-minute Super Audio CD. The music is at first pretty quiet, and Paperi T's first appearance is almost without any backing from orchestra, but later on there are big changes in dynamics. The orchestra and the additional semi-soloists (percussion, organ, clarinet) are used in an exciting, expressive way. There are indeed both pretty silent and intensive passages, which brings extra challenge for the listening circumstances. I appreciate the powerful text of Paperi T, even though I never really enjoy the rap elements in music. The piece succeeds well in this rare combination.

Domino Suite is the latest composition here. Nearly 17 minutes divided in three movements, it gives important spots for the pianist Aki Rissanen and drummer Joonas Riippa as improvising soloists. The first part 'Stasis' is mesmerizingly slow, with a delicate, steady pulse on the piano. Gavin Bryars came to my mind. 'Domino' is much edgier, featuring sharp sounds from the brass section especially, and Riippa is given total freedom for his solo section. 'Surrender' returns to the piano-oriented delicacy and it sounds quite beautiful. The growing finale is grandiose in a symhonic way.

Entropia, Concerto for electric bass, dates from 2015, originally composed for the 150th anniversary of Jean Sibelius. Lauri Porra naturally is the soloist. The nearly 28-minute piece is in four movements. Like other compositions in this album, this demands a concentrated listening but gives a lot in return. The bass sounds marvelous and the orchestral dynamics are in balance. One may come to think some orchestral works of MIKE OLDFIELD, or DAVID BEDFORD (or both in the case of Orchestral Tubular Bells). The second movement features a beautiful violin solo, and the orchestra is at its most colourful on the final movement.

This album deserves attention as a succesful project of representing a musician best known from the rock world as a gifted composer on the "classical" world. Of course Porra was enormously helped by Kuusisto in orchetrations, but the results are convincing, there are no phoney moments in this music.

Matti | 4/5 |


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