The Trascendentalism tour must have been to the modern classical scene (on a totally underground and tiny scale, that is) the equivalent of macro events like the Three Tenors, or the recent US tour Diplo, Sleigh Bells and Liturgy did together. It featured Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka and Jóhann Jóhannsson, each with their own live setup (Hauschka with only piano and percussion; Jóhannsson and O’Halloran with a string quartet) but with a common sound, that of new impressionism within the boundaries of electronica and conservatoire music. Those who attended one of the concerts (with selected dates in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Ireland and the UK), had the chance to get their hands on this 12” vinyl, featuring exclusively unreleased material, which is now deleted. But there's always the digital version, on which we find six tracks by three of the most interesting composers of recent times.
With two songs a piece, Hauschka is the one contributing the most lively material. “Spark”, in particular, is a jumpy piece of allegro piano with pinches of fragmented percussion, whilst his second piece, “The Great Escape (Live)”, focuses on a dramatic movement of minimalist piano and found sounds, somewhere between John Cage and an art film soundtrack. O’Halloran delivers two beautiful piano compositions, with discreet strings, “An Ending, A Beginning” and “Opus 28 (Live)” - another live recording. The EP is completed with a short and painful piece by Jóhann Jóhannsson (“Glima”, showing his most sombre, Pärt-like side), alongside his live recording, “The Cause Of Labour Is The Hope Of The World” – which features a full orchestra, though the weight of the composition falls on a violin on the verge of crying. Six pieces that stand out over many previously recorded live takes, creating an absolutely fascinating mood of pain and beauty, and therefore a definite must-have for lovers of modern classical music.