Cirque Ingenieux (Ingenious Circus)
Kitaro has created innovative music for the past two decades. Since his first solo album in 1978, Kitaro has inspired us with a blend of cultures and instrumentation. Often termed a new-age synthesist, this definition does not do him justice. History will judge Kitaro as one whose blend of traditional craftsmanship and unconventional sonic architecture helped to lead us into a new age of ethereal music.
Cirque Ingenieux is music written and performed to support a stage play that is about and includes clowns, acrobats, and aerialists in a European-style cirque. The story line of the play involves a young girl swept into a dream world populated by circus-types. When she awakens, she is inspired to realize her dream of being an aerialist.
Music written in support of another medium often suffers when not directly associated with the supporting materials. Cirque Ingenieux is no exception. There are passages that obviously support specialized stage acts but on their own seem empty. Others can stand squarely on their own.
“Winter Waltz” is a classic stand-alone Kitaro melodic piece that is refreshingly different. “Contortionists” is another. Both will probably appear in subsequent Best of… compilations. A number of pulsating and vibrant tracks obviously complement acts performed while the audience either looks towards the heavens or at something darkly mystical in the foreground. “Galina” contains a delightfully light section that should be used in competitive figure skating. An obvious question this reviewer must ask is why Kitaro did not re-write many of these supporting pieces for separate release?
If you are a Kitaro fan, as I am, you will want this CD. If you are just discovering Kitaro, try one of his more independent works that present a wonderful and more fulfilling listening experience. Better yet — go see the show!