I was first drawn to Mr. Babychan’s unique name, and that lead me to his music. Mr. Babychan hails from the Dutch Indonesia, a land I know little about. He’s a excellent musician with a number of albums scattered over the usual internet music dispensers. Mr. Babychan surrounds himself with other talented classicists, giving each of them not exactly a solo, but instead featured presence in the composition. There’s a movie sound track quality to many of his “Shadow Dance” compositions. They seem arranged to underscore a love story or perhaps a tragic air disaster. Themes collect and organize themselves, then melodies soar, the strings tussle, an the the piano acts a rhythm instrument trying to break int the big time. You feel the dynamism, and discover what its like to surrounded by surprises.
His sound feels right at home in a British Chamber Quarter or a French music recital hastily organized for a king about to die. Flipping from track to track I flow between pan pipes and trumpets and feel like I’m in an avant-garde German art film from the 1920’s. A sax riffs, and recalls a jazzy and gin-soaked New York after hours during the 1940’s. A koto, a tenor sax, and Portuguese subtext builds a tension, and might back up a documentary on hang gliding over razor sharp rocks. It’s a soundtrack, it’s a concert, it’s an exploration of what seeming random instruments can do in the hands of genius. This young man has a future, and his skills span the concert hall to the editing room floor. Give him a spin, It’s a heck of a ride.