REVIEW: Kim Planert — Being (LP)
I needed this. I need this sonic escape to be re-connected with my mind, with my community and frankly, with music. The new album, Being, from TV and film composer Kim Planert is a stunning experience. Playing out like a movie, fitting considering the Oscars broadcast is just around the corner, Being has drama, beauty, restlessness and finally calm. This instrumental quickly becomes an immersive energy and one would be hard to not feel indulged and fulfilled by these full orchestrations. Capturing equally intimate moments as it does feelings as large as the Grand Canyon Planert paints a memorable outing.
Planert, who originally from Germany and is based in Los Angeles, composed the pieces during the pandemic. The actual recording was done remotely, via the internet, with the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. It’s interesting to think of this modern technology being so intertwined with these instruments that have served classical music for so long. And yet, while listening to a few of the tracks on Being, I almost felt the interconnectivity of synthesizers and violins. I was obviously wrong, but it occurred to me that the orchestra is so tightly wound and in-tune with each other, the levity was extraordinary. I wouldn’t categorize a few of these works as science fiction, per se, but they took my mind to a far off place.
The opening selection, “Breath” begins with an intriguing, ambient flow. It’s almost trepidation-like. I closed my eyes and imagined something awaking, something emerging from a cocoon-like atmosphere or organism. A trickling piano bed flows into a gorgeous violin string arrangement. The momentum picks up and a feeling of confidence and Spring-like tones emerge. From there, the title track and “Cataclysm” collide the listener into a dancing, almost super-charged frenzy. “Cataclysm” was by far my favorite track on the album. The emotional drive, the euphoria created via the violins and the cellos vibrated my brain. Some people might find this daunting sonic communication almost stressful. Nope. Not me. It electrified me and gave me an inspiring kickstart like I was downing two espresso drinks back-to-back.
Being has a way of channeling all the human emotions into an almost tangible feeling. “US”, “Liebe” (which means ‘love’ in German) and “Moment” continue to be page-turners. As a listener I was simply on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next eureka moment or swooping shift. I haven’t felt this strongly about a score or instrumental music since The Last Of The Mohicans soundtrack, scored by Trevor Jones and Randy Endleman. Planert continues his surreal prowess with the selection “Mercy” before he concludes with the magnificent “Seven”
(see what I did there!). “Seven” seems to keep the listener on a high, reach for yet another branch on the evolving tree, and slowly, assuredly take the listener to a calm, relaxing, restful wake. I was left swimming in a pool of light, vibrant colors and ready to dive right back in. I needed this. And you will too — Being is a gift that keeps on giving.