Lastovicka stirs strong emotions on remixed ‘Fortune Has Turned’
New version of album drops on April 12
The American author and illustrator Howard Pyle once said that, “Art is the expression of those beauties and emotions that stir the human soul.”
Listening to Chris Lastovicka’s upcoming album “Fortune Has Turned (Remixed)” you’d think that perhaps Pyle was thinking of Lastovicka when he uttered those words before realizing he died long before the talented New York composer was born.
Each track on the album almost dares you to try and not feel something while listening to it. There’s moments of grief, mystery, joy, pain, sadness, serenity, love and danger often all found packed within one individual track.
The album opens with a haunting melody on “The 7th Chapter of Job (Remixed)” driven by a rich strings section that builds into a crescendo together with vocals that fit the tone of the instruments astoundingly. The pace of the track varies, as well, with moments in which the vocals overpower the instruments and parts where the instruments take the lead over the vocals.
The second track, “Abraxas” is perhaps the best on the album. It’s layers all work together to move the track forward and would make for a beautiful track standing on its own, but together make it a piece of beauty that could stand next to works by Mozart, Debussy or Copland. It’s a track that could fit into almost any great Tim Burton movie, as well.
The next two songs, while not as interesting as the first few, do have moments of brilliance in them, also. “The Tender Ones” lets the listener take a breath filled with serenity after the exciting conclusion of the previous track. It’s most notable parts are the subdued brass instruments intermixed with the strings and piano.
“Shanti,” starts slow, as well, but has a repetitive piano riff that serves as the base for the trumpet to climb aboard and fly through its progression. Its subtly building in loudness makes it hard to skip through. Especially given how it switches gears with the strings about midway through in what makes it feel like a mysterious journey where danger could present itself around the next corner.
Describing the remix album, Lastovicka said that it, “traces the journey from deep suffering to the fullness and freedom of the heart. It is a quest to find the Self. I asked Jeremy Allom to take the original, raw recordings for this album and bring out their vitality with his own powerful, creative stamp.”
Allom is perhaps best known as the mix engineer on Massive Attack’s 1991 album “Blue Lines.” Lastovicka said that getting Allom was a bit of a surprise at first, but, appreciated how he breathed new life into the tracks he worked on.
“I wondered if I would be able to even get Jeremy Allom, who mixed that album. I did, and it has been an incredible experience working with him and getting to know him,” Lastovicka said.
Lastovicka is a musician’s musician, and it’s clear not only in the way they perform music, but also due to the many accolades Lastovicka has received over the years.
A recipient of a Presser Award, a Hatz Award, a CAP Award from New Music USA, and grants from NYSCA and NYFA, Lastovicka also is the winner of the inaugural Melodia Women’s Choir (NYC) Commission Competition. At age 14, Lastovicka became the youngest winner in the history of Chicago’s Gruenstein Memorial National Organ Competition. At 15, Chris won the Otto B. Schoepfle National Organ Competition.