Sunday, 7 November 2010

Finn Peters - Music Of The Mind

Finn Peters is a flautist and alto saxophonist, who has made music in a bewildering array of styles over the years. From jazz to latin, from acid house to broken beats, there seems to be nothing the Devon born musician can't turn his hand to, and handle with aplomb.

Music of the Mind is the third album Peters has released under his own name, after his debut Su-Ling in 2005 (which was selected as one of Jazzwise's Albums of the Year), and the 2008 follow-up Butterflies. True to form, this album is a challenging and eclectic collection of nine tracks (apparently the magic number for a Finn Peters album).

Unlike anything he (or anyone else) has done before though, Music of the Mind is all built around Peters' brainwaves. Quite literally. Recorded using futuristic Brain Computer Interface technology, they form the basic musical framework, around which he has composed and improvised these tracks, which seem to draw on all of his previous music experiments.

High Points

From the opening chimes (yes, chimes) of the first track Popcorn Brain, you could be forgiven for expecting a pretty twee light-jazz track to ensue. Peters wastes little time in confounding expectations though, with a contemporary drum track and what sounds like a squelching tuba for accompaniment, transforming the track into a strangely compelling curiosity.

Elsewhere there is a lot of atmospheric mood music, the likes of Sleep Music 1 and 2, but none as soporific as the dreamlike Meditation. The best moments are a bit more stimulating though, like the insistent dance beats and funky rhythms on MTA, or the brilliant closing track Virus.

The Verdict

Virus is the all the best parts of this album in microcosm; by turns traditional and experimental, always playful, and thoroughly enjoyable. Music of the Mind is a little gem of an album, and one that I'm very glad I happened across this week. If you like your music intelligent and challenging, with a sense of fun about it, then this it well worth checking out.

Final Score: 85%

Music of the Mind - Finn Peters

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