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Mark Sullivan
All About Jazz, June 2017

Toronto’s classical Contact ensemble arranged Brian Eno’s classic ambient electronic work Discreet Music for the 40th anniversary of its release. This adaptation for live instruments recalls Bang on a Can’s arrangement of the later Music for Airports, released as both a studio album (Point Music, 1998) and a live recording (Cantaloupe Music, 2008). In some ways Discreet Music presents more of a challenge, since the original was created using a synthesizer which played two sequenced melodic lines of different lengths into an open tape loop system.

Contact thus had to arrange simple electronic melodic information for acoustic instruments and emulate the random overlays created by the tape delay. The recording is divided into seven parts, each with a slight shift in instrumentation. This captures the minimalist, meditative mood of the original, while introducing a bit more timbral and dynamic contrast. A refreshing approach to Eno’s concept, and a perfect bookend to the live instrument version of Music for Airports. © 2017 All About Jazz

Maggie Molloy
Second Inversion, June 2016

As performers, Contact makes the music their own—and as listeners, so do we. With precision, patience, and the utmost reverence, Contact recreates Eno’s ambient masterwork as an echo chamber of circling motives and mismatched musical textures. Each ripple of the repetitious melody is a perfectly crafted piece of the larger pattern, a discreet but unique little gem in and of itself.

…maybe “Discreet Music” really is just another piece of furniture in the room—but wow, what an incredible piece of furniture.© 2016 Second Inversion Read complete review

Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, June 2016

The Contact arrangement, in Eno’s original key, gives the players some freedom as they shape the simple melodic and harmonic progressions. The result is a weave of undulating and repeated phrases along minimalist lines, with textures evolving slowly and the music unfolding with utmost discretion. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, February 2016

Made ‘live’ or in one take—in fact “the last of three takes in as many years”, this performance very much does both—quite remarkably keeping the spirit and atmosphere of the original, while adding the contrast and different energies of different instruments. The sound of each instrument is processed so that, for instance, repeated phrases on a flute or saxophone don’t become annoying. They are softened by the sense of distance given by added resonance, the entire nine-person ensemble transformed into a fairly homogenous unit through this processing and mixing of the sound. Eno’s original synthesizers also had a degree of contrast in timbre, so this is very much in sympathy with Discreet Music as we already know it. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Olds
The WholeNote, January 2016

The members of Contact…perform with real conviction—tone and intonation are warm and consistent—and they manage to hold our attention throughout the hour-long take in which “nothing happens.” I can’t imagine what it is like to take part in such a static performance… © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review

Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, January 2016

…Jerry Pergolesi has tweaked the melodic content a bit and created a system that assigns the different melodies to instruments including violin, piano, soprano saxophone, and vibraphone. The result is every bit as beautiful and relaxing as the original, with the added tonal richness of live instruments. Every library would benefit from a copy of this luscious album. © 2016 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist Read complete review

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