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Daniel Wohl, 'Drift'

From the moment of birth, nothing is more precious than our breath. That's the idea behind "Drift," by Daniel Wohl, the Los Angeles-based Parisian composer, who collaborates with the iSing Silicon Valley Choir, a children's chorus and the Icelandic film director Máni Sigfússon. Wohl's signature sleight of hand composing, where thickets of acoustic and electronic sounds meld imperceptibly, takes on a lighter-than-usual texture here. Waves of breathy vocals intone, "Air, ordinary air, to surrender breath away ..." while pipe organ-like keys trade off with propulsive strings and a keening saxophone. Given where we are with the pandemic, Wohl thinks of the piece as "some kind of electroacoustic hymn," he said in a statement, adding, "We've been tossed between hope and despair and I wanted the music to reflect that."

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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
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