Artist: Janet Robbins
Album: Carrying the Bag of Hearts - Interpreting the Birth of Stars Vol. I

Released: 2004
Label: Star Seven

Carrying the Bag of Hearts Janet Robbins
Maybe it was her tenure as a singer songwriter that provided Janet Robbins with the ability to express complex emotional themes in the few succinct musical moments available through the conventional venues of commercial radio and nightclub touring. The audience for these showcases expect their entertainment to be administered in easy to swallow portions of three to four minutes each. Carrying the Bag of Hearts - Interpreting the Birth of Stars Vol. I (22'58") is her, somewhat brief, three song EP. While each track may seem fleeting when compared to other more sprawling works within the Contemporary Instrumental genre, Robbins' works effectively build and transmit their emotional content in the span of just a few minutes. It's through this tight compositional structure that the music remains engaging even after repeated listenings. Carrying the Bag of Hearts came about as Robbins found herself at a point in life where conventional musical ideas and concepts were unable to communicate or convey to others her inner life. Produced in a well-equipped electronic music studio, this EP is the result of an artist's encounter with music technology. Showing restraint, Robbins avoids cluttering up her pieces with unnecessary layers of sound to realize three deep and spacious works of electronic music. The opener, "At the Heart of a Spiral Galaxy" (8'42"), with its staggered arpeggios, strident rhythms and shifting details, is cinematic in scope. "Voluntary Exile" (5'42") wanders through an indistinct ambient terrain until the scene sharpens into a lyrical piano study. And finally, "In the Beginning" (8'37") is a floating sound collage that churns and rolls in all directions in a slow restless drift. Melodic and musical when it needs to be... still and atmospheric everywhere else, Carrying the Bag of Hearts presents three multi-faceted jewels from the recesses of Robbins' being.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   20 January 2005

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