Mick Polich - "Rothko"
(A.M.P. Records 2003)

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: March 2004

Abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was born in Russia, but his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was 10 years old and he was closely associated with the New York City avant-garde throughout his life. Mick Polich pays tribute to the artist in several movements spanning a single 39 minute track that uses sound to create an aural equivalent of the visual art that Rothko was known for. I confess that I knew little about Rothko prior to receiving Mick's CD. But part of the enjoyment of the music was reading about Rothko on the web during multiple listens to Mick's soundscape explorations, created with guitar, keyboards and various effects. The CD begins with swirling landscapes that straddle the line between ambience and aggression. Simultaneously listening to the music, viewing Rothko's work online, and reading biographical information made for an absorbing audio-visual experience. It was interesting to read that Rothko destroyed much of his early work and chose to end his life by suicide. Despite the harsher beginning section, much of Mick's music is peaceful... spacey guitar soundscapes that are like instrumental brushstrokes, literally painting a sonic landscape informed by Rothko's work. On one web site I read a quote from a John Graham, who in 1937 eloquently stated what for me could speak as easily to either visual art or music: The purpose of art in particular is to re-establish a lost contact with the un-conscious . . . and to keep and develop this contact in order to bring to the conscious mind the throbbing events of the unconscious mind. Yup.... that's what sound does for me. I think I might have come away from this recording with an inkling of how Rothko's art influenced Mick Polich the musician.

For more information you can email Mick Polich at: ac418432@earthlink.net.
Contact via snail mail c/o Mick Polich; 10400 Grooms Bridge Road; Alpharetta, GA 30022.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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