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Evgueni Galperine, 'Loplop im Wald'

If you could hire a composer to score your dreams, Evgueni Galperine just might be your man. A Paris-based artist with Ukrainian roots, Galperine describes his style of music-making as an "augmented reality of acoustic instruments." He begins with real instruments but processes them, often beyond recognition, while adding color and texture not found in the natural world.

"Loplop im Wald" (Loplop in the Forest), which concludes Galperine's new and startlingly strange album Theory of Becoming, is inspired by the surrealist paintings of Max Ernst. Loplop was Ernst's alter ego, a kind of bird-king with human features and magical powers. The piece commences with a subterranean drumbeat beneath woozy, swirling strings. What follows is a dreamscape of odd sounds: Morse-code-like bird chirps, a reedy toy train whistle and a real whistler, whose perky tune, in stark juxtaposition to its surroundings, becomes profoundly disturbing.

Galperine understands the suggestive power that wordless music can wield. "It is instrumental music," he says, "which traces a rather complex furrow which, I hope, leaves room for a personal journey."

Like perhaps a fantastical dream.

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Tom Huizenga
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.