An instrumental chamber/classical rock quartet, Far Corner combine group improvisation with completely scored works, composed in a contemporary, post-Bartokian style in an extremely assured way.
"Imagine if EMERSON,
LAKE AND PALMER and Igor STRAVINSKY had made an album together; here is
an overview of FAR CORNER." – Profil
Dan Maske – keyboards
Angela Schmidt – cello
William Kopecky – bass
Craig Walkner – drums
Far Corner's official website
On the 15th anniversary of their founding, we are very pleased, after a very long wait, to be working again with the wonderful, American, chamber-rock ensemble Far Corner for the third time with the release of their long-awaited third album Risk.
Composed in a contemporary classical style, Far Corner’s music combines influences from 20th century composers such as Stravinsky, Ives and Bartok with ambitious progressive rock bands such as ELP, Aranis, Univers Zero, Present, Henry Cow and more. .
Performed by highly skilled, trained and experienced musicians who subvert their egos to let the compositions be the stars, and played with the energy and power of rock, Far Corner’s music is stunningly original, refreshingly accessible and highly entertaining.
Founded in 2003, a year later Cuneiform released the band’s self titled debut recording. In 2007, the group released their second album, Endangered, which added more improvisation to the group’s mix, while also keeping the flag flying for thorough composed works as well.
After Endangered, Far Corner continued to perform live, preparing and presenting new music and planning for a third album. But before much could be accomplished, Craig and William were presented with exciting career opportunities which required Craig to move out of state and William to move out of country. Rather than make Far Corner – always a ‘real, live band’ – into a ‘file-sharing project’, it was decided that Dan would continue to compose for the group and to send all members the scores for their feedback and for them to rehearse to, but that the recording would wait for the opportunity for all four musicians to be in the same room together, playing live as an ensemble in the studio. Hence the long delay between release number two and three.
Despite the delay and the geographic difficulties, Risk is the group’s most ambitiously composed work so far and rigorous composition is one of the main modus operandi of the group! I would not hesitate to call it their best!
"Well they are finally back
after a decade away and the worry was 'will it be as good as previous
releases?' Well the good news is that it's not as good, it's even
better! This is probably the bands strongest release. It still features
all the rehearsal intensive composed music but rocks and bounces like a
beast.. A contender for album of the year." – ProgArchives
Far Corner's second release, Endangered,
sees the group expanding their sonic palette with a variety of
instruments outside of their core piano/organ, bass, cello, and
drumset. This release features instruments such as violin, spring drum,
melodica, trumpet, and a greater variety of keyboard sounds, as well as
a handful of home-made instruments. Compositionally, the group
continues in a predominantly contemporary classical style, augmented by
jazz and heavy rock. A long group composition is included, as well as
improvised works, and a greater variety of semi-improvisatory sections
are included within composed works. Compared to their first release,
these new works embody the individual playing styles of each member,
creating more expressive and emotional music with enhanced moods and
drama. Each composition stretches further in a variety of stylistic
directions, from the heavy and aggresive metal-styled "Creature
Council" to the jazz tune "Not From Around Here" to the dark and
experimental works "Inhuman" and "Claws." Great care has been taken to
make all tracks work together as a whole, taking the listener on one
path, with many diverse stops along the way. The title Endangered comes
from a variety of concepts. The obvious "endangered species" theme may
serve as a symbol for the idea that many elements in today's society
which were once held dear have become scarce in favor of money-making
commercial endeavors. Adventurous music of all types is one of these
elements that is threatened, and Far Corner more than does their part
to keep it alive.
"Keyboards, cello, bass and drums cooperate for instrumental "chamber rock" - a synthesis of a heavier progressive style with acoustic elements like cello...with the cello often following a perfectly-intoned tenth above, resulting in a slithery, silky undertow for the band.... Mind-blowing.... fun to listen to...." - Keyboard
"This is not only a very accomplished recording -- it's a very entertaining one." - All Music Guide
Endangered press release
is an exciting and auspicous debut release by a chamber rock quartet
from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Far Corner play carefully honed
compositions, composed in a style that reflects influences from 20th
century composers, such as Stravinsky and Bartok conbined with
classical/chamber rock greats like Univers Zero , early ELP, Present
and more, combined in their own fashion. In addition to their
compositions, Far Corner also perform purely improvised music. Their
music maintains the energy level and power of rock, but in an extremely
sophisticated way. Their music is mysterious, sometimes dark, and
always intriguing. Far Corner uses a relatively small palette of
instrumental colors to achieve a big sound: Grand piano and Hammond
organ, cello (played both ‘classically’ and with amplification and
fuzzboxes to give it a metal edge ala Alamaailman Vasarat), electric
bass (by the very excellent Bill Kopecky) and drums. Their fusion of
classical and rock instrumentation is untraditional; occasionally it
even inverts the instruments’ roles, using rock instruments in a
classical context and manner and treating classical instruments as
though they were rock. Most notably, each instrument in the quartet is
treated as an equal, and all instruments are assigned melodic,
harmonic, and rhythmic roles. The four musicians are all extremely
accomplished players, and this is sure to get the attention it deserves
from fans of chamber/progressive rock.
rock' may not be the most commercial of genres, but it's the basis for
one of the most exciting new groups in instrumental progressive music.
The Milwaukee quartet Far Corner, comprised of musicians with years of
experience playing jazz and rock...make provacative and moody
soundscapes that are oddly familiar yet uncomfortably distant. ...Even
listeners who aren't typically drawn to instrumental albums may be
enlightened by this one." - Goldmine