The Waste Land by Boris RogowskiRelease date: February 10, 2023
Label: Piano and Coffee
Artists/musicians that work within the realm of modern classical, neoclassical, ambient, and similar genres, as well as the intersection of most or all of them, often find inspiration in other artistic forms.
German composer Boris Rogowski is yet another such artist. Hence, the concept of his latest album, Waste Land, comes from the iconic T.S. Elliot poem of the same name.
Like so many other artists, Rogowski conceived this set of 11 compositions during the pandemic and decided that its release should, as much as possible, coincide with the 100th anniversary of T.S. Elliot’s poem (2022).
The music itself here covers quite a wide ground from modern classical to post-rock, with Rogowski referencing quite a few well-known names, from Michael Nyman and Philip Glass to Tortoise, Swans, and Tim Hecker, among others.
This wide number of sources comes from the fact that Rogowski received classical music training (piano and oboe) at a young age, to almost abandoning it as a teenager, switching to guitar, and playing in various bands.
Still, at some point, he combined the two ‘different’ musical backgrounds, all to be heard on this album. Often, this type of split musical personality doesn’t bode well for artists trying to combine disparate musical elements, but Rogowski obviously has both the capabilities and the touch to do so, combining those elements, as well as acoustic and electronic instruments (with the participation of equally qualified musicians) to come up with a worthy tribute to T.S. Elliot’s poem and its fitting placement in the era of the pandemic.