While many contemporary compositions responding to traumatic events do so by loudly conveying open anguish, Worthington takes a different approach. This is quiet music, though hardly gentle. Fragments of descending chromatic scales, played eerily with glissando effects or tremolo backing, convey the image of pieces of glass falling through the air. Strings play slowly oscillating harmonies or disappear entirely, leaving winds, very soft brass chords, and mallet percussion to carry the music.
The overall effect of Shredding Glass is one of awe and sorrow, well expressed by one critic as “an undercurrent of unresolved apprehension.” It conveys both unease and the composer’s desire for catharsis. It’s an interesting piece, and it stood strongly apart from the rest of the evening’s program.
…Worthington places herself above all developments and draws her inspiration from the totality of music, in a fusion of styles and eras. This is the only way to create music that carries the listener as far as yearning can reach.
There is a deep interiority to this music, which seems directly in touch with a private dreamworld that the composer makes universal. …Worthington has an instantly recognizable sound, an austere sensuality not quite like anyone else, …a composer of considerable imagination, emotional expressiveness, and poetic sensibility—one who needs to be heard more widely.
The inimitable composer Rain Worthington enlists an exceptional cast of musicians for this instrumental effort that touches on the universality of the human experience with an eclectic approach of ancient, medieval modality and sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical sounds.
An extremely eloquent display of non-verbal expressions, Worthington’s craft is both powerful and delicate, and her accomplished help make these 8 compositions heartfelt and soulful.
With this new album, Worthington continues to explore the mystery of the ability of instrumental music to reflect the universality of human experiences. …Passages Through Time brings together eight works for different instrumental groups — for solo, for duets, for chamber ensemble and for orchestra. Her language, sensitive and boldly coherent, becomes a real spell that unleashes the imagination and elevates the feeling.
Worthington is a rare contemporary composer who unabashedly calls her own music “quite beautiful,” but she’s absolutely justified in doing so!
The musical trajectory is meditative and contemplative and then expansive in turn.
… The music hangs together like a series of Japanese woodcuts, each at base related in a continuum, like as a set series, but each decidedly distinct in its end sequence and overall sonarity.
… It is beautiful and original, rugged and tender, seriously expressive and an uplifting example of what musical humans are doing these days. I have found Ms. Worthington ever her own stylist and ever inspired. This volume is no exception. It is a joy to hear.
Coupling Biber’s Passacaglia for Solo Violin with Balancing on the Edge of Shadows by contemporary composer Rain Worthington is simply splendid. Biber and Worthington, separated by centuries of musical legacy, treat the violin as the most precious voice and there is a deep sonority running throughout, a shared melancholy that underlies the subtle tension underneath the beautiful melodies.
The astonishing vitality of Rain Worthington’s Shadows of the Wind lies in its language, with which it transmits, through nostalgic cellos, sumptuous poetic images. It should be noted that Worthington’s compositional ideas very often express a message essentially of clear and unambiguous emotions.
Rain Worthington is a contemporary voice that demands to be heard. The present first collection [Dream Vapors] establishes her as a unique orchestral exponent, an inspired artist saying something definite and compelling today.
Dream Vapors is a new Classical album by Rain Worthington, who delivers on an emotional level, offering us segments of pure tranquil beauty and others of tremendous fear and tension. …It’s a project that deserves the listener’s complete attention – and to be honest, once you start listening to it you’ll find it hard to concentrate on anything else.
Worthington’s orchestral writing in Dream Vapors takes us inside the sometimes illogical world of dreams and memories and uses a fusion of styles—ancient, medieval sounds expressed via modality and open sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical approaches to basic ideas — to capture components of the human experience.
She has the ability to state her compositional case to us directly, as it were, in absolutely concrete if mystical terms. She somehow makes clear to us how we experience the transitional, impermanent and ever shifting quality of a later modernist world. Perhaps I am reading into the music, but a sort of chromatic instability within a rooted quality most certainly comes at us as listeners and we respond.
Her passion for music, especially that for orchestra, has allowed her to use what seems like a great deal of natural talent to produce some very fine work; …Hopefully, this new and very interesting album will cause some conductors and performers and even some movie types to take notice for it is hard to ignore.
..this is human music. …For too many composers, modern music is either the sound of squeaky gates or inconsequential, aimless shimmerings. Neither description is appropriate here: the modernity is in speaking to the condition of humanity as it is.
The size of the orchestra ranges between smaller to more full, yet it is the impact of the composing in every case that stands out as full of dark, burnished color. She is a master of her own orchestral palette.
The composer’s creations are inexhaustibly inventive, never at a loss for a surprising harmonic solution or a novel gesture in orchestration. At times one hears the influence of world music in moments of percussion, at other times a given turn of phrase in melody is deliberately repeated for emphasis, mining a bit the world of minimalism. But overall this is the work of an eclectic, sui-generis musical artist who walks to the beat of her own romantic heart and outside the parameters of contemporary music.
There is a remarkable consistency of style here suggesting that this composer has a clearly established voice. Clearly Worthington is a master of orchestration as she wields complex orchestral pallets where dissonance, as well as orchestration contribute to the color in a basically tonal framework. … the impression to this listener suggests influences as diverse as Claude Debussy, Jacob Druckman, Daniel Asia, Toru Takemitsu, and Anton Bruckner. This is beautiful though not “pretty” music with complex emotional content that leans in somber, wistful, sometimes haunting, and even nostalgic directions much as an impressionist painting.
Rain plays with minimalistic patterns and motion, creating dissonant moments that ultimately resolve themselves into something of a quilted blanket of mysterious contentment.
Worthington’s music is melodic yet moody, peculiar yet soothing, familiar…yet just slightly foreign and unusual. …She has an incredible knack for coming up with cool flowing melodies and wonderfully precise arrangements.
Many of the pieces balance that floating quality with a feeling of forward motion and inner exploration; they follow their own logic and have secrets to reveal.