It’s no surprise that Trey Pollard would eventually get around to releasing an album on his own. He’s established a growing reputation for his cinematic work with artists like Foxygen and Natalie Prass, as well as playing jazz guitar on Rex Richardson’s “Blue Shift” and his co-led but non-eponymous “Old New Things."
Pollard was the arranger for most of the selections in the September 2017 RVA Live concert, featuring local artists accompanied by the Richmond Symphony. Maybe given the latter, and his affinity for string arrangements starting with Matthew E. White’s “Big Inner” and reaching an early apotheosis with Natalie Prass’ ravishing, album-closing “It Is You,” it should not be a surprise that “Antiphone” is an ambitious, classical chamber collection.
The recording consists of “Eight Pairs,” six preludes and seven fugues for string quintet, each clocking in at around two minutes. These are bookended by “Fixed Ideas,” a longer, two-part piece for piano and string orchestra. Some of the pieces are moodily introspective, others propulsive and upbeat. There are hints of Charles Ives Americana and Stravinsky rhythms, a whiff of melodic minimalism, and a bit of avant-garde spice. In all, it is a very approachable listening experience. The short running times ensure a concise, accessible focus.
The RVA launch of the recording, featuring members of Classical Revolution RVA, with an opening solo set by Spacebomb mastermind Matthew E. White, is at the Hof on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door.