June 17, 2024

My ArchitectMy Architect: A Son’s Journey
(Original Score)
(Commotion / Koch – 2004)
by Matt Robinson

So few of us ever come to know our fathers- that is truly know them. It was with this contemporary dilemma in mind that Nathaniel Kahn launched a world wide search for his own father ­ famed architect Louis Kahn. On this album, composer Joseph Vitarelli puts together travel music for this most adventurous and perilous of journeys. From the spare shroud of “Penn Station” (the site where Kahn’s body was found over 25 years ago) to the swaying chimes of “Travel Waltz,” from the gypsied strains of “BeginningsŠ,” and the fleeting glimpse of “The Nomad,” and from the spacious pair of “American Hymns,” and the closing narration by Kahn himself, Vitarelli effectively and affectingly captures many parts and aspects of the father’s life while musically chronicling the son’s quest.

Along the way, the Kahns dance to Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Cantor Benjamin Maissner’s “Hayom T’amtzeinu” and an Islamic “Call to Prayer.” In each of these songs, there is a piece of Kahn. Still, at the end of the album ­ as at the end of the Academy award-nominated film ­ the question remains- can the enigmatic and oft mysterious genius named Louis Kahn ever be known, even by his own son?

© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR

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