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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life

White Notes Compel Me (into a Changing Medley)
by Paris Tirone ||
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Pont Mirabeau: Songs 2000-2002
A CD by Ma
rc Ellis
Taliesin's Riddle, Laxmi Music, New Orleans

download "Shanghai to Seattle"
download "Shanghai to Seattle (w. vocals)"

It's no secret in these cobwebbed halls to hear Marc Ellis' fanatical devotion to composing for film, stage and video has brought melodies of the infamous, "The Fantomas Waltz" and "HOI!" creeping up the hills of Hollywood. Each score was created for the film: "F", starring Terrence Stamp, based somewhat on the Fantomas stories. (1)
      God (anyone!) help us, for Ellis is making mischief of music again! Another occasion where a persistent glint of brilliance winks its way between the creases of Her watchful gaze. Orfeu Negroi has faded on into an emergent dawn. Black widows scurry away as Her amphitheatre parts wide the curtain, revealing a rare star of media's newest hour appearing on the spot lit soundstage.
      En guard! Marc Ellis, renowned cosmo-jaunter, has reversed his shadowy playwrights' cape -- to wrap his accomplished innovation of harmonic notes -- around an uplifting melody haunted by the phantasmagoric. A song portraying a lover transporting l'esprit of the beloved tenderly entwined within his own -- across expanses of the planetary body in a rhythmically undulating tempo -- becomes an "S.O.S.".
      Or "SHANGHAI - o(h) -[help me someone, -O- Life; like where are you, baby] - SEATTLE." ["Calling passengers. . . . . now traveling, from 'Shanghai to Seattle'.....boarding passes please, this way. Step lively, prepare for take off, do you dare. . . . . hand over your hearts."]
      In his vocal version of "Shanghai to Seattle" -- composer, Marc Ellis employs an innovative opening technique of background 'airport interference' -- a surreal paging of the present into a sense of the impermanence of separation, travel, and human communion. This effective tool remains a constant in a tune unwinding in a joyful, transcendental beauty -- reminiscent of the compositions of Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim -- whose spectacular Latin legacy has greatly influenced the PONT MIRABEAU composer's own history.
      The craftsmanship applied in Ellis' sparkling flow of "Chinese Lunar New Year Parade music" effects, grace of his outrageous addiction to keyboarding and synths -- colorfully weaves through a sensuously-charged Bossa Nova beat -- and calls for atmospheric interpretation. Wed this to the nuance of emotionally compelling lyrics transporting fictional characters and listening audience alike -- in his air-to-land sensitively narrated drama -- onto a film set of lovers yearning, internationally. A wistfully anguished air, rising from those who sincerely cannot help but love, virtually intoxicates a heart into romantic syncopation.
      Safe arrival and passage through customs, occurs via mystical transportation on an Eastern Oriental AirExpress of richly textured soundscapes. Ellis virtuosically achieves a blending of tonalities: energizing with soothing -- mastering once again (like Jobim) this dreamy, exotic haze -- gliding on moods' lyrical planes, as does his passenger. Such sonic extravagance calls for elaborate mercurial spellbinding, to overcompensate for the composers' alleged melancholia. This breathless reviewer obviously is hopelessly ensnared.
      A crimson silken dragon awakes from cultural slumber -- threads its resonance through a subterranean plot of playful reinvigoration, vibrato interruptus -- a la jet plane! In a pulse expressive of a quietly desperate desire -- unusually focused through the dead steel strings of Marc's 29-year-old Guild -- the PONT MIRABEAU Ensemble guitarist strums the dashingly romantic, entertains the eternally nostalgic, and finger-picks the impossibly erotic. A softness of voice balances a vibrational underlying insistence, of intents' longing for intensity.
      Whether music to dance to, love to or fly by -- "Shanghai to Seattle's" vapor trails of listening satisfaction -- soar onto the scale at a perfect 10 per metric measure. Paralleling the history of Bossa Nova itself as an awakening movement between worlds in musical consciousness, Marc Ellis' masterful mixing of genre styles represents a smooth runway, to a new velvet revolution on the sound and airwaves.
End Notes
(1) Howard A. Rodman Writer/Director. Produced by Laurie Parker of Clementine Productions in Hollywood, California.

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