And so we have the sunlit edifice of Skyling, with its aspirate rhythms and optimistic equality of voices, in which no line leads but each one is necessary. Or the darker opening of In Paradisum, rough like a pre-Columbian dance, gliding soon into the serious game of transformations that eventually sidesteps the auditioning mind and imprints itself on the body. And the closing section of the same work, in which the recombinant energy of everything previous settles into an andante that is like a processional for an absent gracious spirit.

Animated Shorts is Michael J. Baker at his most turbulent, with a relentlessness in some figures that banishes the equilibrium he always sought and sometimes didn’t find. Columbus may be his most reflective and various work, from the opening resonant chords that participate in a long ago eloquence; to the later rhythms that tease at boogie-woogie; to the variant recapitulations that reach for something other than organic form; to the homophonic closing that feels like someone stepping with watchful eye into a new yet familiar place.

1. Skyling 2. Columbus
3-4. Animated Shorts
5-8. In Paradisum

The Arraymusic Ensemble