Philip Glass’ orchestration of Bowie’s “Heroes” had a potential that quickly evaporated. Rather than give tracks such as V2 Schneider some symphonic power, he just mixed everything together into a lifeless whole. You’d be forgiven for approaching these orchestrations of that album’s lead guitarist’s work with some trepidation.
Forget trying to pin down the original Fripperies, however, and you have a collection of music lushly orchestrated by Andrew Keeling. It’s wonderfully ambitious, with long, drifting passages reminiscent of Arvo Pärt; massed male and female choruses rise and swell like waves over the music. There is no bombast, and very little orchestral rhythm, which gives the entire suite its strength. Like Fripp’s original improvisations, each of the six pieces drifts and floats, engaging the heart as well as the head.