originally released on 200 hand-numbered & stamped professionally duplicated CDrs via Recital
"Schafer’s ability to intertwine passionate composition and technical proficiency is rare and inspiring. Throughout the album counter-themes emerge and propel the pieces though frantic climaxes. These flares are contrasted though many slow pastoral reflections. You can really hear his devotion to the music. Last year, when Troy contacted me about recording a release for Recital, we discussed the ambition to produce a beautiful album. I am proud to say this ambition was realized. Schafer is destined for great things."
"Troy Schafer, involved in projects like Rain Drinkers and Wreathes has some solo works as well, and Evening Song Awaken is to my knowledge his first full album release. As a classically trained violinist, Schafer gives centre stage to this instrument here, layering melodies and string drones, with a fascinating spectrum of compositional influences. Do read on, because this is one of my favourite releases of the year thus far.
The first grouping of tracks, “The Desire Towards Joy”, is a romantic and melancholic classical composition, where the rhythm flows around the main melodic swoops. Here and there, we hear soft percussion thuds, and both low and high notes providing drones in the background at the end of the first cycle. The second cycle continues the romantic, flowing theme, and includes tiny hints of what might be soft vocals in the background. The “arpeggios” are a fine coda to this first trilogy of tracks, starting with thickly layered sustained bowing, and ending in the broken chords that give the piece its name.
“The Spring of Instinct” is a very short duo of atonal pieces, functioning perhaps as a bit of a quirky palate cleanser before the extended tracks that are to follow. “Let the Corpse of the Mind Lie Unburied…” is the longest composition on the album, and it is highly influenced by drone and minimal music. A few sustained note sequences form the basis for most of the track, which is embellished by small modifications and melodies. After four minutes or so, silence sets in briefly, giving way to trumpet (an instrument that Schafer uses sparingly and successfully in many of his projects) and experimental vocals, and soon joined by violin again. From here, a denser drone is again built up, with a relatively free tonal range, building towards an intense climax. The final track, “Faint Fresh Fire”, features a few more other instruments, such as an organ and synth intro, bells, and more (I think) vocal work mimicking high-pitched animal voices. A brilliant piece that does quite a bit to tie in the purer violin works that came before with the more band- and ensemble-oriented music Schafer produces in his other projects.
In short, Evening Song Awaken is the work of a confident and very accomplished violinist and composer, and one that is unafraid to push boundaries with his music. I have the utmost respect for Schafer’s work, and this album, limited to 200 CD-R copies, should not be missing from your collecting if you value modern classical (violin) music, as well as innovative acoustic music in general."
- Oscar Strik
"On his solo album Evening Song Awaken Schafer's classical chops are thrust to the forefront and it’s a wonder they haven't come to the surface sooner. A raw nerve cycle of tension and beauty, the record fits in nicely with some of the discomfiting composition work prone to the Miasmah label or to some of Type's moodier classmen like Deaf Center. The album teems with emotion and its both starkly beautiful and bittersweet in its execution, feeling every bit the soundtrack without a film that seems so prominent in the neo-classical niche these days. Whatever the film that's playing in Schafer's head chances are its full of grey clouded fields, long tracking runs of rain dampened stone streets and a balance of life and death held tight in the characters' hands. Those looking for a new accompaniment to rainy days would be well advised to seek this out, and soon as Recital has run it in an edition of 200."
-Raven Sings The Blues
"Troy Schafer is an extremely proficient violinist, and on Evening Song Awaken he lays down the case for “extreme violin proficiency” with seven tracks of gorgeous unaccompanied classical violin."
-Tiny Mix Tapes
"probably the most surprising release is Evening Song Awaken by Troy Schafer, the midwestern multi-instrumentalist affiliated with such diverse acts as Second Family Band or Burial Hex. His solo album is a departure from ambient and psych folk areas into modern classical suites, filled with emotionally charged violin passages and contrasting fierceness and pastoral bliss."
"This album is superb... In essence, imagine Rain Drinkersesque music through the mind's eye of a classically trained violinist and you're almost there. Highly emotive and passionately delivered. Indeed a musical tour de force."