“Virga: streaks or wisps of precipitation falling from a cloud but evaporating before reaching the ground. In certain cases, shafts of virga may precede a microburst.” – NOAA
Virga is the eighteenth release from Jeff Greinke, whose respected career as a musician, composer, performer and sound-sculptor spans 30 years. With a discography that includes album titles like Winter Light, Weather From Another Planet, Cities In Fog, Big Weather, Changing Skies, Moving Climates, and Before The Storm to name a few, it’s clear that Greinke draws great inspiration from the atmospheric conditions of his environment. “This music is informed by my visual surroundings, primarily the landscapes, big skies and weather of the desert Southwest,” confirms Greinke, who currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, where the virga phenomenon is common during the monsoon season.
Greinke continues, “With Virga I have returned to a textural and ambient approach to composing music, similar to my work of the 80’s and 90’s, and merged that with the more harmonic / melodic sound I’ve been exploring in recent years. After completing the title track I was struck by how the sonic fabric of the music resembled curtains of rain falling from the sky, so I was inspired to call it Virga. Virga sometimes occurs at the onset of dangerous and dramatic weather. The mood present preceding an intense storm is similar to the subtle foreboding quality of some of the pieces on this album.”
The music on Virga takes shape as strata of slow moving melodies stream their way through expansive atmospherics and pastoral passages of ambient chamber music, highlighted by cello, trumpet and piano on many selections; all drifting together to construct complex harmonic musical skyscapes. The cumulative result is a collection of vast, textural, cinematic, and melodic compositions with a strong sense of mood and place that gently evolve and drift like the clouds themselves.