Composer Sven Helbig’s suite for strings, French horn, mallets, and electronics, Skills explores humankind’s motivation to strive for brilliance. In “Immersion,” sound floats free, pierced only by the mellow tones of a horn rising above the textures, making sense of confusion. Growing in intensity within a beautiful ostinato, “Repetition” is underpinned by a reassuring mechanical synth beat, before the inevitable setback of “Despair,” a work of almost Beethovenian sparseness and raw anguish. “Lore” is a quirky celebration of individuality that transcends our mundane search for perfection, while in “Metamorphosis,” the music drives urgently on, seeking a natural conclusion. The suite ends with a beautiful hymn to our capacity to achieve miraculous things.

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