Review in All Music by Blair Sanderson
"quiet, lyrical expressions and subdued meditation. Waller's unhurried and gentle music is well-suited to introspection."
"Waller belongs to the generation of postminimalist composers who have absorbed the techniques and procedures of the avant-garde, yet he has moved on to find fresh resources in the use of Greek modes, traditional counterpoint, and the influences of impressionism, gamelan, and pandiatonicism."
Review in Examiner by Stephen Smoliar
"exquisitely crafted" ... "striking"
"introducing a rhetoric of stillness (not to be confused with John Cage’s attention to silence), a rhetoric that Eno would continue to explore beyond the life of [his Obscure] label. In the selections chosen for The South Shore, Waller seems to be taking up the torch of that particular rhetorical stance, applying it to a wide diversity of sonorities by combining different assortments of instruments in chamber music settings. One might also consider Valentin Silvestrov’s “aesthetic of quietude” as a “bridge” between Eno and Waller.”
Review in PopMatters by John Garratt
"debut full length recording The South Shore is a bold surprise"
"The South Shore is the sound of the entire world stopping and taking the time to have a good cry."
"Waller’s melodies are stretching out but remain concise enough to stay with you long after the point of contact. Labeling the music as “romantic” threatens to do what all labeling does—pigeonhole. But by side-stepping the flowery sentiments of yesterday and the atonal abrasions of today, Michael Vincent Waller has made a strong case for modern classicism. Don’t bother looking that genre up; just go visit The South Shore."
Review in TinyMixTapes by Adam Devlin
"“The South Shore”, available now on XI Records, collects pieces written from 2011-2014 that touch on classical minimalism and a contemporary adaptation of the avant-garde, employing artful counterpoint and slyly subversive structures of tension and resolve."
"Waller’s abilities as a composer enable him to walk an invisible line between a hundred different dispositions, moving effortlessly from crushing sadness to wistful peace, to curious places of inquisition and wonder."
Review in Textura (March 2015 Issue No. 121)
"Waller positions himself as somewhat of a lone wolf... "
"... there's also no denying the appeal of Waller's music, which, rich in counterpoint and elegant in flow, speaks to the listener with an undeniable immediacy, and one comes away from the recording impressed by its genuine character."
"From the seductively pensive cello-and-piano duet “Anthems” with which the recording lullingly begins to the dramatic bass clarinet-and-gong duo “Arbitrage” with which it ends, The South Shore—by turns impressionistic, autumnal, introspective—entrances the listener with one supple chamber-styled setting after another."
Review in Other Music by Niels Van Tomme
"a unique, courageous proposition of postminimal music"
"... stillness, a sense of all-encompassing quietude and immobility. An antidote to today's hyper-connected, fluid world, the record, quite surprisingly, articulates immediacy. This confident approach is richly illustrated across the double-disc's 21 miniature compositions, which explore a unique territory in between romantic reverie, folk miniatures, and repeating (but not repetitive) patterns..."
"The South Shore is the convincing debut of a promising composer."
Review in Vital Weekly No. 983 by DM
"If there were one common characteristic in all these compositions, then I would mention stillness, a meditative state that is evoked by his serene music"
"Waller does play a dangerous game. His compositions are everything modern composed music shouldn’t be, viewed from the Boulez-paradigm. But so what? Waller cleverly stays far from clichés with his gentle, friendly and self-conscious music. And that is quite an achievement."
Staff Picks Album of the Week at Second Inversion by Sarah Anthony
"composer Michael Vincent Waller is able to effortlessly conjure impressions of otherness, without pointing directly to any particular era or locale."
"Evocative, unfettered, and at times even bucolic, Waller’s music transports, and all this music asks of us is to come along for the ride."
Review in AttnMagazine by Jack Chuter
"Waller weaves these emotions into gorgeous arcs, propelling the instruments (woodwind, brass, strings, piano) through loops and fluid chicanes with the soft propulsion of serene acceptance. If sadness has to permeate the palette of happiness, may it not be a blemish on vibrancy, but an agent in the creation of beautiful faded hues."
“...like the secret shudders of lovers in ecstasy or the restrained convulsions of sadness – intimacy and contemplation within a thin slither of limelight...”
Netherlands Radio Theme Program on Concerzender (120 mins)
"The 29-year old New Yorker Michael Vincent Waller takes no notice of fashions. In his often beautiful compositions we hear modal harmonies, dreamy themes and seductive melodies. He is influenced by the minimalism of Terry Riley, but we can the impressionism of Ravel and Satie in his timeless music as well."
Review in Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2015 Issue by Colin Clarke
"masively tender" ... " a timeless quality"
"A fascinating release. Waller’s music is much varied, from nods to modernism and minimalism to a modal space where peace reigns."
Review in The Sound Projector by Stuart Marshall
“Elegant, emotional and complex… Critics have been enamoured of their paradoxically vigorous-yet-contemplative manner…”
“...this conjoining of past and present occasions a palpable emotional space quite outside of linear time...”
“...the quantity of quality composition on this double disc set is monumental...”
Review in Sequenza21 by Paul Muller
"...this album is like a weekend in the south of France."
"sense of intimacy and empathy to the underlying structure..."
"Michael Vincent Waller’s music continues to beguile by combining contemporary and renaissance sensibilities, making The South Shore an accessible and satisfying experience."
Review in Planet Hugill by Robert Hugill
"exploring a calmness and inner tranquility which has an almost Zen-like feel."
"There is something quite seductive about some of this music and Michael Vincent Waller does seem to have a very distinct voice."
Review in Just Outside by Brian Olewnick
"The initial work, "Anthems", for cello and piano sets the tone -- a lovely, brooding line on cello, darkly Romantic, with tender, accommodating adornment from the piano. Like all of the music here, it's finely conducted, lovingly played."
"a series of well-written, charming compositions for small groupings or solos that meld together..."
Review in Inner Magazine by Kari Nevalainen
"Waller creates kind of impressionistic snapshots, images of moments..."
"melodicity, lyricism and serenity create associations that rather refer to film music, and indeed should make many of the minimalistic compositions interesting for film makers."
Review in Wire Magazine, August 2015 Issue No. 378 by Julian Crowley
"disarmingly straightforward...and sincere."
Review in HIS Voice, Czech magazine by Tagy K Članku
"an optimistic dreaminess prevails..." "in suppression of the artistic ego"
Debut album The South Shore by Michael Vincent Waller on XI Records, 2xCD record release available March 8th 2015, featuring chamber works composed from (2011-2014) performed by the following twenty-five musicians, including ensembles: Christine Kim and Pauline Kim Harris (Project SiS) with Conrad Harris, Daniel Panner, Charity Wicks; Dedalus Ensemble with Didier Aschour, Amélie Berson, Cyprien Busolini, Thierry Madiot, Pierre Stéphane Meugé, Deborah Walker; 20<21 Ensemble with Yael Manor, Itay Lantner, Erin Wight, Clara Kennedy, and Jessica Park; Nicolas Horvath; Esther Noh; Carson Cooman; Katie Porter and Devin Maxwell (Red Desert); Luna Cholong Kang; Marija Ilic.
1. Anthems (2014) for cello and piano duo
2. Atmosfera di Tempo (2013) for string quartet
3. Profondo Rosso (2013) for piano trio
4. Per La Madre e La Nonna (2012) for string trio
5. Pasticcio per meno è più (2014) for piano solo
6. La Rugiada del Mattino (2013) for violin and cello duo
7. Tre Pezzi per Trio di Pianoforte (2014) - Pezzo I for piano trio
8. Tre Pezzi per Trio di Pianoforte (2014) - Pezzo II for piano trio
9. Tre Pezzi per Trio di Pianoforte (2014) - Pezzo III for piano trio
10. Nel Nome di Gesù (2013) - I. for cello and organ duo
11. Nel Nome di Gesù (2013) - II. for cello and organ duo
12. Organum (2014) for organ solo
13. Tacca Prima (2013) for cello solo
14. Il Tenuto Mento Alto (2014) for violin solo
1. Ritatto (2013) for sextet - flute, alto sax, electric guitar, viola, cello, trombone
2. La Riva Sud (2014) for piano and viola duo
3. Pupazzo di Neve Partitas (2013) - I. Allemande for cello solo
4. Pupazzo di Neve Partitas (2013) - II. Courante for cello solo
5. Pupazzo di Neve Partitas (2013) - III. Sarabande for cello solo
6. Pupazzo di Neve Partitas (2013) - IV. Gigue for cello solo
7. Variations for Quintet (2014) - Variations I for flute, string trio, and piano
8. Variations for Quintet (2014) - Variations II for flute, string trio, and piano
9. Miniatures (2014) - III. Return from The Fork for piano solo
10. Y per Henry Flynt (2012) - I. Fuguey Prelude for cello solo
11. Y per Henry Flynt (2012) - II. Post-Sonata for cello solo
12. Y per Henry Flynt (2012) - III. Quarter-Tone Rondo for cello solo
13. Y per Henry Flynt (2012) - IV. Slow Scherzo for cello solo
14. Capo Finale (2012) - I. Capo for viola and piano duo
15. Vocalise (2014) for flute solo
16. Arbitrage Deux (2013) for clarinet solo
17. Arbitrage (2011) for bass clarinet and gong percussion duo