What I learned from Gilgamesh, the second collaboration between Éva Polgár and Sándor Vály (I haven’t heard 2012’s Mondrian Variations), is that there is no historical person, event, or idea that can’t be evoked through 21st-century post-minimalist music. That’s really not meant as an attack on this piece or on the style in general. What it means is that like any other musical language, post-minimalism is abstract—it’s about itself, and any extra-musical meaning we attach to it is imposed by the listener, or aided by the composer via titles.
All of that said, Gilgamesh is just fine—atmospheric, kind of brooding grooves and waves of sound. A couple of the sections, notably “Shamhat,” lean pretty heavily towards prog, which makes sense given the subject matter.
I read a review of this disc somewhere that indicated the reviewer found Gilgamesh tough going, amelodic and harmonically unfocused. I found it a pleasant hour of rhythmically insistent, if not hard-driving or ear-stretching, music.
Stream “The City”: