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Stuart Greenbaum is an Australian composer writing music with connections to jazz, pop and minimalism. He is interested in pure, abstract sound.
Title work 800 Million Heartbeats takes only 7 minutes 51 seconds but refers to the fact that many living creatures last for around 800 million heartbeats: it is ''a metaphor for a life, measured in heartbeats, and the journeys that fill its course''.
There are four other brief works, and three lasting from 10 to 17 minutes: Falling by Degrees, The Year without a Summer, and Book of Departures.
I soon lost interest in some of the prolonged modern experiments in sound, but violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins show the NZ Trio's professional artistry in some challenging performances.
Highlight: Scarborough Variations.