“Secrets of Secrets,” a new album by clarinetist Aaron Novik, has an air of doom about it.
The album takes its name and inspiration from a five-book series written by the Jewish mystic Rabbi Eleazar Rokeach, who lived in Worms and in 1196 witnessed crusaders slaughter his wife and children.
This isn’t the first time Novik has incorporated written sources into his music. “Floating World Vol. 1,” released last year, paid tribute to the poetry of fringe artists of the Mission District area in San Francisco, where Novik is based.
But “Secrets of Secrets,” composed of five tracks all longer than 11 minutes, is more abstruse than that. The music can be hard to listen to: tense and muddy and violent and powerful.