In Orfeo, Powers tells the story of a man journeying into his past as he desperately flees the present. Composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab-- the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns-- has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive. As an Internet-fueled hysteria erupts, Els-- the " Bioterrorist Bach"-- pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey. Through the help of his ex-wife, his daughter, and his longtime collaborator, Els hatches a plan to turn this disastrous collision with the security state into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them.
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by Richard Powers
by Richard Condon
by Tim Powers
"Narrator Christopher Hurt does a creditable job with this difficult work. PowersÕs erudite novel features the life of an avant-garde composer who, in a mysterious pursuit late in his life, hacks the genetic code of a common bacterium. Throughout, our hero stumbles around as a clueless observer writing music no one ever hears in a seeming parody of the entire avant-garde movement. Hurt applies a robot-like voice for the Serratia bacterium that is the alter-ego of the piece. While his voicings for other characters are less successful, his pacing and timing are good, given the rambling nature of the narrative and the continual abrupt flashbacks. M.C. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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