Dark, sometimes brooding ensemble passages mix and mingle with extended solo cadenzas, creating layers of intensity, at times unsettling and frantic. Tammen's compositional arsenal includes simple vamp figures ("Opening," "Coup D'Archet" and "Triadic Closure") and bombastic clusters ("Istres Control," "Intentionally Left Bank"). Each piece melds into the next, creating a continuous motion of ever-changing sonic coloring.
One of the disc highlights, and there are many, is the string section extravaganza on "Treadmill" featuring violin soloists Mark Feldman and Mari Kimura with violist Stephanie Griffin and cellist Marty Ehrlich. Other notable solos come from alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss on the rocked-out "Death Clock," trombonist Detlef Landeck on "Mdina Experience" and fretless bassist Stomu Takeishi rendering a distorted tirade at the end of "Intentionally Left Bank."
Full of spontaneity and unconventional risk-taking, Third Eye Orchestra is a captivating ride, winding through improvised peaks and valleys.