Robert Poss is responsible for a record that is mesmerizing and stunning in scope. This richly textured release features pieces commissioned for choreographers Alexandra Beller, Gerald Casel, and Sally Gross. This collection is a beautiful manipulation of sound, a droning amalgamation of artistically challenging brilliance. Leaving his guitar and wall of distortion at home, Poss generates songs of quiet, genteel serenity, almost to the point of not moving. Ethereal yet still piercing, Settings is a journey of enchanting beauty which hovers precariously on the verge of chaos. The opening bells of “Other Stories Interlude” (which return on “The Pleasure of Stillness”) and the engrossing “Feed Forward” are two of the works created for Beller, and two of my favorites. Longer efforts, particularly “Border Crossing March”, crafted for Casel, and the complex “Stare Decisis” are absorbing experiments of tone and structure. There is still room for remarkable warmth and beauty as exemplified by the lush strings on the majestic “Tourniquet Revisited”. The sophistication of Settings is staggering, for the record transcends soundscapes and enters rarified air usually reserved for only the most exemplary classical works. While each song is elegantly performed with a wholly unique personality, there is cohesion throughout the record as the fourteen tracks possess an intimacy and immediacy that defines the larger work. It is soulful and powerful in its scope and subtle force. Poss is a genius at creating atmospheres that are intimate yet expansive, daunting yet personal. Only on the concluding “Robert Palmer Tribute Coda” does Poss’ more traditional side emerge, as the song is a scathing eighty-five seconds of guitar squall and feedback. This is a triumph.