Saturday, March 17, 2007
"Mass" is a project joining the ensemble Looper (Nikos Veliotis, Martin Kuchen & Ingar Zach) with my favorite pianist in the world, John Tilbury. Their initial release, a DVD on Esquilo records out of Portugal, arrived yesterday. This was a highly anticipated offering in that, aside from Tilbury, Looper's "Squarehorse" (absurd) was a much-loved disc from last year and the prospect of the four musicians together seemed especially juicy. I'll withhold more detailed judgment until subsequent listens, only to say that of the two tracks, the first falls in line with more or less what I'd have expected, that is to say, long, rich dronage with piano surfacing periodically, either in brief melodic patterns or stroked, tapped, etc. All well and good, but the second performance is happily a whole 'nother issue, a rough and complex piece that will bear much further investigation.
However, I gotta say that the video accompaniment, by Veliotis, does almost nothing for me. Consisting of layered images of a (generally, intentionally kitschy) religious nature, the means of creation becomes clear after a minute or two and then ceases to have very much interest aside from this of that fleeting visual effect. You keep waiting for a new tack but it never arrives. Worse, after lasting through the first work, the entire video recapitulates for the second. Again, more later in the write-up I'll do for Bags, though in the case of the video, I'm not sure there's much left to discover.
Certainly worth it for the music, though.