Sunday, February 22, 2009
Vanessa Rossetto - Dogs in English Porcelain
It's not generally available yet and I've no idea when or where it will be, but keep an ear out for this one. A 41-minute piece, it has something of an episodic nature and is somewhat less viola-driven than other works I've heard from her (though the viola remains very present, to be sure), ably mixing field recordings and electronics with the strings. Has a really good balance between harsher sounds and smoother, low drones, between crystalline tinkles and rough-hewn thuds, etc. It's the kind of work where the elements are not so unfamiliar, but their juxtaposition and embeddedness within the whole are beautifully handled, causing one to hear them as though new. The breaks between sections often arrive, perversely enough, just as one is really settling into a particularly inviting sound-world; you're suddenly jerked into a whole 'nuther place, initially disorienting, only to find that one, gradually, attains a different kind of depth and richness and just as one is....
Masterfully constructed and a joy from end to end. Hopefully this will make its way, in one manner or another, out into the world at large, soon.
Cor Fuhler - Wenen (Conundrum)
Talk about a quick turnaround! This was recorded on 1/22/09 and arrived in Jersey City for Valentine's Day. Solo acoustic piano (with electronic preparations), it's another good one. Long, thin drones (courtesy an ebow?) over delicate, Cageian prepared keyboard sounds, more insistent punctuation now and then, wonderful (almost motoric) plucking and strumming of the strings, twining in metallic spirals, expanding and thinning out again, beautifully concluded. More steady-state than Vanessa's, but just as sonically rich and driving. Very good stuff.
Available wherever Cor happens to be standing.
Also listening to:
Ali Akbar Khan - Traditional Music of India (Prestige,1995 reissue of two 1965 recordings)
Ustad Imrat Khan - Rag Madhur Ranjani (Music of the World)
Vadya Lahari - South Indian Instrumental Ensemble (Music of the World)