Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cold Red

Cold Reading Trio @ The Red Room, Baltimore, MD
October 20, 2007

Christian Pincock: laptop, live sampling
Evan Mazunik: accordion, voice, piano
John O'Brien: drums

also playing:
Audrey Chen/Stewart Mostofsky Duo
Audrey Chen: cello, voice
Stewart Mostofsky: electronics

Cold Reading Trio opened their set with a free improvisation that featured Pincock's dynamic live sampling and playback technique. With O'Brein and Muzanik contributing short outbursts, this technique promoted a sparseness that was reflected by the similarly short outbursts of processed samples clearly drawn from things temporally recent. This makes for an aesthetically beautiful sound, but I was concerned that the rest of the set would be constrained within this textural monotony. The pieces that followed were anything but monotonous as this trio shifted toward composed works that directed their improvisational energies toward a creative and engaging variety of sounds. The presence of live sampling playback was woven into the overall performance, never overwhelming the live sparks being thrown out by the trio as a whole.

Audrey Chen mined her now familiar sonic language of extended cello technique and voice as she continues to impress me with her reactive abilities when improvising with live electronics. It wasn't all reactive improvisation for Chen, with a forceful presence she was also driving much of the texture as she carved out sonic territories well ahead of Mostofsky's additions.

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