Saturday, August 14, 2010

HurdAudio Rotation: Spaces Between Dylan and Thoreau

Jewels & Binoculars: Floater. 2004. Ramboy: 20.

Michael Moore: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica, bells
Lindsey Horner: bass
Michael Vatcher: percussion

Jewels and Binoculars bring an incredible quality of musicianship to this recording. Almost completely without flash or shredding technique, this trio fuses together with an unhurried devotion to melody. Each improvised detail added into the delicate balance of a sound focused with loving detail upon the melodic materials of Bob Dylan. The sound on this disc opens up with all the awe and natural force of a flower reaching full bloom. Easily missed if one doesn't slow down to catch up to its beauty. Intensely rewarding when the ears take the time to focus upon its fragrance.

Marianne Trudel: Espaces libres. 2004. Marianne Trudel: TRUD 2004.

Marianne Trudel: piano

The first solo effort from this incredibly talented pianist. This set slants heavily toward short, lyrical realizations with a relentless inventiveness pulsating in support of her nearly flawless phrasing. With a scattering of free improvisations and light forays into the internal parts of the instrument as spicy interludes this makes for a satisfying listen with plenty of variety. Not lost on these ears is the polished, pleasant qualities of these melodic lines and subtle shifts. Marianne Trudel has great compositional and improvisational instincts and is easily a talent that bears watching.

Elliott Sharp/Sirius String Quartet: Dispersion of Seeds. 2003. Zoar Music: ZPO-03.

Meg Okura: violin
Gregor Huebner: violin
Ron Lawrence: viola
David Eggar: cello

A texture study inspired by Henry David Thoreau's work dealing with the mechanism of reforestation and the propagation of plant species. The three aural images presented here in 16-minute blocks offer up an acoustic reading of this composition followed by electronically manipulated versions of the same performance. The liner notes suggest that these may be heard as separate pieces or as three movements of the same work. Hearing them in order suggests an evolution from generation to generation as each successive version bears a strong resemblance to its previous take while exhibiting significant "growth" (or "mutation") with the increasing aggressiveness of electronic manipulation. Elliott Sharp's chamber compositions continue to be his most engaging material. Particularly as he finds ways to continually balance and unbalance the richness of acoustic phenomena against electronic means.

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