October 6th, 2009
Four slices of chamber music from composers John Luther Adams, Rick Cox, Michael Jon Fink and Jim Fox gets compiled on this CD, punctuated by two short, quiet clarinet interludes by Marty Walker. Adams’ “Dark Wind” lives up to its title with gorgeous acoustic instrument atmospherics that flow and darkly brood with the best of ’em–very minimal, pleasurable and impressive. In Fink’s “Thread of Summer,” a forlorn melody is bandied about between Marty and the rest of the ensemble. Cox’s “When April May” “floats a lyric line over a repeating harmonics structure,” while Fox’s “Between the Wheels” boasts a “series of quiet bass clarinet statements, accompanied by violin harmonics, heard against a cycling tapestry of string tremolos.” All in all, this CD gives the impression of being one long, flowing work of a single composer, rather than four, and stands as a fine presentation of austere understatement. Featuring Amy Knoles on vibraphone and marimba, Bryan Pezzone on piano, Maria Newman and Peter Kent on violins, Valerie Dimond on viola, Greg Gottlieb on cello and Dan Smith on cello.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0009 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 41:00 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM, Official
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy
September 21st, 2009
Rick Cox is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who has been on the new music scene since the late 1970s. His Maria Falling Away CD from 2001 is completely crammed full of slowly shifting, immensely wide puffs of ethereal beauty that effortlessly waft around your mind ’n’ spirit like innumerable fragile, translucent dream kites in a continuously changing formation of their exclusive understanding. It’s hard to believe this really is a guitar-led music, what with such soft-edged pillowry everywhere and nary a string-pluck in auditory view. But then you read the press release, which describes Rick’s “idiosyncratic playing techniques” on prepared guitar with sponges, brushes and a glass slide. Ah ha! Now I get it. I wonder if he used an Ebow, as well? Any way you slice it, the results are sumptuous. Track five even concedes to a gentle, rocking rhythm with some fairly deep bass.
Featuring Rick Cox himself–who, not surprisingly, has played on film scores–on electric guitar, prepared electric guitar, baritone electric guitar, alto sax, contra-alto clarinet and sampler, Jon Hassel on trumpet, Thomas Newman–another film score guy–on piano, Jeff Elmassian on clarinet and Chas Smith on pedal steel guitar. This is a really purty disc that, come bedtime in a small, snowed-in cabin in the tundra, you might want to call your own.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0006 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 55:04 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy