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Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019

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  • April
Arraymusic, the Music Gallery and Native Women in the Arts join for a mini-festival celebrating the work of composer, performer and installation artist Raven Chacon; Music and Health looks at the role of Healing Arts Ontario in supporting concerts in care facilities; Kingston-based composer Marjan Mozetich's life and work are celebrated in film; "Forest Bathing" recontextualizes Schumann, Shostakovich and Hindemith; in Judy Loman's hands, the harp can sing; Mahler's Resurrection bursts the bounds of symphonic form; Ed Bickert, guitar master remembered. All this and more in our April issue, now online in flip-through here, and on stands commencing Friday March 29.

in their respective

in their respective solos. Gross’ solo, which begins as a duet with Poole, is a highlight, as is Poole’s own brief solo over the vamp that precedes the melody. In Pacific’s liner notes, Phil Dwyer writes that the album is, perhaps, evocative of the Larry Young album Unity, and the comparison is apt. But the album is made special by the band’s commitment to its constituent voices, to Turner’s compositions, and to honouring the unique musical moments found throughout this compelling album. Colin Story No Hay Banda The Counterfictionals Good Music GMCD006 ( !! Rarely, if at all, do industrial and fine art come together in a package so well thought out (from concept and presentation to imaginative musical execution, and in the sheer invention and hyper virtuosity of the performing Danish musicians) than on the Counterfictionals production entitled No Hay Banda. No Hay Banda has been conceived of and directed by Kristoffer Rosing-Schow, a multiinstrumentalist who plays everything from bass clarinet to invented instruments such as the hydrofonium, described here complete with diagram, how it works and, best of all, how ethereally beautiful it sounds. Speaking of which there is the not-so-small matter of the music itself. The ten songs, bring back to life key scenes in famously well-made and notoriously badly made films from David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (Counterfictionals’ song: Club Silencio), Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More (song: Lee Van Cleef) to Alan Parker’s Angel Heart (song: Looking for Johnny Favorite) and Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (song: The Three Beggars). In each case, brilliant musicians get closer to the chilling, sardonic heart of the film – scenes depicted in the songs with immensely powerful performances combining cast-iron virtuoso discipline with heady imagination and sheer fantasy, all of which matches the originality of Rosing-Schow’s artistry and vision. Let neither the ironic band name nor the album title be lost in this magnificent mêlée of music either, for what could a name such as Counterfictionals suggest but No Hay Banda (There’s no band)? Raul da Gama Rosa Parks: Pure Love Wadada Leo Smith Tum CD 057 ( !! Since 2012, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has created several powerfully elegiac suites: Ten Freedom Summers, Occupy the World, The Great Lakes and America’s National Parks. With Rosa Parks: Pure Love, he returns explicitly to the theme of the first, the African-American civil rights movement. Rosa Parks is an oratorio, with music and songs by Smith, employing his distinctive compositional method that focuses on contrasting durations and textures. Smith’s heterodox ensemble includes a string quartet, a trumpet quartet, drums, electronics, pipa and three singers. From the dissonant fanfare, Smith has compounded his own idiom, at once intimate and multi-dimensional, in which strongly lyrical passages alternate with moody, atonal strings and sometimes harsh, flaring brass. Strong individual voices emerge out of the fissures opening in the collective sound: violinist Mona Tian, cellist Ashley Walters, drummer Pheeroan akLaff and Smith himself, soloing only in the penultimate movement. Smith has matched each song’s character, as well as range, to each singer’s voice: Karen Parks’ touch of gospel; Carmina Escobar’s hard-edged precision; and Min Xiao-Fen’s soaring command of microtones. Each brings a special presence to Smith’s multicultural palette. Embedded in the oratorio are excerpts of early recordings by Smith and close associates Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins and Steve McCall, musicians who first played free music together 50 years ago, and who are, by extension, partners in Smith’s ongoing commemorations of the necessary struggles for freedom, reinforced in his concluding quotation from Martin Luther King. Stuart Broomer Moya Ivan Mazuze Losen Records LOS 209-2 ( !! With his fourth album, Mozambiqueborn saxophonist and composer Ivan Mazuze, now based in Norway, continues his exploration of interrelations between traditional and contemporary music. The result is Moya, an elegant synthesis of the melodies and rhythms of African and Indian music with contemporary jazz elements. Mazuze is a polished and particularly sensitive saxophone player. His musical language is both delicate and passionate, his expression clear and meaningful. This album also features a wonderful crew of musicians from around the globe, including Olga Konkova (on piano), who has a great synergy with Mazuze, and Bjørn Vidar Solli (on guitar), who delivers some truly impressive solos. Moya opens with contemplative Rohingya. Inspired by the Rohingya people of Myanmar who were recently displaced from their homeland, this piece has a melancholy feel driven by a rhythmical tabla pulse. It flows naturally into Mantra, a lively tune featuring an alluring combo of vocal chanting and instrumental discourse. The most interesting track on the album for me is Lunde, inspired by Norwegian folk music and highlighting cool vocals by Hanne Tveter. And there is Moya, the focal point of the album. It’s meaning in the Mozambican language is spirit/soul and it is immediately apparent that it holds special significance for Mazuze. The interplay between sax and piano captivates the listener with changing colours and meaningful dialogue. This album has funky grooves, soulful melodies and, most importantly, a distinct and catchy sound. Highly recommended. Ivana Popovic POT POURRI Vanishing Fides Krucker; Tim Motzer 1k recordings 1K043 ( ! ! For 35 years Toronto-based classically trained vocalist Fides Krucker has explored contemporary vocal practice on the highest level as a singer in contemporary opera, interdisciplinary and electroacoustic works, as well as in chamber music and orchestral settings. Her career has taken her to numerous international stages. She’s appeared on diverse albums and film and video productions. The phrase I found on my search engine while looking for Krucker’s website is, “emotionally integrated voice.” And her performance on the six Vanishing tracks powerfully delivers just that. She projects a wide palette of emotions through her voice alone, employing vocal techniques that move comfortably between classical Western and extended voices, often without lyrics. Krucker is superbly supported on Vanishing by Tim Motzer a veteran Philadelphia jazz/improvising guitarist with 80 albums to his credit. He is best known for his textural acoustic-electro guitar playing 80 | April 2019

utilizing looping, bowing, sampling, electronics and various prepared techniques, all richly displayed on Vanishing. The album is cinematic in scope. In its spontaneously composed sonic world each scene in the undefined – sometimes airy and melodically lush, sometimes unsetting – vocal storyline is created though the intimate musical dialogue between Krucker and Motzer. My favourite track is the epic-length Density, which according to the liner notes, “Broods on the state of the world, gathers weight with each motif, steps the listener outside of civilized sound.” Some days taking a walk on the sonic wild side is what the doctor should order. Andrew Timar In This Body Fides Krucker; Rob Clutton; Tania Gill; Germaine Liu Independent FK-01-2018 (fideskrucker. com/productions/in-this-body) !! Anyone who knows the multidimensional and multi-disciplinary work of Fides Krucker is naturally going to wonder how much of the dance and – more importantly – the theatre that defines Krucker’s art this CD is going to capture. It is, after all merely audio. Fortunately, however, Krucker is a highly evocative vocalist and she spares nothing to imbue her music with atmosphere and even the nuanced auras of her often spiritual and always colourful work. Even with the suggested stasis of the title, In This Body, one cannot help but imagine the body in motion. This is a work by Krucker, remember? True to form she creates a kind of series of one-woman operatic arias. Each is expressed in an inimitable manner which can only be associated by someone like Krucker. Her version of Leonard Cohen’s iconic piece Suzanne is turned from something almost impressionistic-Cohenesque into a work of extraordinary sensuality in an almost Nabokov-like (Lolita) manner. Another wildly sensual track – Striptease – follows this one. But Krucker also rings in the changes of mood and emotion, structure and tempo with Mary Margaret O’Hara’s Body’s In Trouble, Leslie Feist’s Let It Die, k.d. lang’s Hain’t It Funny and, of course, the forlorn and classic song Helpless by Neil Young. Along the way, Krucker is magnificently aided by bassist Rob Clutton, pianist Tania Gill and percussionist Germaine Liu. Together the musicians propel Krucker into a rarefied artistic realm where she and her music truly belong. Raul da Gama Talismã Mark Duggan Independent ( !! Percussionist Mark Duggan demonstrates his wide-ranging abundant musical talent in this project rooted in the Brazilian styles of samba, bossa nova and choro. Be it as a composer of four tracks, arranger of six Brazilian classics, and lead and chamber performer throughout, with outstanding musicians Louis Simão, contrabass and accordion, and Marco Tulio, violão (Portuguese guitar), Duggan’s understanding of vibraphone intricacies, compositional form/ style and listening skills create music for everyone to enjoy, regardless of one’s stylistic preferences. The trio plays the covers with respect and intelligence. Astor Silva’s Chorinho no Gafieira opens the recording with an upbeat happy start, thought-out vibraphone lines, good instrumental balances, and a simple yet colourful middle section. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Triste has slight dynamic modulations and clear phrasing with the violão chords and contrabass keeping the faster vibes part grounded to the final Jobim chord. Duggan’s compositions are great. In his Above the Rain, the hypnotic two-note accordion start, with up-and-down melodic lines, is followed by vibraphone runs, which at times double and contrast the accordion chordal swells and staccato notes. Irresoluto is slightly more atonal yet rooted in rhythmic/melodic tradition, while Shifting Sands features a relaxing more traditional vibes melody with background bass groove, and instrumental dialogue throughout. Duggan’s firm grasp of the samba form in Samba des Nues is heard in its contrabass/violão rhythmic opening, florid lines and slower ending. Perfect production values complete Duggan’s smart, nuance-abundant, Brazilian music-flavoured release. Tiina Kiik The Art of the Vietnamese Zither – Đàn Tranh Tri Nguyen ARC Music EUCD2826 ( !! This album features the subtly expressive Vietnamese plucked zither đàn tranh, which belongs to the widely distributed family of Asian long zithers. Its cousins are the Chinese zheng and qin, Japanese koto, Korean kayageum, as well as the çatkhan of the Khakass of southern Russian Siberia and the kacapi of the Sundanese of West Java, Indonesia. Born into a family of literati in South Vietnam, Trí Nguyen began his music studies at an early age on the piano with Frenchtrained teachers, eventually continuing them in Paris. His family however was strongly attached to its ancestral Vietnamese culture and also arranged đàn tranh lessons for Nguyen with the noted master Hai Bieu. Nguyen’s bi-cultural training positions him well to pursue his goal of taking traditional Vietnamese music to international audiences, combining Vietnamese musics with global genres and instruments. His approach has already garnered success: his 2015 debut album Consonnances won the Global Music Award Gold Medal for world music. In The Art of Vietnamese Zither, Nguyen draws on this bi-musicality, presenting the đàn tranh in a transcultural context. The closing tracks are up-tempo nods to a worldmusic style aimed at broad audience appeal in which he adds other Vietnamese instruments, the oud and darabuka (goblet drum). The most impressive aspect of the album however is the suite presented in the first nine tracks. Effectively arranged for his đàn tranh and Western string quartet, they feature melodies borrowed and adapted from the six schools of traditional Vietnamese music he inherited from his master Bieu. Andrew Timar April 2019 | 81

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