Michael Pisaro/Morgan Evans-Weiler - Lines And Tracings [Another Timber - 2018]
From Another Timber- the always dependable & quality bound modern composition label- here’s a split CD release bringing together two wonderful stark, considered, yet highly compelling examples of modern composition from two US composers for very sparse ensembles.
Opening up the disc we have a 2016 composition from Buffalo New York-based Michael Pisaro - this is entitled "Helligkeit, die Tiefe hatte, nicht keine Fläche ( Grey Series no6 )"- this is the shorter of the two compositions here coming in at just over the thirty-minute mark. This work takes in eight players- Morgan Evans-Weiler on Volin, Luke Martin on Sine tones, Michael Rosenstein on electronics, Vic Rawlings Amplified/ prepared cello, Katie Porter-Bass Clarinet, J.P.A. Falzone vibraphone, and Laura Cetilia cello. The piece unfolds in a wonderful considered & highly moody manner - with strings slowly marking out a semi shrill-yet- haunting melody line, around this the vibes are gently placed to enhance the feeling of persistent melancholia. Between each circling of tones, there is often quite a gap, and this is very effectively filled in by a selection of dry textural slices & simmers, wavering sine tone atmospherics, and subtle electro haze detail. The whole thing comes across as an extremely slurred & often gloomy march- that nicely managers to pull one into a shadowy & bleakly lulling state that at times sounds rather foreboding.
The second track is composed by Boston based composer, violinist & artist Morgan Evans-Weiler- this composition is from 2018, entitled “Lines and Tracings” & comes in at just over the forty-four-minute mark. The players here are Morgan Evans-Weiler on Volin, Kyle Adam Blair Piano, Justin Murphy- Mancini Harpsichord, Madison Greenstone Clarinet, and Tyler J. Borden cello. The composition has a rather seesaw quality about it- at times it feels bleakly elegant, at others sourly off-angle- as the players creating a slowly simmering web of sound. The piano & Harpsichord often painting a feeling of faded grandeur, while the string & wind instruments move between slowed elegant forlornness & sourly shrill dread. Though this piece is similarly sparse & stark in its structure to the first composition- there are moments of layered depth, which move from shadowy malevolence to grim unease.
Lines And Tracings servers up two effective examples of modern composition- each heady in both considered sparse-ness, longing sadness, compelling-if-lulling intent. As usual with Another Timber releases head over to the label's site here- where you can hear samples, of this and other releases, and of course, buy direct.Roger Batty